Author: Anna Akins, tech reporter at S&P Global
An emerging company in the Atlanta scientific community is leading the charge to improve the drug development process to help accelerate biotech companies working to bring life-saving solutions to market.
Radyus Research is a collaborative research organization that joined the Atlanta biotech scene in 2019 with two goals: simplify the often expensive and risky drug development process and provide startups with crucial tools to turn their drug ideas into a reality. Led by a team of industry veterans, experienced drug developers and venture capitalists, Radyus stands ready to take on its next challenge of helping companies create life-saving solutions in the fight against many debilitating diseases, including the coronavirus infection.
“We are thrilled to join the Atlanta market and work alongside some of the brightest minds at the city’s top academic research universities and organizations,” said Radyus Founder and CEO Marta New. “We understand that relationships are crucial to the drug development process and look forward to fostering new connections in Georgia and the region.”
Radyus aims to grow its staff in Georgia to over 50 people in the next five years.
“I want to congratulate Radyus Research on their decision to expand their presence in Georgia. Their critical work joins the efforts of many others in our community to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19 and other diseases,” said Metro Atlanta Chamber President and CEO Katie Kirkpatrick. “Radyus finds itself in a region uniquely prepared to respond to public health issues, from research led by major institutions and universities, to the presence of next-generation talent leading the charge.”
Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson echoed Kirkpatrick’s sentiments.
“Radyus Research’s growth in Georgia is a testament to the life sciences community in Georgia, and I am looking forward to seeing the opportunities and contributions the organization will bring to local startups that are developing new drugs,” said Wilson. “This will further strengthen Georgia’s biotech ecosystem, which has built a strong reputation for its ability to innovate and collaborate in the face of health crises. There is no doubt that this expansion will have a positive impact in the fight against numerous diseases and save lives globally.”
Biotech startups are high-risk ventures, and many never see their drug ideas realized. Many new companies either lack the expertise needed for specialized drug development or have limited access to high-quality third-party validation testing laboratories, making it more difficult for startups to attract the attention of investors and pharma buyers.
What’s more, development costs and timelines continue to mount while the likelihood of success continues to drop.
On average, only one in every 5,000 compounds that enter preclinical testing make it to the clinical trial stage and attain FDA approval (source https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/opinion/the-solution-todrug-prices.html?_r=0). A study by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. also noted the estimated average cost of bringing a drug to market is $2.6 billion, a 140% increase over the past decade (link:https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/pharmaceuticals-and-medical-products/our-insights/the-pursuitof-excellence-in-new-drug-development).
That’s where Radyus steps in.
Radyus works closely with new biotech companies, often coming out of local universities, during the preclinical testing stage to increase their chances of making it to the clinical trial stage and notching FDA approval.
“We love rolling up our sleeves and becoming an extension of our client’s R&D team to problem solve along with them,” said Andrew Bush, head of research at Radyus. “We talk science, we talk strategy and we talk fundraising. Then we go and do the necessary experiments for them and execute the plan. This one-stop-shop approach is key. That’s how we help them increase their chances of success in attracting investors and pharma suitors.”
Georgia Bio President and CEO Maria Thacker-Goethe is particularly optimistic about Radyus expanding its presence in Georgia to help local companies accelerate the development of innovative new therapies for patients.
“Having a CRO like Radyus helps elevate awareness for Georgia startups, and also supports growth in capital investments into our growing industry,” Thacker-Goethe said.
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