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Finding Support and Success Along the Development Path

Posted on September 28th, 2018 by in The Hive

The Hive
We founded 4P-Pharma at the end of 2014 in response to the urgent need to increase the number of innovative therapeutics entering the developing drug pipeline for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Our idea was to detect the most promising technologies within academic and small private laboratories, and then reveal their potential as novel drugs and accelerate their development. To achieve our goal, we organized the best possible group of motivated and talented people, whose experience complemented each other, and who together would not be afraid to take on the many challenges that working in a start-up biotech environment brings.

It didn’t take long for our 4P-Pharma team to start achieving some major milestones. In 2016, we successfully completed our incubation period at Eurasanté, and in 2017 we were selected to be part of BpiFrance Excellence, a network of companies selected for their innovative and strong growth potential. Since our creation, we have screened more than 200 early-stage projects and entered 10 in wet diligence/early development. We have signed four co-development partnerships and exclusive licenses with TTOs and universities, notably with French SATT AxLR, SATT Lutech, SATT PulsaLys and SATT Aquitaine, and we are currently moving forward the two most advanced technologies out of four to preclinical development.

How information tools are accelerating our progress

We are now happy to also be in partnership with the Hive, which is supporting our work by offering us access to Elsevier’s information solutions. For a small team like ours, it is important to maximize every chance to get all the relevant information in the shortest amount of time. This is especially critical when deciding which key experiments to prioritize for our technologies and in setting up the best design to get the most relevant data about our products. In pursuit of these goals, we are now routinely using three products from Elsevier: Embase, PharmaPendium and ScienceDirect. Each of these tools is very intuitive and user-friendly and helps us to find all the relevant information at once, which down the line helps us devise the right developmental strategies for our projects.

For example, with our R&D focus in oncology, we are running some projects aimed at combining different existing drugs to obtain novel and improved therapeutic approaches. A cross-search on Embase for keywords of interest allows us to quickly sort for the most relevant articles and connections, linking a drug to its secondary targets and effects. PharmaPendium provides us a comprehensive overview of the full pharmacokinetic, pharmacological and safety profiles in the chosen drugs, both from preclinical and clinical data reported in literature worldwide, as well as all the associated regulatory files. ScienceDirect is a useful tool throughout the process, allowing us to refine our searches, get access to the related articles and obtain more detailed information.

Additionally, we extensively use these three products for planning and designing our preclinical experiments. Embase helps us in getting information about the R&D models and outcomes in a very easy and straightforward way; PharmaPendium provides useful insights for choice of the best doses, frequency and route of administration; and the relevant papers available on ScienceDirect strengthen our scientific knowledge by adding important technical details and by keeping the team up-to-date with the latest discoveries and experimental models.

What’s next

The past months have been filled with promising new discoveries and major progress in our most advanced projects, and we predict that the upcoming year will be a pivotal period for our company. We have added significant innovative value to such projects to be able to pique the interest of investors and pharmaceutical partners. Our hope is that their help, combined with access to Elsevier solutions, will enable us to move our technologies forward faster so that we can soon be bringing them directly to the patients’ bedside.



Authors: Luigi Formicola and Keren Bismuth

Luigi Formicola, PhD

Luigi Formicola, PhD


Luigi Formicola joined 4P-Pharma in 2014 to manage and administrate internal projects and   business development activities. He holds a PhD in Morphogenetic and Cytological Sciences   from La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy





Keren Bismuth joined 4P Pharma in 2016 as scientific communications and documentation manager. She holds a Ph.D. in Neurosciences from University Pierre and Marie Curie , Paris, France.




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