By Simon Westbrook, CEO and Founder, Levicept
Levicept Founder and CEO, Simon Westbrook, discusses his experience in selecting and working with a global CDMO partner, and the value Lonza brought to his virtual company, which he established to develop the molecular design and process development for a complex protein he had begun working on while at Pfizer.
Genesis of a Small Biotech
I founded Levicept to continue working on a novel analgesic for the treatment of osteoarthritis that I believed had a fundamental difference over other therapeutics. Unlike anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) molecules, which completely block NGF but can cause rapid progression of osteoarthritis and neuronal toxicity, our fusion chimera protein manipulates this pathway in a targeted manner.
Funded by Index Ventures, Levicept LLC became an asset-centric, single-molecule, UK-based biotechnology company developing a novel, safe and efficacious biological therapy (LEVI-04 / p75NTR-Fc) for the treatment of chronic pain.
Throughout our eight years of existence, we have been a true virtual company with only a couple of employees, dedicated to outsourcing work to the very best partners we can find to ensure the highest quality and prospects for success. We know that ultimately we will likely need to partner with Big Pharma to get our molecule to market.