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Drug developers can now tap into an array of new preclinical technologies including some that give them the ability to interrogate compounds in a broad biological context-a systems biology approach. In this issue, we profile four start-ups with technologies designed to predict drugs' efficacy: Champions Biotechnology, Cytox, Immuneering and Rhenovia.
Given the current "Safety First" mind-set among regulators, it's not surprising that the field of predictive toxicology has been slow to gain traction. Despite significant progress in developing biomarkers, database tools, and other methods, pharma companies continue to rely heavily on traditional methods for assessing potential drug toxicities. Even if investors are shy now, many say that they will eventually be a beneficiary of predictive toxicology, and that comes as good news to start-ups in the space.
SimuGen has developed an analysis system that includes a pre-packaged kit that customers can use to test their own compounds. Accompanying client management software then imports the data and sends it to SimuGen's servers for analysis. It produces a dose-response curve for every clinically significant toxicity and also ranks related compounds based on their toxicity profile, allowing medicinal chemists to evaluate potential leads. Finally, clustering analysis reveals how changes to the molecular structure could affect the toxicity profile. The product has been designed to work with relatively few biomarker genes, which simplifies the laboratory procedure and avoids platforms such as microarrays.
The conventional wisdom is that European biopharma IPOs lag those in the US both in number and average size, held back by fragmented markets, stingy risk-averse investors, and a lack of specialists. The wisdom's changed (or some of it, anyway).
- Research, Analytical Equipment & Supplies
Drug Discovery Tools
- Drug Discovery Tools