New England PharmAssociates

Excellence in life sciences asset development

Case Studies

Launch of a therapeutics start-up from a university

Professor at a Boston area University discovered and characterized a biological pathway critical to the progression of a lethal human health condition for which no therapies currently exist. This new discovery led to the invention of a therapeutic approach to treating a significant unmet medical need and an interest in launching a start-up to develop new therapeutic agents and led to the filing of a provisional patent application. After having assessed the market need, competitive landscape and scientific potential for this asset, NEPA agreed to take a leadership role in establishing and building the start-up.


  • Recruited local law firm to incorporate and to assist with managing IP
  • Negotiated and exclusive option on the asset with the University Tech Transfer Office
  • Assembled team of science and business advisers
  • Drafted investor and partnering presentation, Business Plan and Executive Summary
  • Drafted a PCT application to convert the provisional filing and to form the basis of a robust IP portfolio for the new start-up
  • Discussed technology with officials at the NHLBI’s SMARTT program to obtain pre-qualification for funding of certain aspects of pre-clinical development
  • Presented to the BARDA Tech Watch committee in DC, resulting in the invitation to submit a white paper to BARDA in consideration of a full contract proposal
  • Partnered with a Boston area biotech tools company to submit an Advanced Technology SBIR Consortium grant application seeking $590K over 2 years
  • Initiated informal discussions with potential investor groups and potential corporate partners
  • Conclusions (interim):
    Key initial milestone: Successfully concluded negotiation of license terms with University Officials to secure terms favorable for subsequent investor discussions. With a license Term Sheet in hand, and non-dilutive funding explorations underway, this start-up is prepared to focus on fundraising efforts to secure private investment.