BlackRock and QLS Advisors Partner Through BlackRock Systematic to Invest in Biomedical Innovation


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–BlackRock and QLS Advisors LLC, a life sciences technology and advisory company, announced a partnership through BlackRock Systematic to develop data-driven investment solutions to accelerate biomedical innovation. The partnership will leverage the companies’ combined R&D and investment experience, directing funding to public and private companies that have the potential to create transformative therapies while seeking to generate attractive returns on investment for clients.

Biomedicine is at an inflection point: breakthrough therapies with the potential to extend longevity and improve quality of life are emerging at an increasingly rapid pace. Funding these therapeutic development programs has the potential to generate attractive returns on investment, but as biomedicine has become more complex, the risks for investors have also increased.

QLS has developed proprietary technology to estimate the probability of success (POS) of clinical trials, a key driver of financial performance, and systematically integrate these predictions into fundamental valuation models and portfolio construction algorithms. Their approach applies machine learning techniques to a host of predictors, including therapeutic characteristics, clinical trial design characteristics, disease-specific characteristics, and pharmaceutical company track records.

This methodology, combined with BlackRock Systematic’s global platform, proprietary analytics, and over 35 years1 of data-driven investment experience, presents a differentiated approach to investing in life sciences companies.

Rich Kushel, Head of the Portfolio Management Group (PMG) at BlackRock said: “BlackRock’s partnership with QLS applies sophisticated quantitative investment technologies at the intersection of finance, academia and life sciences. QLS brings a cutting-edge approach to life sciences investing that complements the work BlackRock Systematic does in our actively managed portfolios. We expect this to create compelling and differentiated solutions that can deliver attractive returns to our clients while providing funding for life-changing therapies.

Andrew Lo, co-founder of QLS and professor of finance at MIT Sloan School of Management commented: “We founded QLS to improve the way financial resources are allocated to emerging therapies, with the goal of lowering the cost of capital in this important industry. With BlackRock, we gain a partner who is a recognized leader in data-driven investing and shares our passion for delivering returns on investment with positive outcomes for society. We are delighted and honored to partner with a company that has such a strong and trusted global brand, an extensive network and access to world-class investment resources.

BlackRock and QLS have also assembled a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of renowned academics, physicians and inventors. The Council will support sourcing, due diligence and value creation through members’ extensive networks and decades of experience as industry leaders in their respective fields. The Board should include:

  • Dr. Robert Langer, Institute Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT and founder of more than 40 biotechnology companies, including Moderna.

  • Ms. Lita Nelsen, retired director of the Office of Technology Licensing at MIT; today consultant in technological licenses.

  • Dr. Larry Norton, Senior Vice President, Norna S. Sarofim Chair in Clinical Oncology and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO David Karnofsky Awardee, FASCO, FAARC.

  • Dr. Richard H. Scheller, President of BridgeBio Research and Development. Board of Directors BridgeBio, Alector, 23andMe, DICE and others. Former executive vice president of Genentech Research and Early Development and former HHMI researcher and professor at Stanford University Medical School.

  • Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Institute Professor, MIT Department of Biology, geneticist and molecular biologist who co-discovered RNA splicing, co-founded Biogen and Alnylam, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993.

About BlackRock Systematic

BlackRock’s Systematic Investing Platform brings together BlackRock’s systematic investing community across equity, fixed income and factor-based strategies. Systematic portfolios combine advanced technology, scientific research and human insight in the relentless pursuit of investment performance. With over 35 years of experience and nearly 200 professionals worldwide managing over $200 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2022, BlackRock Systematic partners with clients to provide quantitative investment solutions to alpha and factor-based research for the entire portfolio. For more information on BlackRock Systematic, please visit

About QLS Advisors LLC

QLS Advisors LLC is a Cambridge, MA-based life sciences technology and advisory company dedicated to advancing biomedical innovation. QLS uses a unique combination of fundamental and quantitative tools to help clients manage risk, assess rewards, and develop investment and funding strategies for healthcare asset portfolios. For more information, please visit


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1 As of June 30, 2022. Years of investment experience includes predecessor companies.


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