Overcoming Obstacles as a Virtual Biotech

As a virtual biotech, you’re in a challenging situation. You need a streamlined process and a diverse group of experts to help your skeleton crew reach the exit point. Whether it's a licensing deal or all the way to IND, you need to get there before your competition does. There can be a lot of pitfalls along the way.

 

Sidney, the founder of a virtual biotech with an idea for a drug to treat a rare neurological disorder, is faced with a situation that puts his funding at risk – can he convince his investors to continue their financing?

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Speaker (00:03) As a virtual biotech, you're in a challenging situation. You need a streamlined process and a diverse group of experts to help your skeleton crew reach the exit point. Be it a licensing deal, or all the way to IND, you need to get there before your competition does. There are a lot of pitfalls along the way.
(00:21) Sidney is the founder of a virtual biotech with an idea for a drug to treat a rare neurological disorder. He's at the annual Human Genetics Conference telling a former colleague, Emma, about how difficult it is to keep up with all the project's efforts being run at different CRO's. Both Sidney and Emma know that finding the right combination of resources to meet the needs of a complex drug discovery project is going to be challenging, especially getting his team which includes his co-founder, a professor at a local university, to smoothly interface with all of the external partners he'll need.
(00:57) Emma suggests he contact Charles River, telling him he can tailor a program from their expansive portfolio to meet his exact requirements. Sidney is skeptical. He doesn't believe a single company can efficiently handle all the aspects of small molecule drug discovery, especially in rare disease, but gives them a call anyway.
(01:17) He meets, one on one, with a discovery specialist to look at the scope of Sidney's project. Together they quickly define the challenges and objectives linking each one to a Charles River capability and brainstorming different possible approaches. Then medicinal chemists, a DMPK specialist, and in vitro biologist and an in vivo pharmacologist all sit down at the table with Sidney and his co-founder to plan out the timelines, budget, and coordination between Charles River and Sidney's organization.
(01:48) He is introduced to his project leader who will meet with him frequently and coordinate the teams through the rest of the process. The hit identification and hit-to-lead phases go extremely smoothly. The Charles River team integrated with Sidney's so seamlessly that it's hard to tell who's who when you walk in the room. Then, during the lead optimization phase, an unexpected problem arises. One of Sidney's investors sends him a paper authored by a competitor that describes a dramatic species difference between rodents and primates, causing them to question whether their predicted dose will be efficacious.
(02:23) Sidney calls his project leader, who's seen the paper and is already mobilizing the team to investigate. With the full range of the Charles River resources at their disposal, it's easy to quickly activate the additional assets they need to develop a functional imaging assay to measure target engagement using a PET tracer, comparing Sidney's molecule to the competitor's.
(02:44) With the receptor occupancy data from those studies in hand, Sidney is able to confidently report to his investors that they can select an appropriate dose for use in the clinic, and the project receives the funding necessary to continue. With the help of Charles river, Sidney not only succeeds at delivering a viable candidate, but meets his deadlines and stays on budget.
(03:06) At a future Human Genetics Conference, when he's chatting with his former colleague, Martin, who's stressed about coordinating a big project, Sidney tells him he should give Charles River a call. Contact one of our consultants today by visiting www.criver.com, emailing [email protected], or call 1-877-CRIVER1.