This proposal is a continuation and amendment of VDP-5, in participation with the Morten Scheibye-Knudsen Lab (MSK), which includes the description of the project’s first two phases and funding for Phase I, approved by tokenholders on July 7th 2021 at 0xc05fee6528ff8ec18a847b08bdc19b43f6edc83935af9adfa602f814ed46128d.
Since project initiation, Phase I has been successfully completed. This follow-on governance, therefore, asks for a community decision for the second funding instalment.
In agreement with the University of Copenhagen, it proposes additional experiments in Phase II.
In agreement with Molecule, it is proposed that Phase II is equally funded by VitaDAO and Molecule, in return for Molecule receiving a 25% ownership stake in the corresponding IP-NFT.
Eleanor Davies, Tim Peterson, Tyler Golato, Todd White
The MSK Lab has completed Phase I of VDP-5. The team that has been working with the project endorses the continuation of funding for Phase II, because it may lead to an inflection point enabling funding for subsequent phases, including preclinical and clinical work via an IPT crowdsale.
Two experiments beyond the scope of the original agreement are proposed to be included to facilitate patenting by the end of Phase II, thus improving the commercial value of the project and the odds for subsequent funding.
Currently, VitaDAO is the sole 100% owner of the MSK IP-NFT and its corresponding IP rights.
It is proposed that:
VitaDAO and Molecule each pay $125 000 towards Phase II including the newly proposed experiments.
In return for its $125 000, Molecule will receive a 25% ownership stake of the MSK IP-NFT.
Upon successful passing of this proposal, VitaDAO will transfer $250 000 USD to the University of Copenhagen and sign an amended Sponsored Research Agreement for the continuation of Phase II experiments.
Molecule will pay VitaDAO $125 000 USDC for a 25% ownership stake in the MSK IP-NFT.
This proposal requires $250 000 USDC from the VitaDAO Treasury. Molecule will pay VitaDAO $125 000 USDC and receive a 25% accompanying ownership stake of the corresponding IP-NFT.
There is not a lot of background/rationale in the proposal for the proposed decisions.
Were the data published? From what I can see on the old proposal, the old roadmap suggested a Series A around now. Is there a revised roadmap/plan for Phase II and beyond?
Only two experiments beyond the scope is surprising; I support giving the lab any flexibility it needs to drive their project forward.
Why is VitaDAO considering selling a 25% stake in the IP-NFT for $125k? If this IP-NFT is fractionalized, will the researchers and/or the university get a stake in the IP-NFT? If so, would that come from VitaDAO’s remaining share, or from the total (ie would it be researchers 10%, VitaDAO 65% Molecule 25% or researchers 10%, VitaDAO 67.5%, Molecule 22.5%)?
I’m not familiar with business valuations and deal making. If Phase I is riskier than Phase II (project could have failed in Phase I), shouldn’t the Phase I dollars be valued as a higher % ownership in the IP?
Will Molecule provide benefits to the project beyond cash? Is Molecule’s help needed for the Series A raise?
I agree with a good amount of the comments in the sense that there might be more information needed on a bit more specifics on what will be needed for phase 2, what the use of proceeds will entail and what will the timeline for that look like? As these seem to be outside of the original agreement what will this mean in terms of expected timeline?
Regarding the comment about valuation, based on the fact that we are once again investing 250k into this project, with 125k only being worth about 25% of the total investment, we are likely already taking into an adjusted valuation due to the success of Phase I. (I might be wrong though! I’m a new VitaDao member!)
The proposal seems to be missing the “Senior Review Digest - Qualitative.” It’s challenging for the community to make an informed decision without it. After all, what’s the purpose of the Longevity Working Group if not to provide such insights?
Regarding the sale of 25% of the IP-NFT, should this be addressed in a separate proposal? Additionally, should there be an auction for this 25%? It’s possible other community members might want to contribute more. If this process isn’t made transparent, it gives the impression of a behind-the-scenes deal.
Is selling 25% of the IP-NFT the best decision for VitaDAO?
The data is unpublished. We have not filed IP yet, as that will happen when we get closer to a clinical trial. The key thing that was achieved in Phase I was that a lead asset was identified. **The lead asset was determined both on the MSK data and its IP potential. To remind you, MSK analyzed 5B prescriptions in Denmark in 5M people over 50 years to determine drugs associated with longer lifespans. When ruling out confounders, several drugs were then assayed and validated in directed experiments in senolytic assays. The compounds we are pursuing have independent validation in a variety of contexts.
Yes. It will involve a third party to reduce to practice the IP that was envisioned from this project. We’ve reviewed the plan with several trusted community members. In fact, it was a community member who originally sourced the idea independent of the MSK project and we put 2 and 2 together when analyzing the MSK data.
Molecule has expressed interest in advancing the project. This stems from the commercial appeal of the IP. We collectively think this could be in a clinical trial in a relatively soon time frame, compared with our other IP-NFTs.
Yes. Molecule provides both the technical and legal frameworks for the IP-NFTs and IPTs. It also helps with fundraising through its network. Therefore, we’re asking the VitaDAO community if it’s okay to sell this fractional ownership at cost in exchange for these services/support.
Phase II will be for another 2? years? How much will be the subaward from Copenhagen to the third party to reduce the IP to practice vs funding ongoing work in the lab? If the IP has not yet been filed, is there a risk to the IP from the 3rd party?
It sounds like the plan is for Phase II to finish pre-clinical work on the lead, and file IP at the end. Then it would be a Series A fundraising round for the clinical trial using Molecule’s network to enhance VitaDAO’s. Or is the plan to license the IP to Molecule or another company? Are either roadmaps correct?
I’m not familiar enough with business transactions to know if 25% at cost is regular for the type of services and the network that Molecule would provide, or if VitaDAO is paying a premium. If VitaDAO is paying a premium due to the alignment of Molecule’s network with the IP, further development of the underlying technical/legal frameworks, other prior unpaid support/services provided to VitaDAO by Molecule, or some other reason, it would be helpful to know why.
If this is a promising technology, I agree with @SimiKol that fractionalizing sooner rather than later, and offering some to other entities would be good. That would also establish what cut the researchers/university get as well. Perhaps sell 15-20% to Molecule at cost, and invite them to participate in the public sale of another 10-15% (without capping the $ amount that can be raised this time so more $$ goes to the research).
I agree with @Raivas that splitting the proposal into the renewal as step 1 and Molecule funding as step 2 might narrow the source of the disagrees to see if it’s lack of information or amount of cut to Molecule.
I’ve been around the DAO block for 4 years and I value transparency.
This proposal has me puzzled – it’s not as clear as what we’re used to. Let’s shed some light on it. I’m all for giving it a chance, but we need more info to make a good call. Honestly, it’s got me thinking about dumping my stake if we can’t get this sorted.