Alex AlexakisAlex Alexakis

Building the Digital Backbone for Pharma Process Development

The pharmaceutical industry is changing. Technological and scientific advancements have led to new types of therapies, a rise in biotechnology, and a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape. To thrive in this market, speed, coupled with efficient operations, has become a mantra on the lips of pharmaceutical executives who aim to deliver breakthrough therapies to the market faster than ever before.

This new modus operandi has put a strain on R&D and manufacturing teams from small biotech to big pharma. Investments in lab automation, AI, and robotics are increasing, yet pharma process development – all steps and protocols scientists follow to turn chemical compounds into safe commercial products – is typically characterized by archaic processes and lagging adoption of digital tools.

The scope of pharma process development is broad, and its role is vital. It relates to the drug’s quality control, delivering the desired result consistently across batches and providing assurance to regulatory authorities such as the FDA and EMA that the drug can be reliably produced to meet stringent standards. Still, it’s mainly driven by empirical knowledge of previously successful methods and the tacit expertise of scientists, leading to prolonged timelines for launching new products to market and sometimes even failing to pass regulatory checks, costing companies millions of dollars.

Antonio Benedetti and Harry Christodoulou studied chemical engineering before starting a career at the intersection of pharma R&D and manufacturing at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in London. They teamed up with Antonio Yankey, a chemical engineer turned software engineer building products for hundreds of millions of users. The three of them founded PolyModels Hub mid-last year and embarked on a journey to empower scientists with AI tools to model, simulate, and get access to insights across pharma process development – all inside a collaborative platform made for pharma. 

The team, which brings unique chemical and software engineering expertise, has already partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies to digitally design and run in-silico simulations for new and existing medicines. Such simulations directly impact key decisions on the quality attributes of drugs, accelerating time to market and saving millions in process development costs. Ultimately, PolyModels Hub aims to build the digital backbone for pharma process development and help scientists do research, collaborate, build, and manage their drug portfolios all in one platform.

In a short time, they have also managed to build an audience of pharma researchers through the community part of their platform, where scientists can highlight and discuss the latest tools of the trade, finding and rating papers with scientific models and pharma process development best practices.

PolyModels Hub today announces the completion of a GBP 1.1 million seed round by Marathon Venture Capital. As part of the round, the team will grow to help accelerate an ambitious product roadmap as well as build up its go-to-market and customer success capabilities.

As the pharmaceutical industry races to innovate and launch more new products for the increasingly complex and segmented patient market faster, the time has come to rethink how drugs are developed. PolyModels Hub is on a mission to help organisations manage their drug portfolios and accelerate time to market, and we look forward to working with the team to deliver on this mission.