Elsevier adds six start-ups to its pharma innovation hub


Amsterdam,The Netherlands, February 2, 2018Science and health information analytics business Elsevier has finalised the name of six companies that will join its innovation hub for biotech and pharma start-ups, known as The Hive..

The firms selected from more than 150 applicants for the second intake to The Hive, including Exscientia, LegoChem Biosciences, 4P-Pharma, Beacon Discovery, Sigilon Therapeutics and Unum Therapeutics.

These start-ups will receive support and complimentary training for more than 18 months from Elsevier, and will work on various pharmaceutical technologies and discoveries.

They will also gain access to Elsevier’s research and development (R&D) information solutions such as Pathway Studio, Reaxys, PharmaPendium and ScienceDirect that are designed to support research during early stages of drug discovery and development.

Elsevier senior strategic marketing manager Betsy Davis said: “As the pharma ecosystem grapples with how to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into R&D, or how to accelerate the discovery of new biologics and immunotherapies, start-ups around the globe are playing a pivotal role.”

UK-based Exscientia focuses on automation of drug design by using AI-powered systems to analyse discovery data, and for designing numerous new project-specific compounds.

LegoChem Biosciences is a South-Korean company that uses ADC platform ConjuAll to develop antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), while French 4P-Pharma aids in advancing early stage technologies from discovery stage to clinical development and commercialisation.

Of the remaining US-based firms, Beacon Discovery primarily studies the translation of G-protein coupled receptors into new therapeutic candidates, and Unum Therapeutics leverages its antibody-coupled T-cell receptor (ACTR) for the creation of new immunotherapy products.

Sigilon Therapeutics aims to develop treatments to restore health and enhance quality of life for patients suffering from chronic diseases.

Davis added: “This year, to demonstrate the vast contribution of start-ups in the origin of drug discoveries, we will especially focus on helping these companies close the gap between concept and commercialisation, particularly for start-ups from academic backgrounds.”