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Business


Integrated platform- drug discovery and development companies Part II: comparative analysis


Large pharmaceutical companies have struggled to efficiently implement tools, technologies and platforms into their drug discovery and development (DDD) programmes. More recently there have been attempts by small-to-medium- sized pharmaceutical companies to create in-house, integrated platform-DDD (PD3) capabilities. This strategy does not come without risks, but has quietly been implemented to increase drug candidate efficacy/safety and pipeline numbers. In some cases this has resulted in much-vaunted success, as epitomised by the Moderna IPO in late 2018. Although the complexities of such efforts should not be underestimated, it is clear that the new PD3 business model is being adopted and utilised. We evaluate this new paradigm and discuss the common traits and themes of successful PD3 companies.


By Dr Stephen Naylor and


Dr Kirkwood A. Pritchard Jr


L 46


ast year small-to-mid sized pharmaceutical companies were much more successful than their larger counterparts by 68% to 32%


respectively, in producing FDA-approved New Molecular Entities (NMEs) and New Therapeutic Biological Products (NTBs)1. The flexibility of small-to-mid sized companies facilitates dexterity of thinking and rapid adaption and adoption of new approaches. One such example is the develop- ment and utilisation of an integrated platform- DDD (PD3) model. Recently, we described this phenomenon and discussed the vagaries of imple- menting a PD3 approach1. We suggested that Moderna Inc and others have demonstrated that implementation of such efforts can significantly


drive company valuation. Furthermore, initial case studies appear to suggest that the valuation is fuelled by an innovative and validated platform. Although the complexities of such efforts should not be underestimated, we concluded that “...it is clear that the new paradigm driven by PD3 efforts is here to stay”1. In stark contrast, Ben-Joseph and Manning have


questioned the relevance and necessity of a PD3 approach for smaller companies2. They argued that “...the platform concept, with a few notable exceptions, [is] seldom capital efficient” and has “...failed to offer a commercial return”. The focus of such companies should be on the “...lead prod- uct and allocation of time and money in a capital-


Drug Discovery World Spring 2019


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