Vaccine Applications for Entire Populations

Aug 30, 2019 | Blog


Issue #39. Friday, August 30

Hello Everyone,

For this edition of the Zoic newsletter, we’ll cover some new areas for our deal flow interest as well as continuing growth in existing areas.

If this is your first issue, please subscribe and consider sharing with others. Additionally, we welcome news from our readers, if you’re up to something interesting, let us know. Email


Vaccine Applications For Entire Populations

We have previously covered immuno-oncology deals and our interest in them, mainly due to the potential exit timelines. Another area of interesting growth is vaccines. Traditionally, vaccines are not a major growth area, even seeing recent efforts canceled from major pharmaceutical companies. This is due to low margins and a lack of new technologies. However, some of our partnerships with academic research institutes have shown platforms that can significantly disrupt current technologies and that can apply to major infectious diseases that affect entire populations.

Speaking of our partnerships with academic research institutes, a few of these places have successfully commercialized their intellectual property. However, most of the time the IP is commercialized on an ad hoc basis, which limits the potential breadth of applications. A mechanism that is sometimes used, but not often enough, is a spin-out organization dedicated for commercializing IP. Qualcomm is an example commonly cited for this model and, in fact, recently, their life sciences dedicated spinout was recently acquired.

An article from some time ago nevertheless highlights another field of interest, that of using augmented reality for surgery. A number of devices exist in this space, but many are used for training of only for a specific type of surgery, such as spinal operations. As virtual and augmented reality passes over the hype cycle, we look for true platforms that can utilize the right technology to improve surgery by several orders of magnitude.

Another recent finding may shed light into why the microbiome is so important. We have looked several times at new findings and technologies that show why the microbiome field is so active. This recent research shows that small proteins may be the reason why so many potential conditions and therapies are sourced from changes in the gut bacteria. This includes not just chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease but also nutritional shifts from new diets and environments.

Finally, we see continued growth and acquisitions in the liquid biopsy case. A recent acquisition by Exact Sciences expands its portfolio to now include breast cancer. Optimally, we look for technologies that not only have their own in-built platform applicability into adjacent spaces but also can merge well with other platforms. However, it would be preferable, IP and cost-wise, that adjacent spaces be developed as part of the platform’s own capabilities rather than through a later acquisition.

What We’re Reading
The engineers captivating pharma make cells not software
Investors have more than money to offer entrepreneurs
Medical devices market is achieving a perspective CAGR of 15.20% by 2028
Investors and boards support CEO action on global challenges, EY survey finds

Connect With Zoic Capital
The Biweekly Dealflow Update, curated by the team at Zoic Capital.

Join Zoic's Newsletter

Our team of industry experts and professionals provide industry news, guidance and perspective within the life sciences and medtech investment sectors. To see the type of deals and company innovation we pay attention to, consider receiving our biweekly deal flow newsletter.