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

Current Projects

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


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


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


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

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 to sourcing investments. In other words, they develop hypotheses based on problems which clinicians are trying to solve. Then, Index goes out and seeks technologies which could solve these real-world problems.

Dinosaurs & Mammals – The continued merging of large pharma companies will result in larger aggregated revenues, but lower overall R&D budgets. This means the mammals, i.e., small biotechs, can step into the breach and really drive innovation. Mixed metaphors aside, we think David is absolutely right. Not only that, the most significant rewards will come to those Big Pharma companies who not only cut R&D, but also follow a market backwards approach to scouting for novel assets. Many, but not all large companies have a very well-defined “wish list ” of investment opportunities they are seeking.

Being Ruthless –  David talks a lot about people in the interview. A key characteristic is having management teams who are willing to kill a project quickly. As he says, if a team does all the right things, but the asset fails, then it’s not a reflection on any management failure. If anything, this is a sign of a good management team who can be entrusted with assets and development programs. Why? Because they are willing to set egos aside and get to go/no go decisions as quickly and as efficiently as possible, even if it means shutting down a company.

We see this in licensing all the time. Just like there are many biotechs who cannot raise capital, we too see many assets which are never out-licensed due to a lack of commercial appeal. No out-licensing process, no matter how good it is, will magically create Upfront and Milestone payments for an asset which lacks a viable commercial outlook.

Is this a poor reflection on management? No, unless management is unwilling to stop and say “let’s do something else.”

Latest Posts

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

Lacerta Bio Joins Forces With Ventac Partners: Why? 
Posted on Nov 17, 2014

Today we announced our new relationship with Copenhagen-based Ventac Partners. You will see more and more information about this relationship, our projects, and also the new companies we will be forming in 2015 and beyond. But why do it? Expanded Scale – Past and present clients know that we bring external experts to work on

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