Inception Sciences is a drug discovery engine co-founded with Versant Ventures in 2011, with research sites in the US and Canada. Inception Sciences creates new companies in partnership with pioneering academic researchers and major biopharmaceutical companies, which provide funding and a path to liquidity though pre-negotiated acquisitions.
Drug discovery operations are built around an experienced team of researchers led by Peppi Prasit. Previous accomplishments of Inception team members led to multiple marketed and clinical-stage drugs in diverse disease areas including arthritis, neurology, oncology, fibrosis, osteoporosis, arthritis and respiratory disorders. Prior to Inception, team members comprised Amira Pharmaceuticals, a company backed by Versant and successfully acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb in 2011. Amira discovered five drug candidates entering clinical trials within five years and provided partners a significant “first mover advantage.” Prior to Amira, Peppi and other Inception team members played key roles with Vioxx, Arcoxia, Singulair, odanacatib and other successful programs at Merck.
Creation of the Inception business model was a collaboration between Peppi and Brad Bolzon of Versant. The aim was to match world-class academic researchers with pharmaceutical partners and form new drug discovery programs for the Inception team to execute upon. New start-up companies are spun-out for translation of these programs into novel therapies. Clare Ozawa leads a search and transaction team that executes on “Build-to-Buy” deals, incorporating an exclusive option for a pharmaceutical partner to acquire a spun-out company downstream at pre-set terms. Inception has now formed multiple companies around discovery programs subject to Build-to-Buy agreements, including Inception 1 (partnered with Shire), Inception 3 (partnered with Roche), Inception 4 (partnered with Bayer) and Inception 5 (partnered with Roche).