Propel Bio Partners: Improving Diversity And Innovation Within The Life Sciences Industry

Leen Kawas
3 min readNov 7


In a world that is increasingly being defined by our growing diverse population, the medical world is in need of more innovative and inclusive discoveries that can further our current capabilities. However, before that can happen, drug developers need to be more intentional about inclusivity and diversity within their clinical programs. By supporting diversely led companies who have advanced technologies to improve patient outcomes, real change can be made to the biased history of medicine.

For decades, distrust in healthcare has become common in communities of color, particularly among Black and Latino individuals. While this can be difficult to hear as a healthcare professional, studies have shown that implicit bias against patients with darker skin has negatively impacted health outcomes. Some industry professionals even hold false beliefs that Black patients have a different pain threshold compared to their white counterparts, which has led to increased fatalities in many instances.

These misconceptions also extend beyond the realm of racial diversity. Women struggle to receive the care they need due to the male-dominated nature of healthcare, whether it is because male doctors dominate or because research is primarily male-oriented.

To reduce these inequities and advocate for more inclusive research, which leads to better medical outcomes for patients, Propel Bio Partners, co-founded by Leen Kawas and Richard Kayne, is doing something different. The healthcare investment firm was created to serve patients’ needs first as the key stakeholders in the life science industry. The team believes this mindset is crucial for cultivating innovation for the industry, which will create positive and sustainable change in health outcomes, ultimately driving significant financial returns.

Propel Bio Partners invests in companies that are developing technologies that will help improve the quality of life for people living with different medical conditions. By empowering entrepreneurs and startups to maximize the value of their technology, Propel Bio Partners is directly improving their chances for success in the market. The firm does this by bringing their unique perspective towards evaluating investment opportunities. These insights allow the firm to think outside of the box and support companies to develop the product and execute on its strategy in a patient-centric manner.

In addition to bringing this focus on the patient, the company is looking to drive innovation and efficiency to the corporate structure of the life science industry. The firm is looking to help the industry move away from the current hierarchical structure towards a more efficient network structure that enables efficient decision making and increased transparency within a company. This can promote an inclusive culture that is mission driven with increased innovation. Thus leading to acceleration in the development of technologies and corporate financial growth. This blend of financial and business support positions biotech companies to exceed competitors who haven’t received the same level of expertise.

Propel Bio Partners has become a key provider of capital and business strategy for the healthcare industry because of its diverse management team. Each member has a different blend of experience and knowledge that enables the entire firm to make smarter, and more efficient decisions within the business.

The firm’s open-minded nature toward disrupting traditional corporate structures stems from its team’s experience in industries other than healthcare and helps Propel Bio Partners to change the healthcare industry from its foundations.

Managing Partner Kawas explains how Propel Bio Partners views its impact on venture capital and the healthcare industry as a whole:

“Propel Bio Partners may be an investment firm, but each and every one of our companies deals with the health of thousands if not millions of people around the world, so really for true value to be captured at any level, the impact of developing technologies on patients is the most critical goal for any company,” says Kawas, “Propel Bio Partners focuses on the impact of the companies technology on its patients because we believe if you are addressing the needs of your market, then significant returns will follow.”

Propel Bio Partners plans to expand its portfolio and financing capabilities in the coming years while continuing to prioritize diversity and innovation in the healthcare industry.

Originally published at on November 7, 2023.



Leen Kawas

Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology and entrepreneur