Alacrita Consulting’s founders worked together for over 10 years at Onyvax, a London-based cancer immunotherapy company backed by SR One. We have conducted a number of consulting projects in the cancer immunotherapy space, ranging from business development and partnering support through to developing clinical strategy.

Clinical strategy for a novel cancer immunotherapy

A US-based cancer vaccine company developing a peptide-based product was in clinical trials in its lead indication. Recent laboratory research had revealed the target antigens were also expressed on a number of other solid tumor types and the company wanted to assess which of those indications were the most attractive for a development program. Alacrita conducted desk research and targeted physician interviews to identify patient populations that could be amenable to cancer vaccine development.

The ideal clinical trial for a cancer vaccine is in a group of patients that have minimal residual disease, intact immune systems and at least 18 months of expected survival. There is a trade-off between patients that are most likely to respond to a cancer vaccine (i.e. early stage disease) which would require a lengthy clinical trial, and a more rapid clinical trial which may sacrifice the chances of observing a clinical benefit given the aggressive nature of the tumor.

Alacrita identified a number of possible clinical development options that met the company’s requirements, including an exploratory clinical trial that could be conducted rapidly to provide evidence of biological activity to help justify investment in a larger, randomized clinical program.

Cancer immunotherapy valuation

For a biotech company developing a cell-based cancer immunotherapy engaged in licensing discussions with a number of major pharmaceutical companies, Alacrita developed rNPV valuations for each program. This ‘theoretical’ valuation incorporated Monte Carlo simulations to reveal key areas of uncertainty within the model, focussing the direction of future market research. We also developed a ‘realistic’ valuation, which considered the type of valuation and deal construct that the buyer/licensee may think appropriate given real world valuations, precedents and their presumed view of the world. These valuations proved pivotal for the Management and Board of Directors in setting internal expectations and guiding the negotiation strategy.

Alacrita provided ongoing valuation support to help maximize the total value of the deal.

Cancer Immunotherapy Business Plan and Valuation for a New Startup

Alacrita was asked by an established cancer immunotherapy company to help write a business plan and build a valuation for a new company to be set up in collaboration with a major US cancer center. We provided critical review of numerous drafts of the business plan and were asked by the client to write the commercialization and pricing sections of the business plan.

We then developed risk adjusted NPV valuations for three different programs, each of which took an autologous, cell-based multi-epitope approach. We incorporated Monte Carlo simulations into the financial model to account for real-world uncertainty, given these programs were early stage and there were numerous questions about development costs and future product sales. Alacrita’s Monte Carlo model is able to accommodate uncertainties around clinical trial duration, sales growth scenarios and sales decline scenarios. The business plan and valuation models were key supporting documents as the new company marketed the opportunity to prospective venture investors (fundraising in process).

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