Taking Science to Market at Entrepreneurial Speed

Likarda is a leading regenerative medicine company for companion animals. We have discovered—and are commercializing—a better way to manage diabetes in dogs and cats. Likarda’s technology platform revolvs around revolutionary encapsulation methods that coat cells with a hydrogel to help preserve health and function while retaining the cells in a defined area of the body.  The first application of the technology involves transplanting insulin-producing cells into a dog with diabetes.  The goal is to provide veterinarians with a tool to offer a minimally invasive, cost-effective answer for pet owners and veterinarians battling the burden of diabetes in dogs and cats.

We focus on bringing to market disruptive technologies that improve health-care outcomes and lower costs for pets and people alike. Likarda uses our proprietary cell culture system to create three-dimensional cell clusters, or miniaturized organs. This system has applications in markets ranging from drug discovery and development to cell-based transplantation and regenerative medicine. For instance, pharmaceutical companies can test new drug compounds on our human 3D cell clusters, providing a better prediction of how the drugs will work in the body.

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. In 2012, the founders discovered the power of miniaturized islets, called Kanslets™, for secondary drug testing and have published multiple studies in support of the technology. Shortly after making this discovery, the two scientists established Likarda and the intellectual property and patents were exclusively licensed from the University of Kansas.

Likarda is the culmination of visionary leadership, science that is just as artistic as academic, and a compelling urge to do what’s right. To accomplish this, we have well-defined, long-range goals with the added opportunity for flexibility and growth.