Lacerta Bio is a business development consultancy specializing in identifying, assessing, negotiating, and closing licensing and partnership opportunities for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and drug delivery industries.

We also work with and support internal business development teams with market research, competitive intelligence, financial modeling, and other support services.

In November, 2014, we announced a merger with Copenhagen-based Ventac Partners. The combination of Lacerta Bio and Ventac Partners will dramatically increase the types of services we can offer our clients, as well as expand our geographic reach.

If you need assistance finding or assessing business development and/or partnership opportunities, contact us at info@lacertabio.com.


Current Projects

Problems Solved: GPR119 Agonists For Type II Diabetes  
Posted on Jun 10, 2014

Article

Background GPR119 Activation leads to glucose-dependent insulin secretion and the release of GIP and GLP-1. This mechanism has generated a great deal of excitement in the diabetes research community, as it strongly mimics processes which take place during digestion. Additionally, this mechanism is superior to GLP-1 only approaches, without the problems associated with sulfonylureas and

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Preclinical ALK Ack 1 Oncology Asset Available for Licensing  
Posted on Sep 03, 2013

Article

Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) is emerging as an important target for novel, safe, oral anti-cancer therapies. First identified in 1994, ALK is believed to affect nearly 100,000 new NSCLC patients globally. In fact, ALK inhibition has potential in a wide variety of cancers, such as NSCLC, Lymphomas, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMT), neuroblastoma, and ovarian cancers. Our client’s

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Wnt Activators for Osteoporosis: First In Class Opportunity  
Posted on Sep 02, 2014

Article

Background There are two general mechanisms of action for treating osteoporosis: Anti-Resorption Agents inhibit the normal resorption of bone, thereby slowing bone loss. But, this approach does not trigger de novo bone formation. Biphosphonates like zoledronic acid and disodium pamidronate are marketed examples of anti-resorption agents. Anabolic Agents are a relatively new approach to treating

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Our Latest Article

The Life Sciences in Wyoming – Part Three of Three 
Posted on Dec 11, 2014

Article

In Part One of his series, Dr. Garrett Lindemann discussed some of the challenges facing Wyoming as it grows its life science industry.

In Part Two of this series, Dr. Lindemann highlights some of the life science companies which are already operating in Wyoming.

Now, in the third and final installment, Dr. Lindemann summarizes some of the life science companies already operating in the state of Wyoming.

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Existing Life Science Companies in Wyoming

The life science industry uses information and materials derived from biology and chemistry to produce products. Any company employing a process that uses cells like yeast or bacteria to produce products such as cheese, raised bread, yogurt or alcohol is a life science company.

With this as a working definition, Wyoming has had life science companies for a long time. Before Wyoming was a territory, life science companies existed. The Egyptians made mead, a fermented alcoholic drink from honey and the Romans made wine while the Germanic tribes made beer. Breads, yogurt, and cheeses made throughout the world are ancient methods to convert and store biological materials through cellular processes.

Therefore, Wyoming has a life science industry using both ancient technologies as well as a life science industry using modern technologies. Ancient life science technologies utilized in Wyoming are the breweries, bakeries as well as the distilleries located within the state. Those companies using modern technology and knowledge are rare.

The modern life science companies fall into four groups: medical devices, pharmaceuticals, bio-services, and agricultural biotechnology.

Medical Devices

Located in Casper, McGinley Innovations LLC, founded by Dr. McGinley MD PhD, a local radiologist has several innovations for treatment of sports related injuries and muscle-skeletal syndromes. The newest device is an innovation designed to prevent orthopedic screws from penetrating through the opposite side of the bone during orthopedic surgery. Currently, the device is at the alpha prototype stage.

Light Speed Biodetection, Inc., a subsidiary of Softray, Inc., of Laramie, is developing an imaging system to identify pathogens in donated platelets faster to increase the usable shelf life of the platelets by decreasing assay time and time to shelf. Based on research from the lab of Dr. Paul Johnson (UW Astronomy Department), the device is ready for commercialization.

Pharmaceuticals

The largest pharmaceutical company in Wyoming is Cody Labs, which extracts active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) directly from plants for finished formulation of ingredients for use in the manufacturing of generic medical products. The lab employs 100 people and is expanding the facilities and workforce an additional 23 positions by the end of 2014.

Southwest of Sheridan is the town of Big Horn, home to a virtual pharmaceutical company, FPR Pharma LLC. The company has a portfolio of novel therapeutic and cosmetic peptides. Within the research and patent portfolios resides information for several molecules demonstrating anti-inflammatory activity.

The company has moved the lead molecule far enough down the drug development pathway and is in discussions for a major investment and licensing agreement with a major pharmaceutical.

Bioscience Services

Dr. Don Jarvis’s faculty research laboratory at the University of Wyoming, the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Technology Business Center (WTBC) has spun out GlycoBac LLC, a company leveraging Dr. Jarvis’s research and patents in the field of mammalian glycosylation.

Proper mammalian glycosylation expressed on manufactured therapeutic proteins improves biological activity and bioavailability of the proteins. Currently, the company is working to improve the existing technology as well as identify strategic partners and clients.

Research from the University of Wyoming Chemical Engineering Department’s laboratory of Professor Maciej Radosz and Graduate student Zachary Tyrrell have developed a novel system using supercritical methods to load increased quantities of drugs into micelles.

Ingredients for the micelles are FDA approved, and modifications to target cancer cells are available, thereby effectively increasing drug delivery through proper targeting and increased quantity of drug delivered.

The effectiveness of the supercritical method to form and load micelles is well researched and documented. The path forward for this young company is to provide devices and services to allow the increased efficiency of delivering approved cancer drugs to cancer cells through high loading of drugs into micelles that specifically target cancer cells.

PlanktOMICS algae bioservices LLC, is a spinout from the Department of Plant Sciences (University of Wyoming) based on the research of Dr. Stephan Herbert and Levi Lowder. A services company for the growing field of algae biotechnology is positioned to assist in the selection and/or genetic modification of algae species for research and commercial applications. Additional services included storage, maintenance and performance analysis of cultivars.

Agricultural Biotechnology

Based on the concepts of two UW graduate students, Bright Agro-Tech LLC, is a company with a novel method for growing agriculturally important crops (except root crops) in a vertical system.

The system is significant for the ability to increase the capacity and yield of crops over the existing norm of horizontal cultivation methods with the added feature of being able to bring fresh produce directly to the customer. Products include systems for backyard gardeners, as well as systems for commercial produce providers and ongoing sales of replacement parts.

Détente Genetics LLC, located in Sheridan, is a DNA barcoding company for livestock and companion animals. The company utilizes existing technology and selected Single Nucleotide Polyphorisms (SNPs) in a panel format to provide unique DNA barcodes for individual animals.

In the case of the meat industry (beef, pork, and lamb/mutton) these unique barcodes allow clients to follow product (carcasses and packaged meat) through the value chain, providing clients a method and process of traceability from farm to fork, linking the cut of meat to the original animal through the entire value chain.

An additional application of the technology is as a tool for making informative decisions based on the linkage of performance data to genetics for selective breeding to improve market traits of the animals from commercial herds as well as establishing full blood and pure breed lines with commercially desirable traits. The system provides a near incorruptible method to identify animals. It is difficult to falsify a genetic sample but it is easy to remove a microchip or obscure a brand or a tattoo as well as dye markings to change the appearance of the animal.

Astec Global is a Sheridan based company focusing on applying coatings to seeds to ensure uniformity of seed size to allow for even spacing of seeds during planting, thus providing better efficiency of planting across the entire field.

Additionally, the company has special applications of the technology including limited germination and fungicide application as well as novel labeling method. The results are pre-germinated seeds of uniform size and marked to prevent counterfeiting.

Future Wyoming Life Science Companies

Wyoming has the building blocks to form life science companies and has several early stage life science companies. The growth and success of these companies is an ongoing struggle as it is for all businesses. However, life science companies will find fertile soil in Wyoming for germination, growth and maturation. The state has junior colleges and the University of Wyoming from which to source talent and patents for the establishment of new life science companies. The business friendly status of Wyoming and the cost of living as well as the quality of life will appeal to the many talented people that needs must be imported for the success of life science companies.


Latest Posts

Mind The Gap: An Interview with David Grainger of Index Ventures 
Posted on Nov 26, 2014

Mind The Gap… We’re late to this party, but a really good interview of David Grainger from Index Ventures was published in July of this year. We encourage you to read the entire interview. In the meantime, here are a few items which caught our eye: Market Backwards Approach – Index Ventures takes a “market backwards” approach

A Billion Here, A Billion There 
Posted on Nov 21, 2014

The new DiMasi estimates for R&D costs were published this week. You can get a PDF of their slides here, while Ed Silverman has a nice summary in the WSJ. According to DiMasi, we’re now looking at $2.6 billion to develop a new drug. Now DiMasi has been performing this analysis and refreshing the data for

Pharma Likes Deals: Is This News? 
Posted on Nov 17, 2014

Earlier this week, The Economist travels over well-trod ground in an article on pharmaceutical industry M&A: It used to be all about achieving sheer scale, and building a broad portfolio of potential treatments for a range of illnesses. Now it is increasingly about drug companies concentrating on what they do best, and getting out of

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