Startups Blog

Pharma Startups: Will More Innovaters Bridge the Gap?

Big Pharma is, of course, a massive business. With startups helping to make waves in telecare and biotechnology, Pharma and small-scale innovators should make the perfect fit. However, we are yet to see a ‘boom’ of sorts. Why might this be the case?

pharma startups

What’s Stopping Pharma Connecting with Startups?

To consider why startups and Pharma may not yet be making any big splashes together, let’s look at the bigger picture. The nature of a starter venture is that it is quick to adapt and is highly flexible. Pharmaceuticals, of course, are much less movable. It’s thought it can take a single product, end to end, around a decade for full market approval.

That, theoretically, may be a little too slow for some smaller companies to adapt to. What’s more, companies benefiting from innovator support will likely require this nimble attitude. For Big Pharma, the ‘long game’ is all but expected.

Research suggests only 30% of all new drugs marketed annually arrive from the ten most significant players in Pharma. What’s more, innovations in telecare and gene editing are helping to push ventures to the forefront.

Could this mean we will start to see more innovators and Pharma brands start to link up?

US Innovators Making a Splash

When it comes to ventures and smaller companies striving to change Big Pharma, drug discovery is a significant factor. As mentioned, the time it takes for a drug to travel from initial planning to store shelves is extensive.

Innovators such as Insitro are using machine learning and AI to identify new medication. Worth at least $743 million in funding at the time of writing, the company aims to blend emerging technology with well-rooted standards.

So, too, do pharma startups such as Recursion Pharmaceuticals. Recursion’s main focus pinpoints rare conditions and disease - with more than $460 million in funding. They advise their scope largely extends to algorithmic research.

Alector is a US innovator that specializes in Pharma and neurological disease. They are specifically developing and discovering treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. Interestingly, the firm strives to combine genetic breakthroughs with emerging tech to create novel analyses.

Beyond the traditional, there is nanotechnology. While there is still much discussion over how nanotech ultimately works in the long term, Arrowhead is diving right in. Worth more than $147 million in funding, the company is actively developing its commercial nanotech applications.

Will Smaller Companies Ever Partner Well with Big Pharma?

It is perhaps difficult to say whether or not Big Pharma and smaller innovators will ever merge comfortably. However, the above firms are generating exceptional interest from investors. What’s more, technology, and our understanding of the human body, are advancing. While starter companies and Pharma operate at different paces, there are no guarantees against big booms by mid-decade.

Investors keen to find that next big Pharma innovator could use databases such as Fundz to make a breakthrough. Could a new generation of startups be ready to change Pharma for good?




Topic: Startups