Tercica’s founders shared a passionate belief that patients suffering with endocrine and metabolic diseases were being overlooked by large pharmaceutical companies, who focus on large patient populations. By launching a bio-tech company uniquely focused on an underserved population in 2002, the company’s founders tapped into a market poised for explosive growth. Tercica secured its Series A and B funding within its first two years of operation, and held an IPO in 2004.
Their enthusiasm and talent led to the development of distinct novel products that help children with short stature due to a growth hormone deficiency. The success of Tercica’s Increlex (mecasermin—rDNA origin—injection) to treat these children generated rapid momentum for the company. Soon after the development of Increlex, Tercica formed a strategic partnership with Ipsen to market Somatuline Depot (Ianreotide) Injection in the United States for the treatment of adults with acromegaly—a metabolic disorder caused by the excess production of growth hormones. The following year, Tercica entered into an agreement with Genentech to develop, manufacture and commercialize two next-generation growth hormone products internationally.
In 2008, former strategic partner Ipsen completed its $663 million acquisition of Tercica, which is now part of the Ipsen Group. The acquisition represented very attractive terms for what began as a small-cap biotech company.
“Rho offered us a sophisticated group of partners to walk us through the complexities of the venture process from our IPO to our ultimate acquisition by Ipsen,” said John “Chip” Scarlett, Tercica’s CEO. “Not only did Rho bring deep sector knowledge and a strategic network of strong relationships to our board, but they also managed to address Tercica’s business challenges to improve the outcome for everyone involved.”
Rho Ventures led Tercica’s $44 million Series B round in July of 2003, and remained as an investor and strategic partner through the company’s $663 million acquisition in 2008. “Together, we created a lot of value in a very short period of time,” offered Scarlett.
Tercica remains committed to the vision of its founders. The company’s development strategy is now based on a combination of specialized products in targeted therapeutic areas (oncology, endocrinology and neurology) and primary care products, which help to finance research and development activities at the company’s R&D facilities around the world.