De-Risking The Biotech Business Model Through Sustainable Structure
While the single compound biotech is still the dominant business model, some biotechs are exploring less traditional strategies that will make them sustainable in rough economic times.
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The biopharma industry must think differently about funding high-risk/reward development of drug candidates against novel targets. Multiplexing Phase II proof-of-concept trials can light a path toward lower-risk pivotal studies and provide a model for building biotechs to deliver what patients, providers, payors, and investors all want: solutions.
Epizyme’s recent alliance with Celgene validates industry’s interest in histone methyltransferase inhibitors, a kinase-like class of epigenetic enzymes. Celgene’s willingness to cede US rights in return for access to preclinical assets belies HMTs’ novelty and helps to position Epizyme for potential success as a US-focused oncology company. Despite the strong start, it won’t be easy.
Celgene has expanded its footprint in epigenetics, partnering with histone methyltransferase specialist Epizyme to take immediate rights to its preclinical DOT1L program and a three-year extendable option on the rest of the biotech’s pipeline.