Comparing the founding of two virtual drug development companies, Funxional Therapeutics in 2006 and XO1 earlier in 2013 proves at least one thing: in just seven years it has become dramatically easier and quicker to create a virtual drug development company. Today it is even possible to take virtual to its logical extreme: a zero person biotech company.
Given there is nothing inside a virtual company except for an asset, how can setting up and running an empty husk have changed so dramatically in under a decade?
The answer lies in what’s outside, not inside, the virtual development company. Today, a whole ecosystem of service providers exist to facilitate every facet of virtual drug development. And these providers have evolved and optimized their services to such an extent that they are barely recognizable.
In 2006, the service ecosystem consisted almost exclusively of Contract Research Organisations (CROs). Large or small, these CROs tend to be very good at what they do and very poor at everything else. Hence, when a project demands real innovation it is almost impossible to deliver in virtual mode with only CROs to help.
But by 2013, the emergence of true Out-Sourced Drug Developers (ODDs) have changed the equation firmly in favour of virtual development for almost every kind of drug candidate. Virtual no longer implies a lack of quality, nor a lack of scalability.
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 formal preclinical development and clinical up to Phase IIa. In the last five years, we have witnessed dramatic changes in the drug development …