Polaris chief balances woes with pros of biotech investing

It's not been an easy time for venture groups trying to make money in the biotech arena, says Terry McGuire, the co-founder of Polaris Venture Partners. The bleak prospects for IPOs have cast a pall over the VC companies, McGuire tells CNBC. And then there's the growing amount of time it takes to develop a new drug.

"It's been a tough decade to be a venture cap," says McGuire. But he still expects steady growth in the biotech sphere. And there are some distinct positives to consider.

"From a liquidity perspective what we found is that M&A [mergers and acquisitions] sales to those companies is as good as it's ever been," he notes. "There's been some remarkable transactions." And then the VCs have also been able to count on growing support from some of the pharma companies.

Says McGuire: "What happened is we have partners coming along, the major pharmaceuticals that are coming into these companies earlier than they did before becoming our partners, helping us develop those programs."

Over the past 15 years Polaris has developed some of the best contacts in the biotech industry. Their hallmark rounds include a list of notable thinkers in the biotech world. And Polaris has shown a willingness to come in early to back interesting ideas. Polaris roster of close contacts includes Robert Langer, David Edwards, Ram Sasisekharan, Tillman Gerngross, Charles Hutchinson, Omid Farokhzad, Paul Schimmel and Phil Sharp.

- here's the story from CNBC

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