New Innovative Partnerships?

Last year, Darcey Black, Director of Translational Science at TherapeutAix, together with colleagues, Gregor MacDonald from Lundbeck and Mo Alavijeh from Pharmidex organised a meeting for the Society of Medicines Research on “Innovative New Pharma and Biotech Partnerships: How is the landscape transforming?  The report of that successful meeting has just been published in Drugs of the Future.

The meeting brought together scientists from a range of organisations, all focused on discovering and developing new therapeutics through partnerships and collaborations.  This included speakers from not-for-profit organisations (MDC Catapult, LifeArc), biotech and pharma (Eisai, J&J Innovation, Apollo Therapeutics, Merck) and CROs (Evotec). Each speaker described their organisation’s innovative approach to collaboration.   Examples included developing non-competitive consortia with academic institutes and other companies (to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets); partnerships between, not-for-profits, charities and biotech/pharma on specific diseases such as MND; and collaboration models where a company provides a “bridge” (e.g., lab resources, drug discovery expertise etc) to help develop academic concepts to an “investable” asset.

The meeting concluded with a lively panel discussion with all the speakers, where a number of important points were highlighted.  These were:

  • M&A activity in the sector is down
  • it is cheaper to acquire an early-stage company than have an in-licensing deal
  • the “Hollywood Model” (*see below) can be effectively applied to external innovation
  • “Enablers” are needed to facilitate and support interactions between spinouts, academic teams, investors and pharma/biotech.

How TherapeutAix can aid innovative collaboration

So this is where TherapeutAix comes in!  We have acted as the “enabler” in several interactions and collaborations between early-stage companies and either investors or potential licensing partner.  We are able to bring our expertise and experience in drug discovery and development to these interactions.  Our support and input can prepare a potential asset to be attractive to a VC or pharma company – and make fit for purpose for the development journey ahead to achieve the key goal – to bring forward new medicines for the benefit of patients.

Do get in contact to learn more about us and how we can help your project!

You can freely download the full report here.



Innovative new pharma and biotech partnerships: How is the landscape transforming? Highlights from the Society for Medicines Research Conference. Stevenage – July 7, 2023
Alavijeh, M., Black, D., Macdonald, G.  Drugs Fut 2023, 48(2): 129.
This paper can be downloaded from the smr website here.

* The “Hollywood Model” applies the business method for how modern movies are made.  You create a team that temporarily works on a project with the timelines and expertise dependent on the scope and budget of the work.  The model is easily adaptable, and investment can be reassessed constantly.

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