RxCelerate, a leading drug discovery and development platform in the UK, has opened an office in Cambridge, MA, one of the most vibrant life sciences clusters in the world.
RxCelerate is an accelerator that helps young biotechs to get started and find their way through drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, preclinical research and beyond to boost their chances of success in the clinic. In particular, the company specializes in designing bespoke experiments that yield as much data as possible. By venturing across the pond and opening an office in Cambridge, MA – just outside Boston – the company will be sharing its experience and knowledge with one of the most exciting biotech hubs on the planet.
The Boston biotech hub is famous around the world, focusing particularly on drug discovery and development. The region’s biotechs employ more than 66,000 people and attracted almost $3B (€2.5B) of investment in 2016 – tripling the $900,000 (€760,000) it received in 2012. The hub’s preference for pharmaceuticals is highlighted by the number of new drugs in development in Massachusetts, 897 in 2011, versus other hubs like California, 699 in 2012.
RxCelerate is based in a state-of-the-art lab at the prestigious Babraham Institute, which is also home to Babraham Bioscience Technologies. The accelerator performs in vitro tests, both off-the-shelf and bespoke in design, allowing a well-prepared, cost-effective approach to lead optimisation. RxCelerate has also developed a range of animal models that can be used to begin assessing a candidate’s efficacy, safety and mechanism of action. Combining these assets helps RxCelerate to design experiments that rigorously test drug candidates, giving an accurate indication of their true potential.
The company has taken lessons from previous mistakes made in research and development to produce better studies. Jill Reckless, CEO at RxCelerate, first noticed this when reviewing the literature on thrombosis and bleeding models. RxCelerate created new models and started to focus on the use of larger animal models to produce more relevant results for humans. This is just one way that the company helps cash-strapped startups that are in a rush to find out the true value of their assets.
The move seems to be a great idea considering Boston’s love for pharmaceuticals and RxCelerate’s expertise in this area. Robert Coughlin, President & CEO of Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) is confident that RxCelerate will play an important role in the state’s biopharma ecosystem. This opinion was echoed by RxCelerate’s Leader of US Operations, Laura Hamilton: “I am certain RxCelerate can be as successful in Cambridge, MA, as they have been in Cambridge, UK.”
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