September 24, 2020October 19, 2020 // Partners CED Partner, Plakous Therapeutics joins forces with Mayo Clinic to embark on a natural history study to support their work developing a life-saving drug for children. Rob Boyce, CEO of Plakous Therapeutics, is making considerable progress to drive solutions for Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), a rare disease affecting the world’s youngest patients – premature babies. In a press release, Plakous announced its multi-year partnership with Mayo Clinic that will initiate a natural history study to provide valuable insights for the development and design of the clinical trials in the coming year. This approach is not only going to save the venture several million dollars of investment capital but will significantly reduce the number of patients needed to participate in its clinical trials. What does the next three months look like for Plakous?Currently in the preclinical stage, Plakous is excited to announce that they have added a lab manager to the team and will begin to initiate the tech transfer to its contract manufacturing partner. With a strong focus to prep for the initial FDA meeting in early 2021, they are also currently in the middle of a $4M raise and looking to close $1.1M by year-end. How has COVID Impacted your fundraising efforts? Fundraising has been a challenge during COVID. Delayed funding timelines have resulted from investors struggling to close their funds and many holding off on new investments to protect current ones, and Plakous has seen a domino effect in obtaining commitments during this time. Plakous was earmarked for investment from a VC at the close of its second fund back in March – that VC is still raising capital. Plakous continues to meet with interested parties and is optimistic that they will be able to reach their target over the next few months. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in the trenches with you? Figure out what you can accomplish with less money. Look for near-term, less capital-intensive milestones. We did a lot of due diligence to select partners for manufacturing and clinical support. Figure out how you can get your first step funded then prioritize step two and three as they get closer. We have never lost sight of what we are doing here at Plakous. The key is to stay focused. Don’t get discouraged, stay persistent and keep fighting. Plakous Therapeutics joined the CED network in 2019 to broaden its network of resources in the Life Science Ecosystem. If you would like to learn more about Plakous or connect with Rob Boyce about investment opportunities please let us know.