Asset scouting for a well-capitalized Swiss pharma company

Alacrita been engaged by a well-capitalized Swiss pharma company to scout and identify early stage in-licensing opportunities from the New England and East Coast region. Therapeutic areas of interest for our client have included oncology, autoimmune and novel antibiotics. In cancer, our client is focussed on first-in-class molecules (large or small) with sound biology underpinning the target and with a clear opportunity to stratify patients based on target expression.

Our client has been very actively scouting for such assets over several years and currently has a global team of 10-12 professionals. Our focus has been on identifying new opportunities that are not currently on their radar or easily identifiable through existing industry pipeline databases (e.g. Medtrack etc.). We have supported our client through:

  • Regular attendance at meetings and conferences in Boston and the surrounding area which are likely to attract new early stage biotech companies, including investor meetings or presentations about non-dilutive financing.
  • Scanning of new and recent literature to identify emerging opportunities. We conduct a scan about once a week.
  • Searches of online databases, contacting companies that fit the criteria to ascertain their interest in a partnership.
  • Outreach and networking with tech transfer offices.
  • Outreach and networking with our network of industry contacts.
  • Outreach and networking with big pharma scientists and licensing professionals

Medtech Technology Scouting

Alacrita's technology scouting team was hired by a rapidly-growing European-headquartered specialty MedTech company to conduct a search for M&A opportunities in the interventional medicine arena.  The objective was to find at least one acquisition target that would materially add to its organic growth strategy and complement the client’s existing business infrastructure whilst remaining focussed in core market segments. The field of interventional medicine included interventional radiology and the disease areas of interest included oncology, vascular disease, cardiology, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and urinary.

Drawing upon its network of expert MedTech consultants, Alacrita identified a universe of over 1,500 potential M&A targets, ranging from research-stage SMEs to listed companies with substantial sales portfolios.  Over a period of two weeks Alacrita’s consultants screened this down to a triaged long list of approximately 120 companies which were retained for further evaluation: Alacrita’s MedTech consulting team, with many years of experience in the industry, had first-hand knowledge on many of these, and this was supplemented by drawing upon the wider Alacrita industry network and selected desk research. After a further week, this resulted in a shortlist of 20 target companies which were then profiled in depth.

Alacrita recommended a final selection of five preferred target companies for the client's consideration, balancing the criteria of:

  • attractiveness of the opportunity; and
  • fit with the client's current infrastructure and objectives,

Each of these five opportunities represented a different strategic focus, e.g. geographic vs. end-use segment vs. technology, and one was a proposal for a game-changing merger with the potential to transform the landscape in the particular arena.

Scouting for Early Stage Oncology Opportunities

Alacrita's technology scouting team provided hands-on support to a listed North American company on the identification, assessment and in-licensing of early stage oncology assets.  We leveraged our industry network and contacts to identify a number of high quality opportunities that had not yet been identified by the client's in house business development team. We worked closely with the clients scientific staff to screen and assess opportunities prior to entering heads of terms, then provided advice on structuring heads of terms, subsequent due diligence and licence negotiations.

Acquisition search in the USA

We supported a well-capitalized European pharma company in their search for acquisition opportunities in the United States. We conducted extensive desk research and leveraged our wide network in the industry to identify a long list of opportunities that fit our client's criteria. Working with our client, we selected the opportunities that were most closely aligned to our client's strategic needs. We then contacted each target company to gauge their interest in talking, then set up and hosted a series of meetings for our client who was sent a delegation from Europe. As a result of our work, we identified a company that perfectly matched the desired criteria and our client embarked on extensive due diligence.

M&A search in the USA

On behalf of a privately held biotech company developing clinical stage, first in class small molecules to treat cancer, Alacrita searched for M&A candidates in the US. Our client had made significant clinical progress and was preparing for a liquidity event for its shareholders. It had a good profile with big pharma companies but had little or no visibility among big biotech and mid-sized biotech companies in the United States. Our client wanted to identify private companies with which to merge and IPO, or mid-sized public companies already listed on NASDAQ.