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North Coast
V-Gene, Inc
Spin-off #2
Spin-off #X
  1. Venture funded:  investing in generation of 3-4 mabs ready for product dev. 

  2. Incubated within NCB

Internal mab discovery
Pharma/biotech partners deal fees
Direct outlicensing
Clinical ‘stones & royalties
Series B financing
licensing fees, clinical milestones, royalties, buy-out, go public
Series B financing
Series B financing

Shared value back to North Coast

Other markets - Vet.Med, research, diagnostics
Direct outlicensing

Cultural Overview of North Coast Biologics


The Endless Start-up:  In search of the perfect wave


Scientists generally enjoy riding waves of creativity in pursuit of answers to the big questions.  We all acknowledge that the best sets of waves occur at the “start-up” stage of a biotech company - a time where creativity is high and the scientists are the artisans practicing their trade to solve biomedical problems.  The bench is our canvas, the questions are pursued with passion and a desire to translate discoveries into life-saving therapeutics.


But recent market unrest dating back to about 2001 has changed the way biotech companies are formed and operated.  This has affected our local Seattle market greatly in that companies founded within this time period are designed to be bought out vs. going public as in the old days.  The companies doing the buying primarily close up the Seattle operations and either eliminate or move the jobs out of our community.  Seattle has lost over 4000 jobs during this time period as a result of this model (Zymogenetics being the most recent).  Of course this is supposedly a way to create more wealth to incite more start-up creation, but unfortunately in fledgling buy-out situations, only the officers in the company significantly benefit financially and of those people the majority have had that “fire in the belly” extinguished by their newly filled coffers. 


And what of the research scientists - the creators of the entities that bring on this wealth?  Your canvas is either taken away before the paint is even dry or is removed before you’ve had a chance to finish.  More often than not, the purchaser of the company is only interested in one, maybe two, of the “paintings” at most.....the others of no importance to the buyer are put away in storage and most likely will never see the light of day again unless an  odd outlicensing deal should arise.  Now the pool of companies with which to work has shrunk yet again, and you’re either changing professions or moving to newer, more vibrant markets. 

Creating the perfect wave

North Coast was founded in 2008 with the challenge of subverting the above model to create a biotech company with a staying presence in Seattle - an “endless start-up”.  One way to subvert the quick-exit/buy-out model was to change it - 180 degrees - by going retro.  If the cost of lab space, equipment, and need for head count could be dramatically lowered, a company could exist on partner cash alone vs starting solely with venture funding.  Thus, our industry started in 1976 in a leaky warehouse in South San Francisco (Genentech).  Stealing a page from our industry founders along with countless numbers of our high tech cohorts, North Coast began operations in the North Lake Union area in a leaky garage for 1/50th the cost of the average cost/sq.ft. in Seattle for biotech space.  The next hurdle was cost of capital equipment.  Would it be possible to dramatically trim down those ultra expensive costs?  Using Ebay, Craigslist, and auctions from biotech companies not making it during the tough economic times, we managed to pay for our equipment in 1976 dollars....1/17th of the total spent in my previous start-up experience.  Head count?  Ebay coupled with a friend who writes code combined to provide automation so sophisticated that the process takes very few hands to run. 


In summary, North Coast has been built, the dogma has been challenged, and the plan for long term growth has begun.  Four major platforms for value creation have been developed in a garage in Seattle - and now due to a recent expansion, in a warehouse in North Lake Union.  With the capabilities generated, several new companies will spin out of North Coast as another means of generating near and long term value using venture capital.  The spin-offs will incubate within North Coast until the series B round is complete.  This added dimension provides two basic environments for research scientists:  one for those who enjoy continuous creativity and another for those who wish to follow their creation through to clinical trials (ie. depart with the spin-off).  A summary diagram is below describing the many facets of growth and value generation for North Coast and it’s employees.


North Coast is now accepting resumes from interested individuals who are passionate about making antibodies in yet another new approach.  Click on the jobs link to see the areas that need to be filled. 

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Jobs link