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.

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? Through our local partners in China, we can help you navigate this rapidly growing, but complex market. Indeed, China is a large and growing opportunity for Western life science companies, as: Life Science in China is Booming –

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Seeking Parenteral Products for In-Licensing  
Posted on Jan 21, 2016

Article

Lacerta Bio is seeking parenteral products for in-licensing on behalf of a US-based client.  Key criteria are: Products which can be developed via the 505(b)(2) regulatory process in the US No specific therapeutic area Injectable could be infusion, prefilled syringe, or related presentation Products already approved outside the US are especially welcome Delivery / formulation

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Seeking Injectables Company or Facilities Acquisitions  
Posted on Jun 20, 2016

Article

  Lacerta Bio is looking to transact a business acquisition opportunity in the injectables manufacturing sector. We are seeking manufacturing facilities which have the following criteria: Based outside the US (Europe, Canada, LatAm, Australia, New Zealand preferred) FDA or EU approved manufacturing of parenteral products Could be a stand-alone company which manufactures its own products, or the divestment

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Our Latest Article

Biotech Showcase and JPM 2017: Wind, Rain, and Meetings 
Posted on Jan 18, 2017

Article

Yeah, it rained last week in San Francisco. 

But the rain did not stop untold thousands of us from gathering at the many hotels, watering holes, and coffee shops around Union Square. 

How many of us are present in San Francisco every second week in January? 15,000? 20,000?

It’s hard to tell, considering the number of simultaneous conferences. Off hand, we can think of:

JP Morgan

TPP Healthcare China Partnering

Biotech Showcase

RESI

StartUp Health Festival 

OneMed Forum 

It is unlikely that this is a complete list, and obviously the many evening receptions and parties are not included. 

Nevertheless, while a challenge to navigate, it’s always a great way to kickoff the new year, catch up with old friends, and meet new prospects.  

As far as what happened inside the Westin, we defer to those in a better position to comment. Following the #JPM17 hashtag on Twitter helps.

For other summaries of the proceedings (mainly those in the Westin), check out articles by Ben AdamsArda UralTracy Staton, and Matthew Herper

LifeSciVC has a rather focused review which is quite interesting. 

Others will undoubtably emerge in the weeks ahead. 

What did we observe in our admittedly limited exposure to the rainy proceedings? 

China is Red Hot

At the Biotech Showcase, there was a noticeably strong contingent of China-based companies. Domestic Chinese companies were well-represented, seeking assets to develop and commercialize in China. 

We also met with a number of Chinese VCs who were looking for US-based, early stage investment opportunities (even seed-stage opportunities). Interestingly, several of these VCs have offices in the US. 

As we have said in prior posts, China definitely needs to become a major portion of an overall licensing or fundraising strategy, but local support is required. 

Russell Conjugation 

Russell Conjugation, or Emotive Conjugation, is a rather obscure, but interesting linguistic tool. It basically is a way to conjugate a verb in order to capture our tendency to view our own behavior more charitably than others. The classic example is:

I am firm (positive)

You are obstinate (neutral)

He is a pig-headed fool (negative)

Another:

I am in deep trouble, but I can see a clear path out of this problem. 

You are like an astronaut stuck out in deep space. You might get back home; you might not.

He is in a Black Hole of a mess. There is no way out for him. 

 

Another example attempt is:

We discover, develop, and market products which save lives. 

Your [pharmaceutical] industry is critical to our national economic growth. 

Those price-gouging bast*rds prey on the lives of the sick and the old through profiteering.

 

In the last example, the subject is exactly the same in all three instances. A Big Pharma CEO is more likely to use the first sentence. An economist or analyst outside the industry is likely to use the second. And, a government official thinking about reelection is likely to use the third. 

Same subject, yet different emotional descriptors. 

We were reminded of Russell Conjugation as we begin to read about what the incoming US administration will try to do with respect to drug prices. 

Many of us in the industry were concerned that Candidate Hillary Clinton would attack “Big Pharma,” especially after the EpiPen fiasco of last Fall. Now we have someone who is arguably even more populist about to enter the White House.

As Matthew Herper correctly points out, it is exceedingly easy to attack “Big Pharma” on prices, inversions, and the like. A $50 copay for a patient on fixed income is an easy target for populist politicians and mainstream media. 

Pharma companies will continue to argue that medicines are a small portion of overall medical care, and that drugs save lives. 

However, this is a rather esoteric argument to make, and clearly our new President is not one to discuss esoterics. Further, the fraction of patients whose lives are actually saved by a pharmaceutical are relatively small. 

So the cost and lifesaving arguments made by our industry are largely falling on deaf ears…ears who instead want to attack innovation for the sake of relection votes. 

The bigger problem with Russell Conjugation as it is employed today is that we typically see and hear emotive language used to attack our industry (Third Person), while the actual facts remain hidden in complex reports and pie charts on corporate and other web sites. 

Where are the populists arguing in favor of the industry? 

Note that we have to make the distinction between supporting research and supporting the marketing of our products. Nobody will argue that Federal funding of life science-related research is important. 

 

Need Talent? 

 

Part of our time in San Francisco was spent meeting with and interviewing independent consultants to join Lacerta Bio (more to follow). In reviewing these discussions, it became clear that there are a LOT of talented, experienced folks out there who are running one and two-person consulting operations. 

And, these small companies have expertise in many different areas and slices of our value chain. Regulatory, licensing, marketing…it’s all out there, ready to work efficiently, and at a lower cost compared to hiring full time employees.

While some of these are our competitors, it is nevertheless gratifying to see so many talented people eschew corporate life in exchange for the freedom that a blend of talent, experience, gumption, and technology can provide. 

 

Quick Hits

 

  • The lack of gender and ethnic diversity in our segment of the industry was quite visible, especially in the lobby of the Hilton. This is less of an issue at the usual partnering conferences, like BIO and BIO Europe. But we never really noticed until this trip how much this week in San Francisco is dominated by dark suited men. 

 

  • Uber is fantastic.  

 

  • Reserve your hotel for 2018 today, unless you enjoy staying in two-star hotels for $800+ per night. 

 

  • Our next scheduled conference is BIO in San Diego. San Diego is a terrific location for a large convention, and we look forward to seeing many of you in the party Partnering area. 


Latest Posts

Looking Backward, Looking Forward 
Posted on Jan 03, 2017

  I believe it is fair to say that 2016 was a bit unusual. Thinking about the terminology many of us learned last year leads us to that conclusion: snowflake, alt right, safe spaces, and so on.    While peace was finally achieved in the Western Hemisphere (Colombia), it is escalating in the Middle East

Some Comments On Marijuana 
Posted on Dec 15, 2016

The recent elections in the United States is bringing many long-standing policies into question. And, the continued legalization of marijuana is one of them.  At Lacerta Bio, we have consistently held the opinion that marijuana has many potential medical benefits, and that laws need to change in order to provide legitimate patient access to this

What Will a Trump Administration Mean for Our Industry? 
Posted on Nov 21, 2016

Few of us will soon forget waking up in Cologne to the news that we will soon have a “President Trump” in the Oval Office in a few months. So, what will a Trump Administration mean for our industry? The short answer is “Who knows?”  For better or for worse, we Americans have elected not

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