Biotech research firm Likarda has not one, not two, but three major pieces of news to announce.
- Werth Family Investment Associates has invested $4 million in Series A funding with Likarda. The funding will allow the startup to greatly expand the upcoming clinical research program studying its diabetes treatment for pets.
- To make room for further growth, biotech research firm Likarda will move to a new home in south Kansas City this October.
- And the company has announced plans to eventually add 16 employees to its current seven-person team.
“Partnership with Werth Family Investment Associates brings both funds to advance our product line, and extensive experience in successful pharmaceutical licensing of new products for both human and animal health,” says Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Likarda’s president and co-founder.
Since it launched in 2012, Likarda has been based at the Bioscience & Technology Business Center on the KU Medical Center’s campus in Kansas City, Kansas. Right now, the company occupies the ground floor of the BTBC.
“KU has been very supportive of our growth, and our incubator space has served us well,” says Karthik Ramachandran, Likarda’s vice president and co-founder.
The new location, though, will more than double the amount of square footage available to Likarda. The company provides contract research services, helping clients bring new drugs to market. And it is also a developer of its own regenerative medicines for pets. It’s commercializing a treatment to better manage diabetes in cats and dogs.
“Likarda is unique because we live at the intersection between human and animal health,” Ramachandran said. “Our growth gives us an opportunity to continue to scale operations for entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical companies and animal health alike.”
The Missouri Department of Economic Development is providing support to Likarda as it moves across the state line.
“Likarda’s move to Missouri is a testament to our state’s strength in innovation and technology,” said Rob Dixon, acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
“Missouri is positioning itself to become the leading center of entrepreneurship between the east and west coasts. The company’s decision to grow its cutting-edge biotech research here in Missouri builds on this momentum.”
Likarda is a past winner of the 25 Under 25® Award from Thinking Bigger Business Media.