HOUSTON – January 19, 2017 – Drugshoppe officially announced the recruitment of its new Chief Scientist, Dr. Corwin Miller, to head its growing research and development program.
“Dr. Miller is a highly talented researcher with a strong publication record, including Agawandte Chemie and the New England Journal of Medicine, and we have every confidence in his abilities,” asserts Erol Bakkalbasi, founder and President of Drugshoppe.
Earlier this month, Dr. Miller relocated to Houston from New Haven, CT, where he previously worked in the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University. Already, Drugshoppe has initiated biological experiments for three parallel drug design trials targeting key disease areas.
“I was attracted to the drug generator model as I became convinced that it’s the most effective way to fight disease through research,” states Dr. Miller, and adds, “Partnering with Mr. Bakkalbasi was an easy choice given his track record of productivity.”
Drugshoppe aims to validate its ‘drug generator’ model, which focuses on parallel, research-stage small-molecule drug programs, in contrast to the traditional life science start-up in the Texas Medical Center community. While most life science companies start after securing enabling patents, at Drugshoppe these patents are the product, destined for out-licensing to the largest pharmaceutical companies. By out-licensing prior to the first FDA review, known as the Investigational New Drug (IND) application, the total potential profit per asset is lower, but the likelihood of profiting is greatly increased.
“Working in support and management roles for a number of biotechnology and therapeutics startups over six years, I saw an open niche for a parallel-asset model for pharmaceutical startups focused on drug invention,” explains Mr. Bakkalbasi. “This contrasts with the single-asset model popular in the TMC, where an entire company is formed around one core technology that will almost certainly fail.”
Despite eschewing the traditional playbook, Drugshoppe has made considerable progress. Drugshoppe raised seed funding, and has acquired laboratory access. Drugshoppe is established as an Affiliate institution of Eli Lily through their Open Innovation Drug Discovery (OIDD) program, which provides access to biological testing and chemical synthesis. Additionally, the company has formed strategic partnerships with groups at Rice University, Texas A&M University, and East Tennessee State University (ETSU).
At ETSU, Drugshoppe is in active development of new therapeutic molecules for major depression in concert with two Professors, Dr. Gregory Ordway and Dr. Russ Brown. Professor Ordway, whose research is focused on the molecular pathology of depression, remarked, “We are excited to be working with Drugshoppe to advance our major depression therapeutics program.”
Looking forward, Drugshoppe has set a 2017 target to initiate 6-12 drug design trials, and aims to file 2-4 patent applications on the most promising novel drugs by the end of the year.
Drugshoppe is a Houston-based drug generator currently based out of Station Houston that invents and/or advances small molecule therapeutics IP both internally and through collaborators. Drugshoppe has comprehensive biological, chemical, and computational laboratory capabilities. Drugshoppe was designed as a response to the current “single-asset, star-professor” pharma start-up model common in research institutions. Drugshoppe’s model enables earlier returns for investors by advancing assets as quickly as possible and exiting them as early as possible.
Drugshoppe’s mission is to combat incrementalism in medicine by encouraging creativity and strategic diversity in the R&D process, to create expedient returns for investors, and to reduce waste and inefficiencies intrinsic to the long and difficult process of pharmaceutical development. Drugshoppe is seeking additional equity investors as well as industry and academic partners who wish to rapidly advance their research-stage therapeutics program.
Company Name: Drugshoppe
Contact Person: Sarah Snyder
Country: United States