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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Enlight Biosciences was launched earlier this month through a collaboration between Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Eli Lilly. The company, cofounded by PureTech Ventures, plans to direct up to $39 million for novel approaches to drug discovery and development.

During this week's GEN podcast, bioindustry analysts Ben Conway and Isaac Ro discuss why there just might be a need for another drug discovery company and describe the unique advantages Enlight Biosciences could bring to the table. They comment on why three rival pharmaceutical companies in the extremely competitive drug industry might have decided to collaborate on the creation of a new drug discovery firm. Conway and Ro also address the issue of how realistic it may be to expect an initial $39 million investment to "advance breakthrough technologies that can fundamentally alter drug discovery and development."

While most life science investing over the past few years has been directed to late-stage programs, the Enlight Biosciences story might be a break from this model. Conway and Ro talk about the potential of increasing amounts of investment dollars flowing into early-stage drug discovery and development in the near future.

Benjamin Conway is founder and Managing Director of Johnston Blakely & Company, LLC. Johnston Blakely & Company is a Boston-based investment bank focused exclusively on the life sciences. Mr. Conway was previously head of biotechnology banking for Adams, Harkness & Hill where was involved in transactions with a cumulative value of over $1 billion. His prior experience also includes Abbott Laboratories and Bain & Company as well as two biotech start-ups, one of which, Gamera Bioscience, he co-founded. Mr. Conway graduated magna cum laude from Bowdoin College and received an M.B.A., with honors, from the Harvard Business School.

Isaac Ro is a senior analyst covering the Life Science Tools and Medical Devices sectors at Leerink Swann. Ro has been a member of Leerink Swann's top-ranked equity research team as polled by Institutional Investor and the Greenwich Survey since 2004. Prior to Leerink Swann, Isaac was a research associate at Independence Investments covering health care and conducted orthopedic research at Harvard Medical School. Isaac holds a BA with honors in History and Pre-Med from Middlebury College.

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