Welcome back to Dispensed, Business Insider’s weekly healthcare newsletter. This week, we’ve spent our free time mulling over whether this is the year to lean into the whole resolutions thing (Anybody have a favourite? Considering some sort of baking goal for the year).
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What a confusing week it’s been with January 1 landing directly in the middle.
We started the first half of the week following along with the sentencing of Chinese scientist He Jiankui to three years in prison. He shocked the world back in 2018 when he announced the births of two babies whose embryos had been edited to be resistant to HIV. You can read a full timeline of the controversy here.
We’ve also been setting our sights on the year ahead in healthcare, biotech and pharma. Remember that group of VCs I mentioned a couple weeks ago who shared with me their predictions for 2020? Well, as part of our conversations, I also posed the question: “What could be the biggest surprise to rock 2020?”
It’s a bit different from a prediction, and not necessarily an event that’s going to happen. Here’s what they told me.
10 top healthcare VCs shared the biggest surprises that could rock 2020, from ‘Medicare for All’ to Amazon or Walmart buying a health insurer
And here are some other highlights from my conversations with the VCs:
- Andreessen Horowitz general partner Julie Yoo told me why she thinks 2020 will be the year pharmaceutical companies get into the business of providing medical care. (Think: owning the whole CAR-T cell therapy process including its delivery at a clinic).
- Maverick Ventures managing director Am bar Bhattacharyya predicts 2020 will be the year that prescription weight-loss treatments get sold online, just like Viagra
- And Lux Capital partners Adam Goulburn and Zavain Dar explained why they expect pharma companies to build out new ways to reach consumers, perhaps by acquiring a direct-to-consumer healthcare business. (if you’re a DTC company who’s been getting interest from pharma companies about this, I’d love to chat. )
I’ll leave you with our running list of private healthcare and biotech startups that have reached $US1 billion valuations.
I’ve been tracking the companies since January 2018, and it’s been interesting to see which companies have left the list, which ones have taken their place, and who’s been a staple on the list.
Thoughts on what we should be paying attention to in 2020? Resolutions? Tips/speculations on who will be the first digital health IPO out the gate in 2020? You can reach me at [email protected], or you can reach the entire team at [email protected]