An early stage, European cell therapy company focused on developing novel off-the-shelf NK cell therapy solutions for the treatment of a variety of cancers had developed a platform capability allowing it to modify NK cells creating optimized treatments. Early data supported activity in blood and solid cancers, and initial PoC products were aimed at blood cancers with unmet needs AML, MM etc. As the product is based on a cell line, this allowed for large volume batch manufacture and convenient low cost, off-the-shelf supply. The company had broad intellectual property around the cell and key optimizing components, but was unclear about whether it should develop a product, or partner its platform capability and intellectual property, and it also needed to raise money to support further development.
- Alacrita was able to work with the management team to develop a compelling value proposition around the development of proprietary products from the platform to initially treat AML, and MM patients where there is a serious unmet need.
- With this business case in hand, Alacrita introduced the company to several top investors in the cell therapy space to obtain feedback on the company, its intellectual property, its development plan and the data generated. Although there was significant interest, there were also concerns raised which needed to be de-risked in the form of duration of effect, market focus, and validation of the approach.
- Alacrita helped identify potential “validating” partners and initiated negotiations for a sizable deal, while simultaneously defining a development plan to define studies that could address investor concerns.
- Alacrita also helped apply for several significant grants, successfully closing an initial $300,000 grant, and a major $8M grant in collaboration with Big Pharma and a University.
- Alacrita then arranged a second wave of investor meetings resulting in a large EU/USA investor taking an interest in funding the company. Alacrita also successfully in-licensed a “suicide-gene” technology for the company to use in future developments.
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