ABOUT THIS PROJECT
For too long, accessing catalytic funding has been a challenge for medicines discovery startups focused on areas of clinical unmet need. To combat this, we’re bringing together We Share’s innovative impact-driven revolving funding model with Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Syndicate, enabling the development of new treatments to address patient needs in AMR and CF by providing access to long-term (philanthropic) capital in the early phases of growth.
ABOUT CF AND AMR
What is Cystic Fibrosis:
- CF is a life-limiting disease affecting over 70,000 people worldwide. People with CF experience a build-up of thick sticky mucus in their lungs and other organs, which leads to the development of frequent and persistent infections.
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat. AMR is frequently seen in people with CF, who die from antibiotic failures.
- No new antibiotics have been brought to market in the last 30 years and the threat of antimicrobial resistance is growing globally. The discovery and development of new antimicrobials to treat infections associated with CF is, therefore, an urgent unmet need.
Luke, 49, is often asked what is it like having CF? He describes it as “spending every day of your life with a heavy head and chest cold, being constantly tired and as if someone is holding a damp flannel over your mouth and nose the entire time. Some people with CF spend huge swathes of their days (and sometimes nights too) following strict drug regimens and treatment patterns that prevent them from following a ‘normal’ life; unable to continue with their education, preventing them from following their desired career paths or preventing them live a rewarding and ultimately fulfilling life. The hope for every CF patient is that as treatments improve and new medications are developed, an element of stability can be brought into their lives.”
BUILDING A STELLAR PIPELINE
- Following a competitive call for applications, we are pleased to announce that 3 innovative early-stage health startups have been selected for bridge funding support.
- Our review process involved patients, industry experts and leading clinicians and academics, providing expert analysis and assessment of the startup’s projects.
- We are now working closely with the selected startups to provide the funding, expertise and insights they need to gather critical data to de-risk their projects and create robust opportunities for investment.
- At the end of the bridge funding programme, at least one startup will be selected to receive funding of up to € 300.000 to deliver a 2-year programme of patient-focused research.
HELPING PATIENTS BY FUNDING INNOVATIVE AMR STARTUPS
- This collaboration is an opportunity to help more innovators survive the valley of death, support more solutions to address patient need.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises drive the majority of innovation in AMR drug development, however they struggle to access the funding and support they need to progress their research.
- Our intervention represents an innovative opportunity to bring new funding to early-stage AMR startups and revolve it, so that the same funding can be used to support multiple generations of startups.
- Our vision is to maintain and grow an innovative pipeline of early-stage startups and bring new treatments to patients that need them, faster.
- Supported by experts from the Medicines Discovery Catapult and its disease-focused networks, startups are able to access the assistance and insights they need to succeed.
BRIDGE FUNDING AND INCUBATION PROGRAMME
We are now supporting the selected startups with bridge funding and access to capabilities and expertise.
Benefits of this approach:
- De-risks the project pipeline and provides further confidence of success before project funding is released
- Builds a support ecosystem around the innovators, providing them with expert advice and input to improve their project and commercial plan
Current support for the 3 companies includes:
- Independent microbiology testing of compounds in CF-relevant strains
- Access to clinical, patient and industry insights through dedicated expert panels
HOW YOU BENEFIT
FUNDING PARTNERS BENEFITS
- Bring more value to your philanthropic giving and fund solutions for unmet patient needs
- Revolve your grants and donations for health and contribute to SDG3 in a clear and financially sustainable way
- Help us test an innovative funding model and tap into a new kind of philanthropic funding for medicines discovery
- Be part of the development of a pioneering approach to fund medicines R&D
HOW IT WORKS
“Despite its many successes, the traditional model of utilizing venture capital to fund projects into medicines discovery cannot cater for every area of research, especially in the early stages of their development. Some areas require a different model to provide them with the funding they need to produce ground-breaking research that can ultimately add great societal and economic benefits”.
“Impact investment is an ideal source of funding for medicines discovery. It is long-term, people-centered, scalable and accessible to all. This fits and fuels the patient-centered R&D engine that the Syndicates have pioneered, and is an exciting innovation in drug discovery. The MDC-We Share approach allows medicine discovery start-ups to devote their energies to doing what they do best: R&D”.
“Delighted to see the launch of a new impact investment approach to funding for promising medicine discovery startups, following on from round table I co-chaired last summer with Chris Molloy from Medicines Discovery Catapult”
– Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business
QUESTIONS & QUERIES? CONTACT US
Head of Patient-Focused Partnerships
Medicines Discovery Catapult
Investor Relations & Strategy
We Share Forward