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Elsevier launches The Hive 2017
NEW YORK—Elsevier, an information analytics company specializing in science and health, announced mid-July that applications and nominations for The Hive, its innovation hub for biotech and pharmaceutical startups, were open—and would close on Aug. 31.
This year, at least eight leading-edge startups working on innovative goals will be chosen to become part of The Hive, receiving complimentary access to Elsevier’s suite of digital solutions for 18 months and, as the company notes, “helping them rapidly advance their critical research and improve productivity.” The Hive was launched to highlight the “superior levels of innovation in the startup biotech and pharma sector” as well as to demonstrate to larger companies and other areas of the research community how research and development challenges can be overcome.
“We created The Hive in 2016 to highlight the trend in the industry that has seen biotech and pharma start-ups become centers of cutting-edge science. This trend is continuing in 2017—many of the most promising drug candidates and discoveries in R&D pipelines originate from these early-stage companies,” commented Tamas Szarvas, chief marketing officer for corporate R&D in Elsevier’s R&D Solutions. “In 2017, The Hive will continue to highlight the fresh, innovative and agile world of R&D that is taking place within startups, and we look forward to welcoming a new group of participants. Additionally, we know that the industry is always looking to learn from these innovation powerhouses, and The Hive offers a far-reaching platform for sharing success stories.”
The industry faces significant challenges, Elsevier notes, including overcoming antibiotic resistance in the absence of new drugs, reducing the chance of unanticipated adverse events and bringing the promise of precision medicine to practical reality. For the industry to make meaningful impact in these and other areas, “access to the latest insights from data, powerful analytics and technologies to help R&D professionals is essential,” the company says, noting that Elsevier’s R&D Solutions are utilized every day across the life-sciences industry to assist in decision-making in drug discovery and development. For the startups that will be joining The Hive, it is expected that Elsevier’s R&D Solutions will help them achieve faster scientific breakthroughs.
“Being part of The Hive has given exposure to our company and the team’s work. It has also allowed hands-on training for programs that will help us make better informed decisions on lead compound selections, and increase our productivity by reducing our efforts spent on finding everything that is relevant and trustworthy for our research,” commented Dr. Claudia A. McDonald Bøen, CEO of Arctic Pharma AS, a 2016 participant in The Hive. “Elsevier’s solutions contain extensive and detailed information on chemical compounds/structures, visualization of disease mechanisms, metabolomics data and predictions on drug-drug interactions—all of which are important to further develop our cancer therapies.”
“A significant challenge for any company developing a broadly applicable platform technology is to quickly gather, assess and act upon information across the many different disease and technical areas associated with drug candidate development,” said Tom Wickham, vice president of R&D at Rubius Therapeutics, also a participant in The Hive 2016. “Areas of research cover the science and biology, of course, as well as IP, clinical and commercial considerations. But that’s what is great about being part of The Hive. Participation has provided us with an amazing array of resources with which to successfully meet this challenge.”
The top candidates for The Hive 2017 are pre-revenue pharmaceutical and biotech startups, and other small companies, that are actively involved in the advancement of early-stage research—with a minimum of 10 scientists on staff. Enrollment for The Hive closes on Aug. 31.
In other recent Elsevier news, the company in June launched the PharmaPendium DMPK (drug metabolism-pharmacokinetic) solution. The DMPK solution delivers searchable pharmacokinetic, metabolizing enzymes and transporters data to provide a complete picture of potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and drug candidate risk assessment.
In drug discovery and development, early and ongoing assessment of DDIs is critical. Undetected DDIs can lead to severe side effects, resulting in the refusal of regulatory approval, severe prescribing restrictions or the withdrawal of drugs from the market. The FDA reports that between 1995 and 2010, the proportion of adults dispensed five or more drugs doubled to 20.8 percent; the proportion dispensed 10 or more drugs tripled to 5.8 percent. DDIs account for between 3 and 5 percent of all reported adverse drug events. With an aging population and an increasing trend towards polypharmacy, DDIs are a major concern.
“PharmaPendium’s DMPK and DDIRC tools have had a significant impact on our drug development decisions,” commented a senior DMPK scientist from a top pharma company that beta-tested the solution. “The solution delivers a level of information we can’t get elsewhere, so we can get a full, detailed picture of risk assessment classified by therapeutic class. Without the DDI risk calculator, we would only focus on key drugs. But with DDIRC, within 30 minutes to half a day, we can analyze over 200 drugs—so it really saves us considerable time.”