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MoFo Tech A blog dedicated to information, trend spotting & analysis for science- & tech-based companies

Category Archives: Energy + Environment

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Laying the Groundwork for Natural Gas Vehicles

Infrastructure and Regulations may Dictate Speed of Adoption America’s shale gas revolution is making waves in transportation technology. Currently, only 1 percent of all natural-gas-fueled vehicles worldwide are running on U.S. roads, according to trade association NGVAmerica. But, in the coming years, U.S. NGV use is expected to accelerate, particularly among truck fleets. Why? Natural… Continue Reading

Good Chemistry

Thanks to a merger, a poultry and produce wash is helping the oil industry extract resources more effectively In 2008, Vic Keasler was performing molecular biology tests at a pharma, biotech, and academic research company.  Keasler had studied hepatitis B and C’s effect on liver cancer in graduate school; his career had primarily focused on… Continue Reading

Energy Storage:

Mandate Creates Opportunity A proposed decision issued by the California Public Utilities Commission could be a watershed moment in the energy storage market. The proposed decision, issued in early September, calls for the state’s three investor-owned electric utilities–Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric–to procure 1.325 gigawatts of energy… Continue Reading

Attracting an Impact Investor

Interest is growing in impact investing–investing that supports environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, while also earning a return.  “Interest has spread to top-tier investors who understand the alignments between positive ESG results and financial returns,” says Susan Mac Cormac, a partner at Morrison & Foerster.  Key factors for entrepreneurs to consider: Impact investors will… Continue Reading

Biotech: Let’s Make a Deal

Scientific acumen is crucial—but so is an understanding of today’s deal market. The risks and costs of life sciences product development have become so high that few companies are willing to bear them on their own. As partnerships become vital, skill in dealmaking has become almost as vital as scientific acumen for today’s pharma and… Continue Reading

Accounting for Sustainability

A number of U.S. states have created new corporate forms that let companies focus on sustainability and other social goals, as well as shareholder value. [See “Risk & Responsibility,” MoFo Tech, Spring/Summer 2012]. Now, we are seeing the “logical next step” in corporate sustainability, says Morrison & Foerster partner Susan Mac Cormac, with the formation in… Continue Reading

Cleantech: Holding Its Breath

Many had hoped that the start of quarterly auctions under California’s new cap-and-trade program would usher in an era of rapid growth for the cleantech sector. But a pair of lawsuits filed by business groups challenging the program’s validity has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the program, says Morrison & Foerster partner William Sloan. The… Continue Reading

Ahead of the LEED

Site-based sustainable design can speed official approval The effort to create sustainable buildings has long centered on technical certifications, such as LEED. But now, some companies are taking more of a big-picture view. “They’re looking at the entire corporate campus as a system to reduce the overall environmental impact, instead of trying to use detailed technical… Continue Reading

MoFo BioMeter Shows Decline in Biotech Licensing Payments

The third issue of MoFo BioMeter, which covers the first quarter of 2013, has launched. MoFo BioMeter reports that the average value for all biotech licensing transactions in the first quarter was an impressive $60 million – a sizable jump over 2012’s Q1. However, much of that stems from two outsized deals – the BMS/Reckitt… Continue Reading

Sharing an Umbrella

Big Pharma and academia cement big deals in the quest for bigger prizes With the patents of many highly profitable blockbuster drugs expiring over the course of a few years, the search is on for new drugs to fill large pharmaceutical companies’ shrinking product portfolios. For years, Big Pharma has turned to smaller biotech companies… Continue Reading

MoFo BioMeter Report for Q4 and Full Year 2012

The fourth quarter of 2012 saw an uptick in BioMeter value, with an average BioMeter value of approximately $26.8 million for license and collaboration agreements announced during the quarter, led by an increase in BioMeter values for Phase 2 transactions and a single high-value transaction for an approved product. Transactions for Phase 2 and pre-clinical/discovery… Continue Reading

Introducing the MoFo BioMeter

Morrison & Foerster is pleased to introduce the MoFo BioMeter™, an index developed to measure the health of the biotechnology industry. BioMeter takes the pulse of the industry by looking at a key measure of deal value—up-front payments—for deals in all stages of development. We also offer insight on the data and the potential impacts… Continue Reading

A Breed Apart

Crop inventors are seeking to protect their work, even if they don’t use GMOs When international seed supplier Enza Zaden bred a delicious and juicy new tomato in the 1990s, the world was introduced to the now famous Campari. The globe-shaped vegetable soon became a supermarket staple, but the Dutch company did not patent its… Continue Reading

Risk & Responsibility

New corporate form lets companies pursue sustainability with less chance of backlash In January, the California legislature created a new kind of company: the Flexible Purpose Corporation.  This is the latest effort to create a corporation targeting social purposes alongside shareholder value.  The traditional corporate form does not prevent companies from pursuing social goals; the… Continue Reading

California Goes Nontoxic: The state passes an unprecedented green initiative

Continuing its tradition of cutting-edge environmental reform, California is close to releasing a series of regulations for the use of toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products.  The state has chosen to build an ambitious new system from the ground up that will call on manufacturers, importers, retailers, and others to limit or even ban certain… Continue Reading

Power to the People: Saving energy by sharing information

Social media adoption is increasing rapidly. So why not leverage this trend to realize a desired social outcome, like energy savings? That’s the inspiration behind a joint effort between San Francisco-based startup Opower, Facebook, and the National Resources Defense Council’s new app that empowers people to reduce their use of energy. Leveraging the Facebook platform,… Continue Reading

Could seaweed be the ideal biofuel source?

For decades, biofuel companies have turned to food crops, especially corn, to make the bioethanol that is added to gasoline to power trucks and cars. But the resulting price pressures on food, coupled with the large tracts of land needed to produce the fuel in a meaningful way, has led to a hunt for next-generation… Continue Reading