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

Principal

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 serves on the Board of Directors at Principia Biopharma and previously was on the Board at Neurana Pharmaceuticals.  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

In the News

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

Endpoints News

A quiver of arrows for immune disorders: Pandion scores $80M in fresh funding

The Series B was led by Access Biotechnology, Boxer Capital, RA Capital and OrbiMed and included the participation of Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, JDRF T1D Fund and BioInnovation Capital. The Boston-based startup raised $58 million in January 2018. More

FierceBiotech

Pandion Therapeutics scores $80M to drive autoimmune programs through clinic

Access Biotechnology and Boxer Capital led the $80 million round, joining new investors RA Capital and OrbiMed. And all of Pandion’s backers returned for the series B, including Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Roche Venture Fund, SR 1, JDRF T1D Fund and BioInnovation Capital. More

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Penn gene therapy pioneer Jim Wilson’s Passage Bio plans IPO

Philadelphia-based Passage Bio plans to raise as much as $125 million selling stock shares to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), the Philadelphia-based firm told the Securities and Exchange Commission in a public filing Monday. Passage Bio, based on gene therapy technology developed by University of Pennsylvania biotech pioneer James Wilson, says it will use proceeds from the sale to clinically test its initial therapies and bring them closer to market. More

Endpoints News

How much does it cost to bootstrap a gene therapy startup? Not too much if you’re Jim Wilson, per Passage Bio’s $125M IPO filing

Days ago when Deerfield partner Bruce Goldsmith jumped to helm Passage Bio, he cited a few reasons why it’s an “extremely exciting time” to be joining the gene therapy player: IND filings for three lead programs, a data-rich 2021 and an expanding pipeline of experimental drugs for rare, monogenic CNS diseases. More

FierceBiotech

Rare disease biotech Passage Bio nabs Deerfield veteran as CEO

Passage Bio is losing its interim chief executive and co-founder Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., as it brings in a venture capitalist veteran to the helm. The biotech will now be run by Bruce Goldsmith, who comes from Deerfield Management where he was a venture partner responsible for early-stage investments and also served as interim CEO at Civetta Therapeutics; he’s also been the chief operating officer at Lycera, an immuno-oncology and autoimmune disease biotech.

More

Endpoints News

Atlas, Novo-backed biotech reels in ex-Nimbus CEO Don Nicholson as exec chairman, hooks $50M to conquer anemia

Brian MacDonald’s original foray into treating iron dysregulation by injecting hepcidin, a small peptide hormone key for iron homeostasis, didn’t quite get off the ground. This time, the former GSK executive is taking a fresh approach — by regulating hepcidin expression within the body. More

FierceBiotech

Quickfire megarounds tee Passage Bio up for gene therapy trials

Passage Bio has raised its second megaround of 2019. Months after breaking cover with a $115.5 million series A, the James Wilson-founded gene therapy startup has reeled in another $110 million to take several assets into the clinic while hustling other programs through preclinical studies. More

Endpoints News

Plotting clinical entry, James Wilson’s gene therapy startup brings in billionaire for $110M Series B

The gene therapy biotech that James Wilson helped found to take some rare disease programs out of Penn all the way to an approval has scored $110 million in its latest financing. More

Endpoints News

San Diego ophthalmic biotech upstart raises $28M on alternative to corneal transplant

Texas VC Bios Partners has found a new early-stage play to love out of San Diego, leading a $28 million Series A to help Trefoil Therapeutics make the leap to the clinic. More