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

China: Opportunities to Access Partnerships and Capital  
Posted on Feb 14, 2015

Article

Would You Like To Expand Your Business Into China? Or Perhaps You Seek An Investor or Development Partner? China is a large and growing opportunity for Western life science companies, as: Life Science in China is Booming – China’s life science industry has been growing at more than 20%+ per year, and is expect to

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Seeking Product Acquisition Opportunities  
Posted on Jan 21, 2015

Article

Our client is seeking product acquisition opportunities, according to the following criteria: Geography – Primarily US, but Canada and selected other European Territories. Global rights are possible for the right product. Therapeutic Areas – Gastroenterology, Pain Management, Oncology Supportive Care, and Selected Orphan Diseases. Dermatology products would also be considered. Stage of Development – Phase

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Seeking Acquisitions - Profitable US Companies  
Posted on Jan 21, 2015

Article

A European pharmaceutical company is seeking acquisition opportunities in the US. Their general criteria are as follows: Annual Revenue – They prefer companies generating $5 million to $40 million in prescription product sales EBITDA – Positive. That is, no turnaround situations. Therapeutic Areas – Preference for companies seeking products in Pain Management, Dermatology, GI, Oncology

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Our Latest Article

The Keys to the Kingdom 
Posted on Mar 02, 2015

Article

I've got this.

 

There is a terrific article in Nature Biotechnology entitled Keys to the Kingdom.

The article discusses a number of issues bioentrepreneurs may encounter when trying to license technology from a University.

Most interesting are the differences between UK and US universities, especially with respect to equity distribution / division between the University and the remaining shareholders.

As we’re pursuing this path ourselves, it’s interesting to read that some of the issues we are encountering are not unique to us:

Lack of Guiding Metrics – CDAs, competitive forces, and plain old secrecy make it difficult to gather data around “standard” metrics, such as the % of the equity for the University, Royalty rates back to the University, and so forth.

The authors did a nice job collecting survey data on equity taken by selected universities in the US and the UK. Surprising (to us at least) was the notion that 50/50 equity splits between new companies and universities in the UK is “standard” practice. Meanwhile, US universities tend to get from 5% up to 100%, although we would imagine that much of this is highly negotiable.

Leverage – Who has the leverage when licensing technology from a University? Generally, the technology holder has the leverage, assuming the technology is unique and valuable. However, this can be overcome with great offers. As we’ve discovered, we are competing with some big pockets in the form of large pharmaceutical companies. In those cases, any leverage which the University has can be quickly shifted the other way when major dollars are contemplated.

Lack of Preparation – The authors’ survey found that bioentrepreneurs, at times, do not research their markets sufficiently. We found this quite surprising, given that this exercise is necessary for licensing, for business planning purposes, and critically, for fund raising. Why a bioentrepreneur would enter into serious discussions without conducting the necessary market research is beyond us.

Lack of Funding – Bioentrepreneurs can’t raise capital without technology. But this is where the option agreement comes into play. From the article, it sounds like this idea of securing an exclusive option before entering a full license agreement remains unknown in some parts of our little world, which is surprising.

Conflicts of Interest – University licenses can result in any number of problems for the university and their faculty. Fortunately, the Universities we have spoken with so far have very clear policies and procedures to identify potential conflicts and to address them. For example, one university prohibits PIs from being involved in a clinical trial at their institution with their technology. Another completely prohibits the clinical trial from taking place at their hospital.

Our approach with these issues has been simple…just let the University guide and handle any potential conflicts of interest with their faculty.

Our advice is this. If you are contemplating approaching a university in an attempt to license a technology or patent, then definitely read this article. Also, seek guidance from those who have done this before. And, be prepared for what can be a lengthy process.


Latest Posts

The Ten Year Venture Fund: A Thing of the Past? 
Posted on Feb 19, 2015

  Today’s issue of Institutional Investor has an interesting article on the reality of 10-year venture funds. The author presents statistics demonstrating that <10% of ten-year venture funds actually liquidate within 10 years: Venture capitalists structure and market their funds based on a ten-year fund life. In actuality, only about 7 percent of funds liquidate

Venture Funding of Therapeutic Innovation: An Important Report 
Posted on Feb 11, 2015

  Earlier this week, BIO released what we think is a valuable and important report. Entitled Venture Funding of Therapeutic Innovation, the report analyzes data on venture funding in R&D by therapeutic area, by NCE vs. reformulation, and over time. Bruce Booth has a nice summary here, and you can download the report from here. BIO

NewCo 2015: How Is It Going? 
Posted on Feb 05, 2015

    A few weeks ago, we announced our plans (in conjunction with our new friends at Ventac Partners) to start one new biotech company this year. You can read about our plans and areas of focus here. Someone asked me this morning, “How is it going?” Well, let me tell you… Interactions with TTOs

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