Category Archives: Translational research

Rekindling The Flame
December 18, 2014

This blog was written by Mike Gilman, Atlas’ EIR and CEO of Padlock Therapeutics, as part of the “From the Trenches” feature of LifeSciVC. I thought I was done with immunology. I’m not formally trained as an immunologist, but I fell for it hard

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Follow The Patients: The Case For Neuroscience And Other “Challenging” Fields
September 11, 2014

This blog was written by Ankit Mahadevia, CBO of Rodin Therapeutics and Spero Therapeutics, as part of the “From the Trenches” feature of LifeSciVC. There’s an ebb and flow in our business around interest in specific therapeutic areas; hot TAs such

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Advancing A New Drug Modality: A Few Lessons Learned
August 21, 2014

Translating breakthrough science into breakthrough medicines is a daunting task.  It’s also worth every nail-biting minute waiting for the next result that brings you closer to helping a patient in need.  We started miRagen based on some amazing laboratory results

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Target Practice
August 18, 2014

Every life sciences company needs to make good program choices.  Big pharma creates value through smart portfolio management while small biotech companies can be defined by a single lead asset.  In both cases, the opportunity cost of poor decision-making can

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Biotech’s Virtual Reality
June 4, 2014

Much has been written about the merits and demerits of the virtual biotech model.  In essence, a virtual biotech outsources all non-core activities and rejects the need for in-house laboratories.  Instead, a small internal team manages execution outside the company,

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Talent Acquisition: Pharma Is The Lifeblood Of Biotech
May 19, 2014

Startup Biotechs need bigger drug companies for lots of things, including R&D collaborations, investments, non-dilutive funding, and eventual liquidity via M&A. The health of today’s ecosystem depends on biotech and pharma working together. But one of the most important and

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Leveraging Nature’s Experiments: Mitigating Drug Discovery Risks Through Human Genetics
May 8, 2014

Extreme clinical phenotypes caused by rare genetic variations have been the basis of some of the most exciting drug targets in today’s pharmaceutical pipeline: PCSK9 in cholesterol, sclerostin in bone diseases, Nav1.7 for pain.  The rare gene signatures underlying these

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FLINT, NASH, And Biotech: How Big Things Happen
May 6, 2014

On January 9th, 2014, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT) released a very interesting piece of news regarding their Phase 2 FLINT (Farnesoid X Receptor Ligand Obeticholic Acid in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Treatment) trial.  FLINT, a test of their FXR agonist obeticholic acid (OCA)

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Science Being Studied: Replication, Publication, And Resource Allocation
November 8, 2013

Scientific reproducibility hit mainstream this month with a feature article and editorial in The Economist; they highlight issues around the failure to replicate peer-reviewed research, academic biases found in science, use of scarce resources in national science budgets, and even share a primer in statistics

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Phil Needleman’s Ten Commandments of Drug R&D
March 27, 2013

Pharmaceutical R&D is a very low velocity, high cost process, which makes it hard for any individual to gather the large body of experience required to inform better decision-making.  This is why pharma’s embedded institutional knowledge should be the source

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Celebrating 2012′s High Innovation Quotient Deals
December 21, 2012

Innovation paid dividends in 2012.  We often debate the relative “innovation quotient” of the companies we evaluate and invest in here at Atlas, and of the biomedical sector as a whole. The basic premise we hold is that high innovation

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Scientific Reproducibility: Begley’s Six Rules
September 26, 2012

The lack of robust reproducibility in the scientific literature is both shocking and troubling, and has been a widely covered topic over the past couple years. One of the earliest blogs here at LifeSciVC was on the dirty secret that

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