Science entrepreneurs in their own right, Likarda’s founders, Lisa Stehno-Bittel, PhD, and Karthik Ramachandran, PhD, developed the 3D cell culture platform at the University of Kansas Medical Center where they focused on discovering and providing next-generation treatments for diabetes. The founders discovered the power of miniaturized islets, called Kanslets™, for secondary drug testing and have published multiple studies in support of the technology.
Likarda started as a contract research organization, conducting research for large international pharmaceutical companies down to small startups. We were the first to be able to screen for new drugs using 3D clusters of cells in a high throughput format. Revenues from the contract research were reinvested back into Likarda’s R&D programs for our own cell therapy technologies. Eventually our advanced cell therapy platforms demanded the company’s full attention and we pivoted from contract research efforts to creating new encapsulation approaches for cell therapies being developed by Likarda and by outside company partners.