Latest Post

June 4, 2015no comments

A DrugBaron Glossary

To mark the fifth anniversary of this blog, as well as the launch of the new website, DrugBaron has collated some of his favorite phrases, each encapsulating an important concept in pharma R&D. Most of these terms were initially coined by DrugBaron in these pages, but have entered the wider biotech lexicon, and frequently feature in discussions of R&D strategy on Twitter, in articles and at meetings.
 
Here then is the definitive guide to the meaning behind the label:
 
Acceptable Failure     There is more than one way to fail, ...

Read More

Tweets

RT @philbalderson: Authored by my ever brilliant daughters. They are awesome. Please share. #100daysofbasictraining http://t.co/wS93B9j6Dl
- Thursday Jul 30 - 8:05pm

@redacre How many have now reported post-approval data on principal clinical end-points? Were they all positive?
- Thursday Jul 30 - 5:31pm

SCIENTIFIC SUPPOSITIONS

Contact DrugBaron and Subscribe for a weekly digest of new postsNews, musings & opinions from the pen of the Drug Baron, Cambridge

Drug Baron Blog

Latest Post

June 4, 2015 no comments

A DrugBaron Glossary

To mark the fifth anniversary of this blog, as well as the launch of the new website, DrugBaron has collated some of his favorite phrases, each encapsulating an important concept in pharma R&D. Most of these terms were initially coined by DrugBaron in these pages, but have entered the wider biotech lexicon, and frequently feature in discussions of R&D strategy on Twitter, in articles and at meetings.
 
Here then is the definitive guide to the meaning behind the label:
 
Acceptable Failure     There is more than one way to fail, and they are not all equivalent. In drug development, sometimes the candidate fails for reasons that could never have been predicted.   The team did all the right things. With luck they managed to demonstrate the hidden problem with the asset quickly and cheaply. Failure of this kind, which DrugBaron labeled “acceptable failure”, should be embraced, even celebrated (though not actually encouraged, since even acceptable failure creates losses rather than value).
 
In contrast, failure due to poor experimental design, bad implementation or other avoidable mistakes by the team trusted to progress the asset, is the cardinal sin. There are enough unavoidable reasons for programs to fail without adding wholly avoidable ones.
 
The challenge for the R&D management is to distinguish the two. Teams always argue the failure was unavoidable, and the complexity of biology always provides a hiding place. And the best solution to that problem is to create the right incentive structure, overcoming the inherent cultural bias towads continuing projects.
 
Asset-centric     Asset-centric is a term coined by my partners at Index Ventures to describe companies that are focused on the development of a single asset (companies that have comprised the majority of Index investing since 2005).

And that’s all it means. It doesn’t mean the asset is more important than the people. Quite the reverse – the limiting factor for pursuing an asset-centric strategy is the availability of great teams who can take those single assets forward.
 
There are two principle advantages for asset-centric companies. First, with only one asset there is no insurance policy. No second asset to fall back on the event the lead fails. That sharpens the focus of the team (whose returns depend entirely on the lead asset) and prevents wasted dollars developing an asset that would never have made the grade as a lead asset.
 
Second, with only one asset to develop it makes no sense to build specific infrastructure.   Asset-centric companies are therefore typically also virtual (or at least semi-virtual), with all the advantages that implies.
 
A decade into investing …

More

Yearly Archive

Useful Resources

Discovering and developing drugs according to the “asset-centric” strategy depends entirely on the availability of high quality out-sourced service providers, who not only deliver the R&D infra-structure for small and virtual biotech companies, but who understand the essential differences between “asset-centric” R&D and the classical model. DrugBaron has founded and worked for more than a dozen asset-centric companies over the last decade, developing both small molecules and biologics in a wide range of indications. That experience has identified those service providers (usually smaller than the global brands) who understand “asset-centric” R&D and who can support new companies adopting this strategy.  Those are the companies listed here.

The Cambridge Partnership is the only professional services company in the UK exclusively dedicated to supporting companies in the biotechnology industry. We specialize in providing a “one-stop shop” for accountancy, company secretarial, IP management and admin services.

Accounting & Back-Office Services

A professional services company exclusively dedicated to supporting companies within the biotechnology industry.

RxCelerate Ltd is an outsourced drug development platform based near Cambridge, UK. We specialize in delivering an entire road map of drug development services from discovery and medicinal chemistry through to preclinical and clinical Phase IIa.

Out Sourced Drug Developer

Specialising in delivering an entire road map of drug development services from discovery through to preclinical/clinical Phase IIa.

Total Scientific Ltd is a preclinical CRO based near Cambridge, UK. We specialise in developing and characterising bespoke in vitro assays for discovery and development, including enzyme assays, binding assays and immunoassays together with biomolecule interaction services (Biacore)

In Vitro Services

A preclinical CRO specialising in developing and characterising bespoke in vitro assays for discovery and development.

SEND & SUBSCRIBE

Contact DrugBaron and Subscribe for a weekly digest of new posts

Contact Us

EMAIL
drugbaron@thecambridgepartnership.com

DRUG BARON
Moneta
Building B280
Babraham Research Campus
Babraham
Cambridge CB22 4RA
United Kingdom