In this series, Digital Health Business & Technology interviews a range of digital health investors, from those who work at venture capital firms and at health system and health insurance venture funds to individual and angel investors. If you’re interested in participating, email us here.
Andy Schwab has seen technology advancements in pharma evolve since starting his venture capital firm 5AM Ventures in 2002.
“Twenty years ago, there was little capital in the space. This was at the beginning of the Human Genome Project,” Schwab said. “What we knew about biology and science was totally different. It was a black box of investing.”
Since then, the industry has seen developments in precision medicine, digital therapeutics and genomics. The advancements have led to better defined business ideas and some notable portfolio investments for 5AM Ventures, including Pear Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company that went public in 2021. Schwab said the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines has further boosted interest in biotech investments.
Schwab spoke about the increasing interest Big Pharma companies have in digital health, the potential of decentralized clinical trials and more. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.