Scientist.com (formerly Assay Depot) is allegedly the world’s largest scientific services marketplace. The marketplace simplifies research sourcing, saves time and money, and showcases innovative tools and technologies – while maintaining full compliance with an organization’s procurement policies. They currently operate private marketplaces for 12 large pharmaceutical companies and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Other clients include hundreds of small pharmaceutical companies, government organizations, research universities, biotechnology companies, regional bio-clusters and academic labs.
Scientist.com said May 15 that it raised $24 million in equity financing co-led byLeerink Transformation Partners and 5AM Ventures. Heritage Provider Network, Bootstrap Ventures and Hollywood producer Jack Giarraputo also participated. Scientist.com, of San Diego, is a marketplace for outsourced research.Christian Atwood, private equity partner at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, acted as legal advisor to Leerink.
The ongoing need and opportunity to improve pharmaceutical R&D efficiency is well documented. Last year marked a six-year low for new drug approvals; the industry spent $150 billion on R&D in 2016 but produced only 22 new medicines – well below the five-year average (2012-2016) of 29. The cost of bringing a single new drug to market has now reached as much as $7 billion, and profit margins have declined precipitously over the last 20 years.
“It is too expensive and time-consuming to bring new drugs to market,” said Jared Kesselheim, Managing Partner of LTP. “The outsourcing platform built by Scientist.com has enabled pharmaceutical companies to run drug programs in less time and at a fraction of today’s cost. We expect the marketplace to continue to be a game-changer for life science research, creating huge efficiencies for pharma companies and the entire scientific community.”
Scientist.com connects buyers and sellers of pharmaceutical research services, showcases the latest innovative tools and technologies and streamlines the entire ‘source-to-settle’ process. The company currently has multi-year partnerships with 12 of the top 25 large pharmaceutical companies and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Thousands of commercial suppliers (CROs) have already joined the Scientist.com network.
“We are fundamentally changing the way drug R&D is conducted,” said Kevin Lustig, PhD, President and CEO of Scientist.com. “Pharmaceutical company researchers can now outsource everything but the genius™, limited only by their imagination in the experiments they carry out. This investment will help us expand our seasoned team of industry experts and bring even more simplification and innovation to drug research.”
Scientist.com is extending the benefits of its platform to smaller, early-stage biopharmaceutical companies. An increasing number of biopharma start-ups are outsourcing many or all the laboratory tests, services and studies needed to run a complex, multi-year drug discovery and development program. A private marketplace located at app.scientist.com enables these virtual companies to run an entire drug program, from concept to clinic, using only their laptop computers and mobile phones.
“Scientist.com is pioneering a dramatically more efficient approach to drug research, enabling both large and small biopharmaceutical companies,” stated Paul Stone, 5AM Partner. “By solving the primary challenges currently facing the drug industry – how to effectively develop more medicines while reducing costs – the company has created a game-changing platform for all life science research.”