Advancing promising early technologies in major academic institutions through human proof of concept by creating an accelerated path to treat disease.
Bridge Medicines is a drug discovery company launched in partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. and healthcare investment firms Bay City Capital and Deerfield Management. Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that completes an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from concept to drug candidate, to develop efficiently and quickly innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.
Bridge Medicines builds upon the work of the independent, non-profit Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, known as Tri-I TDI. Scientists at the Tri-I TDI, which launched in 2013, are working on approximately 50 early-stage drug discovery projects — spanning therapeutic areas including infectious disease, oncology, neuropsychiatry and rare diseases — with the hope that they might be translated into future treatments for patients.
Research projects accepted into the Tri-I TDI will now be able to graduate to Bridge Medicines, where they will be given financial, operational and managerial support to move seamlessly from validating preclinical studies to human clinical trials. Typically, investigators behind promising early-stage discoveries must search for a biopharmaceutical company to purchase or license their intellectual property, or find a funding opportunity to support additional research. This process can be time-consuming and may shift investigators’ focus away from science and onto funding. It slows down and in some cases ends the development path.
Mission / Model
Frequently, intellectual property from an academic institution is sold or licensed to a pharmaceutical company long before a truly viable development candidate, be it a small molecule or a biologic has been identified, with immediate loss of control over the program and its fate. Alternatively, a small company may be formed around assets with all the risk inherent in fund raising. The Tri-I TDI program reflects a different paradigm: Principal investigators collaborate with Takeda scientists to demonstrate the therapeutic viability of new compounds, antibodies or devices through preclinical proof-of-concept studies.
Any project successfully graduating from Tri-I TDI is eligible to enter Bridge Medicines, where it can be professionally managed in a venture capital setting, and continue along the drug development pipeline without interruption. This includes projects meant to develop drugs to combat what are known as neglected diseases such as tuberculosis, orphan diseases, and transformational ideas emanating from breakthrough research in high risk areas. By managing a diverse and growing portfolio of projects, Bridge Medicines can spread risk and share rewards with the founding institutions.
Bridge Medicines makes this possible with the financial backing of its investing partners and by leveraging the world of drug discovery and development expertise accessible through high class partners worldwide. Bridge Medicines employees are deeply experienced in managing virtual drug discovery and development programs and fund New York -based biopharmaceutical companies to manage projects and bring them into the clinic for human Proof of Concept studies.
Upon achieving the success necessary for the initiation of human clinical studies, potential therapeutics will be spun into New Companies (newco’s). These entities will then be eligible to receive further financial and managerial support necessary to move the asset through human proof-of-clinical concept. These newco’s can be structured in a variety of ways. The structure that is best suited to move the product forward in the most cost/time efficient, profitable manner possible will be selected. These could be as traditional venture backed companies, or in conjunction with a pharmaceutical partner in a mutually advantageous “build to buy” entity or some other structure best suited to the development needs of a particular asset.
Principal investigators who choose to become engaged in this process could continue on as equity stakeholders in the new companies. In this way, Bridge Medicines plans to accelerate the movement of the best bench research to clinical reality while maximizing the rewards to the institutions and their investigators.