Taurion Inc.: Built to Cure an Incurable Disease (VCs)
Supplement to case IES519. Taurion Inc. is a start-up company established in 2006 and based in Vienna. It specializes in researching the causes of Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as developing diagnostic tools and targeted drugs to combat it.For several years, the founders of the company - two renowned scientists and a finance professional - have been focusing on the role of one deficient protein present in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, the tau protein, which is believed to have a decisive influence on the development of AD. Taurion discovered a particular form of the diseased tau protein which has a causal role in AD and developed three molecules (successfully tested in rats) to prevent its occurrence. By treating truncated tau, Taurion expects to develop the next blockbuster in the pharmaceutical industry to prevent AD. This research approach is controversial, as big pharmaceutical companies don't see any market potential in the tau protein in relation to AD.Taurion's challenge is to convince a VC investor - who at the moment is facing all the challenges of a sharp industry downturn - to invest in the company in order to be able to run clinical trials with its three molecules and hopefully achieve promising results that will call the attention of big players in the industry.Under these conditions, students assume the roles of Taurion's management team and VC investors to develop a fundraising proposal and an investment offer, respectively.