As 2020 draws to a close, the team at TheraeutAix has been looking back and reflecting on the last 12 months. Here’s a recap.
A pandemic that changed a lot
Let’s start with the obvious. The coronavirus pandemic challenged how we engaged with colleagues, conferences and in networking. We enjoyed our only in person meeting this year, the Fraunhofer Models of Lung Disease meeting, and virtually attended several other meetings, like the ATS and ERS meeting, EASL, and the AFDD Summit. But we’ve missed the crowds and discussing exciting science at poster sessions, having a coffee while making new connections and catching up with old friends.
We were intrigued to see post COVID-19 fibrosis in patients with more severe disease, which got us thinking about similarities and differences to other fibrotic lung diseases. It’s great to see research going on (including a new study testing nintedanib in this condition) with the potential not only to benefit patients, but also to further understanding of fibrotic mechanisms.
Our work, and our network
Building bespoke networks for our clients is a powerful tool to advance drug development projects. We’ve established custom project teams for a number of clients, complementing the available expertise to push projects forward. This led to expansion of our network with Alderley Analytics and Peak Proteins, which extends its expertise and capabilities. At the same time, our networked approach remains flexible, supporting our ambition to build the best team for any given project.
The success of our clients has led some of them to reach a new stage for projects we have supported – most notably, major partnering deals, new funding rounds, or build-up of internal capabilities. It’s been very satisfying for us to see this kind of outcome!
Following the review on the Drug Discovery Landscape in NASH, we have published a Drug Discovery Today article on the state of play in IPF, which we hope is valuable for you if you’re working in this, or a related field. Among other things more specific to IPF, we highlight the importance of keeping the end in mind, while building a preclinical and translational base with a clear line of sight to the clinic. It is also important to consider the impact of the current and future standards of care. It can sometimes look like a three-dimensional chess game, but we believe there are strategies to win if one understands the rules!
And in our blog, we’re currently running a mini-series with our thinking on targeted therapy (inhalation and other approaches) for IPF. Inhalation has the potential to overcome several constraints (e.g. relating to systemic safety aspects), but has also sometimes met with skepticism. It can be hard to implement this approach as an afterthought, so it is best to consider opportunities and challenges early. Stay tuned for the next parts, and do contact us to discuss specifics for your projects!
Looking ahead to 2021
At TherapeutAix, and despite the challenges, we’ve enjoyed working in 2020: engaging with exciting science, supporting our clients’ projects, and expanding our toolbox. We are looking forward to 2021 and hope it will bring opportunities to personally meet with you again. Among the plans we have for the next year is to further develop our R&D network and to share some exemplars of how this can support bringing molecules with promise to life – but there’s more to come.
We wish you a Merry Christmas, and health, joy, and success in the new year.
Frohe Weihnachten, und ein gutes neues Jahr!