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Frequently Asked Questions

How are the biotechs selected?

We look for biotechs that are raising funds through channels like equity crowdfunding platforms or angel investors clubs. We then pick the biotechs that will use the financing they’re looking for to perform clinical trials. The selection is then first done on business elements by the platforms or clubs, and our selection comes to select biotechs that will need additional funding to cross the valley of death of translational research (from pre-clinical to the first trials on humans).

Is it a donation or an investment?

Legally it’s a pure donation. No money will return to donors, and the reward is hopefully to speed up the coming to market of new drugs. Technically, our non-profit organization invests as a legal person in the biotechs, thanks to the money raised through the donations. But our non-profit organization by-laws are based to operate as a Patient Fund, meaning that patients keep control of any money that could come back from the investments in shares. The goal is to build up investment power over time to maximize impact patients can have on the development process of new drugs, speeding up the coming to market of new drugs proposed by young biotechs, and contributing to guiding research within new promising avenues.

What will happen to my donation?

Once your donation has been given to invest in a precise project, it is divided in two: One share (e.g. 80%) that is booked on the project and that will be converted in equity shares of the biotech looking for investment, and a smaller share (e.g. 20%) that will be used to cover operational cost (payment and banking fees, transaction and legal fees for the investment,..) and to develop the reach of our non-profit. The share that is assigned to the project will always stay in the Patient Fund: If the investment does not go through, it will come back on an account that is open for you. If a couple of years later, a liquidity event transforms the shares invested in the biotech back into cash (an event happening usually in less than 1/10th of the cases), a proportion corresponding to your initial contribution returns on your account so that you can decide where this money will be reinvested.

Is my donation tax deductible?

We are not equipped yet to provide tax deduction certificates. Furthermore, we would not be entitled to do it in many jurisdictions where we are not physically represented. As long as there is no such thing as an international tax deduction agreement, it will be extremely complex to incorporate certificates in our donation process. It does not seem to us that it is a reason not to start thinking medical research at a global level. We believe that, even if international donations do not bring a tax return, they have the advantage of allowing patients to accelerate drug developments wherever it takes place on the globe.

Why not all the money goes to the biotech?

Operating a non-profit is unfortunately costly. Just the payment fees borne to receive donations can reach 6%. There are also costs involved to transfer money to projects (banking fees, transaction and legal fees). All the non-profit organizations reporting their operating costs show that they usually operate within range between 12% and 30%, or more, of the money received.
The specificity of a non-profit operating as a Patient Fund is that money dedicated to projects and money used by operations is segregated from the time of the donation, and a transparent allocation is known from the start. With economy of scales, we hope to be able to lower the portion we ask you to dedicate to operational aspects. But there are also needs to develop the reach of our action and we thus ask you to allocate a bit more of your donation than what is strictly necessary to cover the pure operational costs.

Why a Patient Fund invests in and does not donate money to the biotech?

There is first a legal problem: It may seem strange, but it is relatively complex to actually donate money to a private company (it should come with some form of compensation or can potentially be considered as an irregular act of management).
Second, we think success brings success. So if some biotechs successfully develop new drugs, it will benefit the community and capital gain will help fund more successful biotechs.
Third, it may be strange again, but it is usually the case that investors get more information through standard reporting, than most organizations providing grants usually get through their own requirement.
So we think that building a partnership between the Patient Fund and the biotechs through investment in equity is a good way to develop a win-win situation.