San Diego Business Journal

Solana Beach-based built an online marketplace for startups linked to 5AM Ventures that allows the early-stage firms to put specialty biotech services out to bid. specializes in building virtual platforms that connect biotechs and pharmaceuticals to contract research organizations, or CROs. In an email CEO Kevin Lustig said this deal is unique because 5AM Ventures is a venture capital firm.

More than 70 companies funded by 5AM Ventures can use the custom marketplace, which aims to simplify research outsourcing and save money. Increasingly, biotechs contract out research and development to niche CROs.

“By providing rapid and cost-effective access to services and experts, the 5AM R&D marketplace allows our seed and early-stage companies to compete head-to-head with pharma companies that are a thousand times their size,” said Andy Schwab, managing partner of 5AM, in a news release.

Lustig said the partnership with 5AM works the same as a pharmaceutical client: Suppliers pay a 5% to 8% percent cut to for any orders; the pharmaceutical or biotech isn’t charged.