3 July, 2023

Securing confidential documents for biotech fundraising is crucial to protect sensitive information. Biotech products have historically been a higher risk investment, so the fundraising team must mount a compelling case for the company’s value.

Biotech Fundraising Requires Reams of Confidential Documents

During its due diligence preparation, the fundraising team gathers data and documents to promote its value:

  • Scientific and technical capabilities, supported by analytics and clinical trials
  • Financial performance to date and analytics that identify market opportunities as well as risks such as hidden liabilities, revenue recognition issues, and competitive barriers to growth
  • Intellectual property portfolio and any issues related to patents, trademarks, or copyrights
  • Inventory of equipment and real estate
  • Partnerships and affiliations
  • Proof of regulatory compliance to date and identifying any potential issues that may arise from non-compliance

These highly confidential documents must be protected during due diligence and again while they are being shared with potential investors.

Biotech Fundraising Requires Heightened Security

While those working in biotech are trained to be security conscious, the fundraising process heightens the need for maximum diligence. Failure to properly secure confidential documents makes them vulnerable not only to the competition, but also to cybercriminals who monitor the life science industry and will target a fundraising effort.

Biotech Fundraising Needs a Protected Environment

Here are steps the biotech fundraising team can take to improve document security:

Collaborate in a secure environment: The fundraising team will collaborate among themselves and with select third parties with subject matter expertise. Choose an online platform that conforms to the highest level of security certifications and confine all fundraising activities – archiving and sharing reference documents, generating the fundraising proposal, sharing the proposal with investors – to the protected environment.

Among providers, ShareVault’s virtual data room (VDR) conforms to the highest security ratings, and is the preferred choice for life science and biotech company fundraising.

Classification: Classify documents based on their sensitivity levels, such as “confidential”, “internal use only”, and “public”.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs): Require all parties involved in the fundraising process to sign comprehensive NDAs. An NDA legally binds recipients to maintain confidentiality and prohibits the unauthorized use or disclosure of your documents.

Encryption: Ensure that confidential documents are not only encrypted in their archives state, but also in transit as they are shared. Note that ShareVault automatically encrypts all documents at upload at AES-256.

Access Control: Limit access to confidential documents to authorized personnel only. Use strong access controls such as passwords, two-factor authentication, and user permissions to restrict access. Since the status of a collaborator may change, the VDR administrator can set an expiration date revoking access after a given date/time. He or she can also remotely “shred” documents, including documents that have already been downloaded. At the appropriate time, the fundraising team can extend access to investors and later to regulators, following the same security protocols.

Secure Data Transfer: When sharing confidential documents among the fundraising team, use secure communication channels such as encrypted email or secure file transfer protocols (SFTP). Note that ShareVault not only encrypts documents at upload, but also protects file connections via HTTPS over Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Document Watermarking: For the “confidential document” category, add dynamic watermarks to help deter unauthorized distribution.

Document Destruction: Establish protocols for document destruction when they are no longer needed. ShareVault provides the ability to ‘remotely shred’ documents even after they’ve been downloaded.

Secure Document Signatures: DocuSign is the digital platform of choice for e-signatures. ShareVault integrates with DocuSign and all its features, making it easy for a biotech team to reach the finish line!

Once the fundraising due diligence process is complete and a deal is on the table, a biotech company needs to maintain security protocols on an on-going basis. These will include:

Secure Document Destruction: Establish protocols for document destruction when they are no longer needed. ShareVault features the ability to ‘remotely shred’ documents even after they have been downloaded.

Regular Security Audits: Conduct periodic security audits to identify any vulnerabilities in your document security practices. With an audit, a biotech company can proactively address potential risks and ensure ongoing compliance with security standards. When dealing with third-party vendors, conduct thorough due diligence to ensure they maintain a culture of regular security audits and have appropriate security certifications.

Employee Training and Awareness: Biotech and life science companies are frequent targets for cybercriminals. Educate employees about the importance of document security and train them on best practices for handling and protecting confidential information. Keep them aware of new security threats in the industry.

Accelerate the Fundraising Process

ShareVault knows that fundraising preparation is an intense, time-consuming process. The company has more than 15 years of experience as the VDR of choice for life sciences, including more than $50 billion in financial transactions.

Since due diligence is the backbone of these deals, ShareVault developed the Due Diligence Checklist, a template preformatted with folders organized into the most likely naming conventions. Other features, like bulk uploading, integration with popular file sharing apps like DropBox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive, and DocuSign, speed the due diligence process.

Additional ShareVault tools that streamline the fundraising process include:

Instant Organization

ShareVault’s unique hierarchical tags are document hashtags that provide crosslinks, a feature that allows a document to appear in multiple folder locations

Reorder folders and files using a simple drag-and-drop – ShareVault’s document management software will automatically update numbering

Smart Search

ShareVault’s advanced full-text search engine locates documents quickly with results sorted by relevance and with synopses showing how the searched keyword(s) are used in context.

Interactive Q&A

At any point, a collaborating party can click the Q&A feature on a document and pose a question, allowing a fast and easy way to get expert feedback.

24-hour Support

With a fundraising deal on the line, time is everything. That’s why ShareVault provides round-the-clock support from our IT team, who can answer questions and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Have Questions? Let’s Talk!

ShareVault’s built-in tools and features speed the biotech fundraising process while delivering enterprise-grade security. Since each company has unique needs, ShareVault feature sets and pricing are customized to fit your needs. To receive a customized ShareVault proposal, contact us today!

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