The Business of Biotechnology: Virtual Short Course, Summer 2020

JULY 14, 21, & 28, 3-5 PM EST

RA Capital's Summer 2020 course is currently full. Our next course will run in Fall 2020.

Click below to be notified when our application goes live.

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  • LOCATION: Online (Link to be provided to accepted participants)
  • COST: Free
  • LECTURER: Peter Kolchinsky, Ph.D, Managing Partner, RA Capital
  • TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Jessica Sagers, Ph.D., Monica Stanciu, Ph.D., Ben Hicks, Gunes Bozkurt, Ph.D.
  • Eligibility: Though this course and its content are geared toward participants with a background in science and/or biotechnology, anyone who wants to learn how biomedical innovation is funded and can be affordable to patients is eligible to apply. The course is free of charge to all admitted.


  • Application Deadline: July 9, 2020
  • SESSION 1: Introduction to the Biotech Social Contract - Tuesday, July 14, 3:00-5:00 PM EST
  • SESSION 2: Game Theory in Biotech - Tuesday, July 21, 3:00-5:00 PM EST
  • SESSION 3: Covid-19 As A Microcosm of American Healthcare - Tuesday, July 28, 3:00-5:00 PM EST
  • PREP/READING TIME: Participants will be required to read The Great American Drug Deal by Peter Kolchinsky. Additional slides and readings will be provided to accepted participants.

"If you are a scientist like me and are interested in the business side of biotech - particularly if you are considering entrepreneurship - then this course is for you. If you faithfully put in the time required for this course, you will leave with valuable tools to help you on that path and will be thankful that you did!"

- Rob Shaffer

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Who is this for and why should you take this course?

So much of what’s important to success in the biotechnology sector is not as it seems – we have watched many people (including ourselves) learn difficult lessons through trial and error. This seems inefficient and possibly unnecessary. We believe that by exposing people with the potential to be this industry’s future leaders to advanced concepts they might otherwise only learn later in their careers, they will better navigate the biotechnology industry and more quickly achieve their potential.

Our goal is to focus on concepts that are not yet taught in other biotechnology courses. For example, drug pricing influences R&D yet is widely misunderstood; biotech business models that seem more stable can actually make a company more risky for both employees and investors than business models that may appear less stable; and entrepreneurs often struggle to reconcile the straightforward economic promises of the business plans they are pitching with the obscure behavioral economics that govern how investors often make decisions.

We can probably all remember a single course, a single lecture, or even a single book that fundamentally changed our thinking and repeatedly guides our decisions. That’s the kind of course we have designed: a short, intense upgrade for people planning on a career in or related to biotechnology, whether in companies, as investors, as lawyers, academic founders, or government.

Application Requirements

The application is available through Google Forms and requires committing to read Peter Kolchinsky's The Great American Drug Deal as well as providing paragraph responses to three questions. To submit an application through Google Forms, you must log into a Google account. Users do not necessarily need Gmail addresses; any Google account will do (e.g. institutional users of Google Apps for Education should be able to access the form without issues).

Notification of Admission: We’ll notify applicants whether they have been admitted to the course on July 10, 2020.

"There is so much useful material in the class that you will come away both overwhelmed and highly appreciative of the experience."

- Alex Wang

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