Biogen's lead dealmaker makes case against corporate VC

Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) lead dealmaker, Steve Holtzman, recently sat down with Xconomy's Luke Timmerman to outline just why the big biotech is exiting the corporate VC side of the business. And he did it by shooting holes in some popular concepts that helped drive the trend toward more corporate investing.

First, there's the idea that corporate VC opens a window onto novel technologies. Not so, says Holtzman, the former CEO at Infinity. That's something you should look to your in-house scientists to provide, as they're supposed to be out there scouting the field all the time.

Second, you get to see the other VC players all the time, who have their fingers on the pulse of new tech. But with three experienced players like CEO George Scangos, R&D chief Doug Williams and longtime dealmaker Holtzman on hand, who needs to do rounds with the VCs? They're dropping by practically every day anyway to share opinions and probe on Biogen's interests.

Third, there's the "myth" about gaining some sort of first right of refusal on a technology or a company. False, says Holtzman. Every company has to do the best deal they can get. "Therefore, there are no preferred seats at the table."

Fourth, you're doing right by the business, where the ecosystem needs your support. As you may have guessed by now, though, Holtzman feels that there are better ways to support the R&D ecosystem, and few are better than university discovery deals and biotech partnerships, where the money should go.

- here's the full article from Xconomy