Pharma R&D Today

Ideas and Insight supporting all stages of Drug Discovery & Development

Select category
Search this blog

Emulating start-up success with purpose-built data tools

Posted on December 12th, 2018 by in Pharma R&D

Arctic Pharma NEW

Innovation used to be almost solely accredited to Big Pharma, but many of the more established businesses in the industry are finding that their rate of discovery is slowing as they try to find answers to some the industry’s biggest problems, such as antibiotic resistance. Meanwhile, over the last five years, pharmaceutical start-ups have enjoyed significantly more success at discovering new treatments, with nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new drugs coming from smaller companies. This is partly due to the fact that start-ups tend to have more nimble and agile processes when it comes to managing data and are increasingly turning to information solutions that enhance their ability to discover and innovate at an expedited pace.

In the past, it was really just the large pharmaceutical companies who were able to benefit from the advantages of incorporating innovative tools into their research and development.  However, an increasing number of small biotechnology companies are starting to reap the benefits of what sophisticated information tools can do to make a big difference.  In 2017 Elsevier stablished the Hive project, an initiative that empowers participants with access to Elsevier in cutting edge drug research and development.  The result is a series of partnerships that exemplifies how research collaborations between innovative pharma and biotech start-ups, and larger, resource-rich organizations like Elsevier, can lead to ground breaking discoveries at a pace never experienced before.

For example, Dr Claudia Bøen from Artic Pharma, a start-up involved in Elsevier’s The Hive initiative, commented that Elsevier’s products have provided “hands-on training of technologies that will help us make better informed decisions, and will increase our productivity by reducing the time we spend searching for relevant and trustworthy data for our research.”  Dr Carleton Sage from Beacon Discovery, another current member of the Hive, echoed Dr Bøen’s sentiments regarding the expedited progress and discovery that is made possible by integrating purpose-built data tools into the R&D discovery process, specifically highlighting Reaxys.  “The chemical synthesis database within Reaxys allows us to efficiently turn our chemical ideas into synthetic reality,” says Dr Sage.  Dr Sei-chang Ahn of LegoChem sums it up with this statement:  “I have read an article that says, ‘AI won’t replace chemists, but chemists who use AI will replace those that do not.’ I would rather say ‘Reaxys won’t replace chemists, but chemists who use Reaxys will replace those that do not.’”

Data management, aggregation, and formatting has always been a barrier to innovation, comprising up to 70% of researchers’ time.  This has especially been frustrating for small start-ups who do not have the man power or resources to dedicate to such activities.  With the increased adoption of purpose-built data tools, start-up firms are starting to lead the way for the rapid development of life changing medicine.







Sr. Manager, Pharma and Biotech Segment

Sr. Manager, Pharma and Biotech Segment

As a professional with over 14 years of experience in strategy development and partnership management across a variety of industries, Nicki’s latest role as a Senior Manager, Segment Marketing at Elsevier applies her skills to the area of drug discovery and development in the Pharma and Biotech industry.  In this capacity she is focused on understanding biopharmaceutical R&D challenges and turning them into opportunity to further Elsevier’s ability to serve industry executives and the professionals who innovate in the drug discovery and development space.  Prior to joining Elsevier, Nicki held senior alliance and strategy roles in the Legal, Tax & Accounting, Life Sciences and Cyber Security industries.

Nicki resides in New York City and holds a BA in English Literature and Mandarin Chinese from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.


Connect with Nicki Catchpole on LinkedIn

Follow Nicki Catchpole on Twitter





R&D Solutions for Pharma & Life Sciences

We're happy to discuss your needs and show you how Elsevier's Solution can help.

Contact Sales