HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
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Three Digital Health Trends Affecting Investors in 2021

Private equity deal volume hit a low in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic slowed the US and global economies. But toward the end of the year, deals began picking back up, particularly in the digital health space.

COVID-19 forced healthcare providers to shift from in-person to virtual care, and technology was the vehicle to make that switch possible. Investors noticed, and more deals focused on companies specializing in telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technology platforms that facilitate communication among specialists.

Expect this trend to continue in 2021, and keep these three factors in mind when evaluating the digital health landscape.

Easing of Laws and Regulations Surrounding Telehealth and Digital Health

Both telehealth and digital health are highly regulated, as every state has laws and regulations that govern how care is provided virtually and how those services are billed. In response to the pandemic, we’ve seen flexibility with these laws and regulations, and the Biden administration has signaled that it might make some flexibilities permanent.

Investment opportunities will likely increase as a result of the Biden administration’s willingness to lower some of the longstanding barriers to coverage and payment for virtual services, including telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other related services. That’s a positive sign for firms looking at healthcare through the lens of a technology solution.

Reallocation of Resources Due to Vaccine Rollout

Since the onset of the pandemic, labs have conducted a huge volume of testing and have had to ramp up personnel and other [...]

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Policy Outlook: How The 2020 Election Outcomes Will Impact Your Business – Health Policy

In this session, health law policy authorities discussed changes likely in 2021 in a Biden Administration and how these changes will impact business objectives and strategies for health industry stakeholders.

Below are the top takeaways for Policy Outlook: How The 2020 Election Outcomes Will Impact Your Business session: Health, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here

COVID-19
If Vice President Biden campaigned on anything, it was a more vigorous response to the pandemic. Look for a Biden Administration to make addressing the spread and restoring the economy top priorities early on. Another relief bill is likely, and maybe even in a lame duck session in 2020, but any relief measure will require Republican and Democratic support. Look at both the House-passed HEROES Act and the Senate Republican HEALS Act as likely starting points for discussion.

Affordable Care Act
Vice President Biden campaigned on sustaining and expanding health insurance coverage by enacting a public option to compete with commercial plans in exchange marketplaces. With Republicans likely to retain control of the Senate, legislative expansions of the ACA are unlikely. Instead, look to a Biden Administration to reverse or revise ACA-related regulations and Executive Orders advanced by the Trump Administration. Still, keep an eye on the Supreme Court’s consideration of California v. Texas, which could call the constitutionality of the ACA into question.

Prescription Drug Pricing
Both parties share the goal of addressing the cost of prescription drugs, and there [...]

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HPE New York 2020: Big Bankers Breakfast Discussion

In this lively panel session, global heads of healthcare at top banks analyzed the current market climate for healthcare services investing and provided their invaluable insights on hot sectors, growth strategies and the dealmaking outlook for 2021. McDermott counsel Charlie Ditkoff moderated this panel featuring Daniel Decelles, global co-head of healthcare investment banking at Jefferies; Matthew McAskin, senior managing director at Evercore; Jim Forbes, vice chairman of Morgan Stanley; Mark Francis, managing director and head of the healthcare group at Houlihan Lokey; and Cheairs Porter, head of the healthcare and life sciences group at Harris Williams.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: Big Bankers Breakfast Discussion, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here

The public markets have recovered remarkably from the lows of March and April 2020 and are currently seeing unprecedented deal activity, Mr. McAskin said. However, amid that activity, “there is no one solution that is working,” he said. “We are seeing financing work, we are seeing creative transaction structures work, and we’re seeing a resurgence of initial public offerings and special purpose acquisition companies like we have not seen for years or for decades. It’s a very confusing time for a lot of people, because we’re seeing these micro-cycles occurring very quickly.”

As might be expected in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, valuations for tech-enabled healthcare businesses have risen significantly this year, and that trend will likely continue into 2021. “I [...]

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HPE New York 2020: The Impact of COVID-19: What’s Hot, What’s Not

In the wake of COVID-19 some health sectors have emerged as hot while others are troubled. Our panel of active investors discussed where the dollars are going and offered insights on why in relation to the events of 2020. McDermott partner Jerry Sokol moderated this dynamic panel featuring Paige Daly, partner at Harvest Partners; Chris Gordon, global head of healthcare and co-head of North America private equity at Bain Capital; Geoff Lieberthal, partner at Two Sigma Impact; and Rob Wolfson, executive managing director and head of H.I.G. Advantage Fund and U.S. Healthcare.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: The Impact of COVID-19: What’s Hot, What’s Not, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

COVID-19 has revealed weaknesses in the healthcare system and in healthcare delivery in particular. “One of the most fundamental things that we as healthcare investors all should be thinking about is investing in businesses that are making things better for the entire system—for patients, for providers and for payors,” Ms. Daly said. “That means we should be both raising quality and lowering costs.” These principles are driving some of the most exciting innovation today, particularly in payor services, physician practice management (PPM) and healthcare IT.

Healthcare IT generally and telemedicine specifically are areas of major investment. Dramatically accelerated patient and payor adoption of telehealth has created growth [...]

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HPE New York 2020: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers

An illustrious group of healthcare private equity pioneers discussed how healthcare investing has evolved from inception to current state and what the future holds. Moderated by Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, Moneyball, The Blind Side and Liar’s Poker, it featured insights from Senator Bill Frist, MD, founder of Frist Cressey Ventures; Annie Lamont, co-founder and Managing Partner of Oak HC/FT; Curtis Lane, founding partner of WindRose Health Investors; and Ira Coleman, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

Investment in healthcare private equity continues to accelerate, even amid disruption. In the past, healthcare made up only a small portion of private equity funds, but pioneers helped make it mainstream. “The amount of infrastructure, commitment and capability focused exclusively on healthcare is becoming commensurate with the size of healthcare relative to the economy,” Mr. Lane said. “I think that’s changed pretty significantly and is continuing to change very quickly.”

One of the most dramatic changes in the field of healthcare private equity since its inception is the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system and the opportunities that transformation has created for entrepreneurs outside of traditional healthcare roles. As virtual health companies and other digital-focused endeavors [...]

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What are the Life Science Transaction Trends in the Wake of the Sanitary Crisis?

In the second installment of McDermott’s webinar series, HPE Europe 2020: What are the Life Science Transaction Trends in the Wake of the Sanitary Crisis?, moderator and McDermott partner Emmanuelle Trombe and industry experts Joseph El Khoury of Natixis, Cédric Garcia of EY’s Life Science Group, Dr. Erich Tauber of Themis Bioscience and Daniel Teper of CYTOVIA Therapeutics shared lessons learned from the first half of 2020, when COVID-19 changed the world. The panelists also discussed the outlook for life sciences transaction trends in the second half of the year and beyond.

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What Impact has Coronavirus had on Doing Healthcare Deals?

In the fifth and final installment of McDermott’s HPE Europe 2020 Summer Webinar Series, McDermott partner Tom Whelan hosted a discussion with Marc Benatar of Apax Partners, Markus Peterseim of Alvarez & Marsal, and fellow McDermott partner Dr. Nikolaus von Jacobs to examine how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting deal making in the healthcare industry.

Whelan led the group through a wide-ranging conversation centered on five key pandemic deal impact areas: pricing, process, timing, regulation and future prospects. Read on for discussion highlights, and click here to access the full webinar.

Pricing

“You’ve clearly seen a polarization,” Benatar said. “Nonessential businesses were hit hard by the lockdown effect and remain impacted, while those that were related to essential elements of healthcare were hit but started to experience a catch-up at the beginning of May and are already getting close to the normal run rate volume. I think that businesses that demonstrated that they are related to an essential part of the healthcare offering and that they can survive this type of crisis have almost strengthened their value. Those businesses that we know have experience with this first wave and those that are getting even more prepared for the next one will probably attract the highest valuations.”

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the due diligence process, Peterseim noted. “When you’re advising investors on commercial or operations due diligence, there are always questions such as, ‘What will be the new normal of profitability? Will it be a swift [...]

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What is the Impact of Recent Regulation and Government Measures on Investments in Healthcare and Life Sciences in Europe?

In the fourth installment of McDermott’s HPE Europe Summer Webinar Series 2020: What’s the Impact of Recent Regulation and Government Measures on Investments in Healthcare and Life Sciences in Europe? moderator and McDermott partner Dr. Stephan Rau and industry experts Karthic Jayaraman of TPG Capital, Max Müller of Bayer, Ben Faircloth of L.E.K. Consulting and Dr. Ulrich Wandschneider, former CEO of Asklepios AG, currently at Trilantic Capital Partners and Supervisory Board member of BioNTech SE, the Nasdaq-listed developer of COVID vaccine, headquartered in Germany, discussed the impact that COVID-19 and the government measures to address it have had on investments in healthcare and life sciences in Europe.

“I think it’s about as interesting a time as any in my last 20 years investing,” said Jayaraman. “People are beginning to focus a lot more on innovation, the speed of innovation and how innovation is brought to market. I think the question is, “How can we continue to reward innovation, both by simplifying the process by which it’s made possible and how we value it?”

“New developments in digital health have become more and more attractive as people have had faster access to care and governments have understood that some of their regulations needed to be adjusted,” added Müller.

Jayaraman agreed. “There has been an acceleration of the provision of care through telehealth services and any kind of remote administration of care. It’s probably been an acceleration of two-plus years collapsed into months. I also think we’re going to see some vigorous [...]

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European Healthcare Innovation & Investment in a Post-Pandemic World

As part of McDermott’s HPE Europe 2020: Where Do the Opportunities Exist for Investment in the Healthcare Sector? webinar, McDermott London Managing Partner Hamid Yunis moderated a panel of industry experts including; Dr. Michelle Tempest of Candesic, Dr. Joanne Hackett of IZY Capital, Dr. Charles Niehaus and Professor Karol Sikora of Rutherford Cancer Centres, who collectively shared their perspectives on healthcare innovation and investment in a post-pandemic world.

The panelists agreed that COVID-19 has served as a catalyst for change and which has revealed important prospects for the future.

“There has been this zest for change which we’ve been talking about for a long period of time, and this has finally been that breakthrough,” said Dr. Tempest. “Both the professionals and the consumers have suddenly woken up to this new dawn.”

“What I’ve actually seen in the past couple of months is a lot of innovation that we were really wanting to accelerate are now actually happening,” agreed Dr. Hackett. “And it’s because we’re finally able to look to the future and think about future proofing to make sure that our healthcare system is actually going to deliver. I see positivity.”

Dr. Niehaus emphasized that, the real opportunity at the moment is to take the technologies many people were resistant to pre-COVID now acceptable, and use the shift as a “springboard to actually move forward.”

“We struggle with the cumbersome nature of a nationalized system that doesn’t really encourage entrepreneurism,” Professor Sikora cautioned. “The entrepreneurial skills are there — in [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Larry Guess

Larry Guess
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at the Firm: 6 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott? 

My favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is the complexity of our client matters and working with my colleagues to get great results for our clients. The healthcare industry is constantly changing and innovating, and our clients engage us to help them adapt to these changes and maximize innovation in the space.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

The biggest opportunity facing our clients is the bullish investment perspective in the healthcare industry. Currently, there are buyers with a tremendous amount of capital to deploy and sellers looking to maximize current market conditions. The healthcare transactional climate is very dynamic and certain clients are willing to invest in more risky assets. While the payoff can be substantial, the speed and complexity of these transactions can be very challenging for clients.  McDermott’s healthcare group excels in delivering value to our clients by managing the speed of transactions while navigating complex regulatory regimes, enabling our clients to understand the risk associated with a particular investment and opportunities to maximize returns.

What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk? 

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