Investment Philosophy

Access Biotechnology invests in transformative therapies for conditions with high unmet needs and that have the potential to meaningfully impact human health.

Our approach is characterized by the following:

Broad Scope

We invest in both private and public biopharma companies across therapeutic areas, modalities, and development stages – from discovery-stage technology platforms to late-stage clinical programs.

Long-Term Orientation

Free from the constraints of a typical venture fund cycle, we aim to support the growth of our portfolio companies and build our investments over the long haul.

Flexibility

We adapt our approach to the needs of individual opportunities, while continually adjusting to shifts in the external environment.

Technical Rigor

We leverage our medical and scientific backgrounds to evaluate opportunities deeply, thoughtfully, and efficiently.

Collaborative Style

We partner with founders, management, and fellow investors to build and grow companies that are developing important new medicines.

Emphasis on Fundamental Value Creation

We invest in people, data, and innovation, not momentum or hype. We believe that financial returns will parallel the value we create for patients, caregivers, and society.

Team

Liam Ratcliffe

Head of Biotechnology

Liam Ratcliffe joined Access in April 2019 as head of biotechnology. He was previously Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners, where he focused on investing in therapeutic and therapeutic platform companies for 10 years. Prior to joining New Leaf, Liam was Senior Vice President and Development Head for Neuroscience, as well as Worldwide Head of Clinical Research and Development at Pfizer, where he spent a total of 12 years. Liam received his medical degree and Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Cape Town and his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He completed his internal medicine training and fellowship in Immunology at Groote Schuur Hospital and associated teaching hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa.

Portrait of Daniel

Dan Becker

Partner

Dan Becker joined Access Biotechnology in August 2019. Prior to Access, Dan was a Principal at New Leaf Venture Partners, where he played a key role in multiple private and public biopharma investments, and a Principal in the Health Care practice at the Boston Consulting Group, where he led projects across the health care sector with an emphasis on biopharma R&D. Dan trained clinically in internal medicine and nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He obtained both his M.D. and Ph.D. (Cellular and Molecular Biology) degrees from the University of Michigan, and received his B.S. in Physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Christine Borowski

Senior Associate

Christine Borowski joined Access Biotechnology as a Senior Associate in July 2019.  Prior to that she worked on therapeutics company creation at Apple Tree Partners.  Before becoming an investor, Christine worked as an editor at several high-impact scientific journals, most recently as Chief Editor of Nature Medicine.  She earned a Ph.D. in Immunology at Harvard University, studying thymocyte development in the laboratory of Harald von Boehmer.  Her postdoctoral work in the lab of Albert Bendelac at the University of Chicago focused on natural killer T cell development.

Portfolio Companies

Exited Investments

In the News

FierceBiotech

Nimbus raises $105M for multifront TYK2 clinical trial program

Nimbus Therapeutics has raised $105 million to put its allosteric TYK2 inhibitor through a clutch of phase 2 clinical trials. A syndicate of investors led by BVF Partners has come together to help Nimbus find out if its prospect lives up to that promise. Equipped with cash from new and existing investors including RA Capital Management, Atlas Venture, Access Biotechnology and Commodore Capital, Nimbus plans to start multiple phase 2 studies in 2021 and 2022. More

Endpoints News

Weeks out from an $80M launch, a pain and CNS startup is back with a fresh raise. Can an IPO be far behind?

Not two months after launching out of RA Capital’s incubator, Eliem Therapeutics is returning to the firm — and others — to raise another heap of cash. And this time, an IPO could potentially be in the works. Eliem has put together a $60 million Series B round co-led by RA Capital as it seeks to further advance two lead clinical candidates across four trials. Intermediate Capital Group co-led the round with RA Capital. Other investors included Access Biotechnology, Samlyn Capital, Acorn Bioventures and LifeArc. More

Endpoints News

It’s a new $DAWN for Day One as startup pivots to an IPO for more funding to back its work in pediatric cancer

Pediatric cancer biotech Day One Pharmaceuticals is headed for Nasdaq, in a move that comes less than three months after their work on a brain cancer treatment led to a nine-figure crossover round backed by some blue-chip investors. The South San Francisco-based company is penciling in $100 million as their initial IPO target, though the ultimate raise will likely be higher. More

The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego startup DTx Pharma raises $100M for platform to treat rare diseases

DTx Pharma, a 15-employee San Diego biotechnology company pursuing a platform for creating RNA-based therapies to treat genetic drivers of rare diseases, said Monday that it has raised $100 million in Series B round of financing. The early stage company, which previously raised $10.6 million in a Series A round in January 2020, is pursuing potential treatments in ophthalmology and for neuromuscular diseases initially. More

Fierce Biotech

Merck inks $1.9B Pandion takeover to square up against Amgen, Lilly and Roche

Merck has struck a $1.9 billion deal to buy Pandion. The takeover will give Merck control of a pipeline of immune modulators led by a rival to IL-2 drugs in development at Amgen, Eli Lilly and Roche. Pandion went public last year, pulling in $135 million to fund the development of a pipeline led by an engineered IL-2 mutein fused to a protein backbone. The clinical-phase drug, PT101, is designed to selectively activate and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs) and, in doing so, treat autoimmune diseases including ulcerative colitis. More

FierceBiotech

Childhood cancer-focused Day One banks $130M for pan-RAF inhibitor

It’s been a busy year for Day One Biopharmaceuticals. Just nine months after debuting with $60 million to tackle childhood cancers, the company is topping up its coffers with a $130 million series B financing. The funds will bankroll development and launch plans for its lead program, a pan-RAF inhibitor it’s developing for children with brain cancer, as well as its search for new drug programs to pick up. More

Endpoints News

With ‘rapid’ progress of pediatric brain cancer treatment, Day One sees broad excitement in new crossover round

Roughly nine months after emerging from stealth, Day One Biopharmaceuticals returned to the venture capital well and came away with a nine-figure prize. And with the hefty crossover round, it raises the big question of whether they’re prepping an S-1 to enter a hot biotech IPO market. Day One raised $130 million in a Series B, the biotech announced Wednesday, with the funding led by RA Capital. More

STAT

Sanofi, aiming to speed MS treatment, to acquire Principia Biopharma for $3.68 billion

Sanofi said Monday that it is acquiring Principia Biopharma for $3.68 billion, giving the French drug giant full control over the multiple sclerosis treatment the companies share. The deal values Principia at $100 per share, a 10% premium over the company's closing price Friday, but represents a 35% premium to the price of Principia's stock on July 15. Bloomberg News reported on July 16 that Sanofi was considering making acquisitions, with Principia as a likely target. The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, Sanofi said. More

Endpoints News

How badly does Sanofi chief Paul Hudson want Principia? Enough to ink a $3.7B buyout deal, doubling down on MS

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson has a home for a chunk of that Regeneron money sitting in the bank. The pharma exec is shelling out $100 a share to take out Principia $PRNB — helmed by Martin Babler — and the MS drug that Hudson has been talking up for months as a breakthrough in the field. That’s a $3.7 billion deal. More

Endpoints News

The man who led Gilead’s autoimmune pivot heads to Boston

Now Sundy is moving on. On Tuesday, he left Gilead to become the CMO of Pandion Therapeutics, a Boston biotech building “bifunctional” antibodies for inflammatory diseases. It was the technology that attracted him, Sundy said. The company was developing ways to not treat immune conditions across the entire body. Instead, they were building tethers to link immune-modulating drugs to specific organs. More

STAT

Startup Spotlight: Aiming to speed precision cancer therapies to children

Day One Biopharmaceuticals — named for the conversations clinicians have with parents when they first tell them their child has cancer and how they hope to treat it — announced on Thursday its first financing and its first drug candidate. Backed by $60 million from Canaan, Access Biotechnology, and Atlas Venture, the 25-person startup has struck a deal with Takeda Pharmaceutical (TAK) to acquire the rights to develop TAK-580, including certain rights previously licensed by Takeda from Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS). More

FierceBiotech

Day One debuts with $60M to change cancer care—starting with children

“There have been over 200 products approved by the FDA for adult cancers even in the last 20 years, but in the last 30, there have been less than 10 new drugs approved by the FDA specifically for children with cancer,” said Julie Grant, a general partner at Canaan Partners, who’s been working on a company to solve that problem: Day One Biopharmaceuticals. It’s launching with a $60 million series A from Canaan, Access Biotechnology and Atlas Venture to develop new cancer treatments for children, but that could be used in adult patients, too. More