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Lights up on Innovation: Start-up Spotlight

Posted on October 21st, 2016 by in Pharma R&D


Small new companies, often simply called “start-ups,” have become the heart of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, and it’s easy to forget that wasn’t a predictable development. For decades, increasingly huge pharma companies – so massive and powerful that the term “Big Pharma” was created as a short-hand way quickly reference them – have dominated drug discovery and development. With many teams of scientists and researchers working diligently in their labs, companies that were practically household names came up with most of the pharmaceutical innovations of the 20th century.

But today, it’s all about start-ups. Full of passionate, mission-driven people, start-ups in the pharma/biotech space have changed the landscape by succeeding through highly-focused, specialized work and the ability to be agile and innovative. They have not had the institutional encumbrances of Big Pharma to deal with, and with their entrepreneurial spirit they have been able to get the funding necessary for ground-breaking work that includes developing treatments for both common diseases and unmet needs.

And it didn’t take Big Pharma long to notice. We all know that it is now becoming common for these two very different types of companies to act, not as competitors, but as partners in drug discovery. While the advantages of being small allow start-ups to make innovative leaps in a relatively short time, the advantages of being large and established allow big pharma companies to take that innovation and successfully run it through the gauntlet that comes with bringing a drug to market. The meeting of these two kinds of expertise is making for some very fruitful partnerships.

Introducing Start-Up Spotlight

Some still wonder, though, exactly how is it that start-ups are doing so much to create life-changing innovations. The truth is that it’s usually a lot of brain power and hard work! But we do know that all companies, those that are established and others just getting off the ground alike, could benefit from knowing more about who are some of players in the start-up space and what are they working on.

That’s why we are introducing a new blog column: Start-Up Spotlight. Each week, Start-Up Spotlight will showcase one start-up company and highlight the work they are doing. You will also discover whether they might be looking for partnership opportunities and how to get in contact with them.

Follow The Hive

Start-Up Spotlight was inspired by our new initiative, The Hive, which is a partnership between Elsevier and five young start-ups that were specially selected to participate. We are powering their work with Elsevier R&D Solutions and tools, and they are allowing the world to get a look at the exciting projects that they are currently focused on. Sign up here to follow The Hive and stay tuned for the program launch, which will include the announcement of the five participating start-ups.

In the meantime, watch this space each week to learn about a new company featured in our Start-Up Spotlight!


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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