Challenge

A leading precision oncology company developing first-in-class small molecules with a focus on targeting the DNA repair pathway wanted to bolster its internal pipeline with additional assets via acquisitions or in-licensing from Europe. To date, the company had only performed passive asset searches, but had recently taken the strategic decision to initiate active asset searching, particularly with regards to opportunities from academia. The company recognized that a significant investment of time and effort would be required to identify the best opportunities. Alacrita was engaged to conduct scouting activities, specifically focused on therapeutic assets in oncology with the following criteria:

  • Small molecules;
  • Discovery or preclinical stage of development;
  • Mechanisms of interest: DNA damage sensing and repair, cell cycle checkpoint pathways, excision repair, genome stability, chromatin remodelling, and associated pathways; and
  • Significantly differentiated from existing agents (first-in-class or best-in-class assets)

Solution

Alacrita’s activities included:

  • Regular attendance at meetings and conferences which were likely to attract new biotech companies in early preclinical or clinical stage of development;
  • Scanning of new and recent literature to identify emerging opportunities;
  • Searches of grants, deals, and pipeline databases;
  • Outreach and networking with biotech and pharma companies, industry contacts, big pharma and licensing professionals and technology transfer offices.

We worked closely with the client’s team to identify important targets and pathways of interest and took an iterative approach to adjust our search criteria, such that they align with client’s evolving interests throughout the engagement. We tracked opportunities in a document that was updated and shared on a weekly basis. Opportunities that Alacrita identified as appropriate for the incubator were delivered on a rolling basis.

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