Established in 2002, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
(PLSG) has plenty to brag about: 178 investments totaling $19 million in 76 companies, leveraging $840 million in additional capital.
Still, a relative scarcity of investment dollars has prompted PLSG to embrace a new focus on later-stage companies. Simply put, says President and CEO John Manzetti, "there's not enough capital to put more fish in the pond."
PLSG recently announced $315,000 in investments for the first half of the year to Wellbridge Health, PHRQL Inc.
in Pittsburgh and NewCare Solutions
in Warrendale in the growing healthcare information technology (HIT) sector and Alung Technologies
in Pittsburgh, ATRP Solutions
in Pittsburgh, MS2 Array and Quantum Ops
PLSG is also doubling down on two specific life sciences sectors that it judges have the best growth potential.
HIT (which uses technology for needs such as record keeping, managing clinical trials, insurance paperwork, etc.) is especially attractive to investors because, with a simpler regulatory burden, "it is simpler to get to market and returns are faster," says Manzetti.
Therapeutics are attractive, he explains, because research and development, once the province of the pharmaceutical companies, is now done largely by small start-ups, which represent potentially lucrative acquisitions for drug makers.
Still, Manzetti adds, PLSG "is not abandoning pre-seed and seed companies. We will go back to more early-stage investment when we have more capital." In fact, PLSG has launched its "Think-Q-Beta program" to incubate young HIT companies, providing office space and other services. Its first tenant is Quantum Ops.
Source: John Manzetti, PLSG
Writer: Elise Vider