Empty Rooms: Innovation in Biotech at RTW

Rod Wong

Hedge Fund

Empty Room


Episode: 310
April 24, 2023

Episode Description:

On today’s show, we’ll discuss a continuing empty room – an opportunity ignored by most investors because they either don’t want to or can’t participate. We’ve shared conversations under the theme about investing in Venezuela, Africa, CLO equity, tax assets, and biotech. Among them, biotech is a room that just keeps getting emptier, so I thought it would be fun to pay it another visit.

Rod Wong is the founder and Managing Partner of RTW Investments, a life sciences-focused investment and innovation firm of 80 professionals that manages $6 billion in assets.

I had a chance to drop by Rod’s office in NYC and discuss his background, case for life sciences, investment and business approach, investment process across sourcing ideas, research, probability assessment of binary outcomes, portfolio construction, competition, and outlook.

Show Notes
03:20 Background in medicine
05:16 Path to biotech investing
08:13 Case for life sciences
10:47 Innovation in biotech
12:24 Founding RTW
15:33 Building and managing a multi-functional team
22:23 Filtering investment opportunities
27:27 Assessing science, business and management
34:51 Portfoio construction
39:50 Market structure in biotech
44:53 Competitive environment
47:59 Opportunities
50:24 Risks
51:37 Positioning RTW for the future
52:57 Closing questions

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