The company just announced the closure of an initial round of undisclosed investments from Clarus Ventures and Novo A/S, which is owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Nuvelution says it plans to deploy capital in collaborations with top pharma and biotech companies ranging from $50m to $500m, though this initial round of funding will go to the company’s operations.
Sanford Zweifach, Nuvelution’s Founder and CEO, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that the company won’t just offer oversight and funding for trials, but could actually run some of the trials via the use of CROs.
“We envision several proprietary relationships with CROs,” Zweifach told us, noting that the company is looking at all therapeutic areas and has already had “discussions with a reasonable number of companies.
“Why we started is that the pipelines are rich in pharma and big biotech yet everyone is still having to be careful with R&D dollars, and that’s where the need comes in,” he said.
Nuvelution’s board of directors and advisors include a who’s who of former CEOs from Bayer, Teva and Sanofi, as well as the current CEO of Lycera. In addition, Barry Gertz, former Sr. VP of Global Clinical Development at Merck was named Chief Physician Scientist, and James Cornwall, former VP Corporate Development for Quintiles will be Chief Business Officer.
“Our goal is to make our risk-sharing collaboration approach to clinical development an essential tool for pharma and biotech companies to improve their R&D productivity,” he said. “The individuals involved in Nuvelution bring a unique understanding as to the ideal way to structure these collaborations given their extensive industry experience.”
The lineup of top executives on its board could tap a rich network of connections, and this idea of risk-sharing for clinical research may pick up steam. CROs (contract research organizations) in the past have struggled to adopt a similar model, though they have tried to take on more operational risks, rather than financial risks tied to particular assets.
CRO Ergomed is one of the few outsourcing companies that has agreed to pay for part of the cost of a Phase III clinical trial with its partner Aeterna Zentaris in return for potential profits.