Today, the majority of clinical trials that are run never report their results in a form that is accessible to the public.
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It has often been said that one of the key features that distinguishes “big pharma” from biotech is access to the latest technological platforms to aid efficient drug discovery and development.
When Disraeli supposedly said “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes” he could not have imagined that little over a century later, such rock-solid logic could be under threat. If a team of Croatian scientists, led by Professor Miroslav Radman, are correct, death need be no certainty. DrugBaron was fortunate to spend several days with Prof Radman and his team earlier this year, and hear about his research into proteome instability, and the insights that has given him into the mechanism of aging. Most intriguingly, these insights have the potential to underpin a whole pipeline of novel therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative diseases, and perhaps, ultimately, for aging itself.
Since 2007, Index Ventures has been the largest shareholder in a rising star of pharma companies, ProFibrix - a visionary company whose lead product aims to save lives and speed recovery for patients undergoing bleeding during surgery and after trauma.
Today, our belief in ProFibrix - and particularly in founder Jaap Koopman, PhD - has been justified with the news of their acquisition by The Medicines Company.
Comparing the founding of two virtual drug development companies, Funxional Therapeutics in 2006 and XO1 earlier in 2013 proves at least one thing: in just seven years it has become dramatically easier and quicker to create a virtual drug development company. Today it is even possible to take virtual to its logical extreme: a zero person biotech company.
Index Ventures recently completed an $11M Series A investment in XO1, an asset-centric company established with the sole objective of developing the monoclonal antibody Ichorcumab under license from Cambridge University.
More and more biotech entrepreneurs and investors, alike, are realizing the considerable risks associated with simultaneous development of multiple assets and instead opting for a more streamlined approach that has come to be known as “asset-centricity.”
IT’S been described as “the $4.2 trillion (£2.7 trillion) opportunity”. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there will be 3bn internet users globally by 2016. If it were a nation, the internet-based economy would rank in the world’s top five. And the UK sits at the forefront, with 8.3 per cent of GDP now online – the highest proportion in the G20.
Yesterday, over 130 people, largely drawn from Cambridge, London and Oxford, attended the first ever ‘Playground’ event, aimed squarely at young academics thinking about biotech start-ups. We figured the best way to shine a spotlight on this world was to have five experienced entrepreneurs talk about how they got into the business and how they’ve dealt with the ups and downs along the way. This turned out to be a good call!
He turned 46 years old last week and at the end of 2011 he chose to leave a coveted academic position as Principal Investigator in the Department of Medicine at Cambridge University (UK). Really? Has he done that? Is this guy crazy? Even his beloved mum told him before prematurely passing away last year: "How can you be possibly do that, dear? What is more exciting than being faculty at Cambridge University?" True. It was tough, but he wanted to go. David Grainger had to go because he needed to follow his logic.