Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., cofounder and CEO of Science Exchange told us the rationale behind the strategic partnership with the life sciences accelerator, IndieBio, is two-fold.
“First, it levels the playing field for the startup companies that are a part of this incubator,” she said, as the Science Exchange provides small startups with access to the same contract research organizations (CROs) and scientific service providers used by big pharma companies also leveraging the company’s platform.
As part of the platform for outsourced research, more than 2,500 providers operate under pre-established legal agreements that protect intellectual property (IP), outline confidentiality obligations, and ensure compliance, she explained.
The platform provides companies with access to competitive bids, after which Science Exchange helps facilitate the contracts process and upon project completion, expedites payment processing.
“Because they don’t have to seek out additional resources for contracting, compliance, and payments for their research projects, IndieBio’s startups can scale their approaches to research, while at the same time, remaining lean and nimble,” said Iorns.
“We are giving innovative startups access to a wide range of scientific services, as well as the contracting, compliance and payments support they need to complete their important research projects,” she added.
Addressing part two of the partnership rationale, Iorns said the incubator organizations help surface innovations in research and development – “new biotechnology tools and new approaches that are then available to all of the Science Exchange network,” she added. “This is great for all of scientific research.”
Science Exchange has already launched the private marketplace for IndieBio, whose four-month acceleration program provides funding, mentorship, and access to bio-safety labs.
“We’ll be providing onsite scientific support to help incubator companies develop their project parameters, and then connect them with the right innovative service providers on our platform, or bring on new service providers who will meet their needs,” Iorns explained.
Investment for small and large
Science Exchange also recently announced $28m in Series C funding. According to the company, it has raised more than $58m since its inception in 2011 since which time Iorn said its mission has been to improve the quality and efficiency of research and to promote collaboration between scientists.
“Even though today Science Exchange is known for working with large biopharmaceutical companies to support the management of outsourced R&D across the enterprise, we have our roots in helping small, startup biotech and biopharma companies succeed,” she said.
Iorns commented the agreement with IndieBio demonstrates that the company is focused on not only large customers but smaller startups as well. “We have a commitment and willingness to work with even the smallest of companies,” she said. “There are no limitations to what we’ll do to help advance innovation and efficiency in R&D.”