We love companies that leverage disruptive technologies to solve real customer challenges. The Pharma industry faces many challenges, many of which stem from the cost of drugs. They’re an easy target for politicians and an under-insured public. To the extent that the Pharma industry can reduce the cost of their product while still benefitting from the valuable IP developed by discovering an effective drug, the narrative around the industry can change to one that highlights the good that medicine does for the world.
That is a major driver for why we invested in VeriSIM Life (VSL). VSL builds intelligent animal and human models to make the drug development process more efficient. FDA data shows that less than 10% of drugs that pass animal testing, a crucial initial step in the regulatory approval process, end up going to market. The core reason is that drugs don’t respond the same in human systems as they do in animal systems. Those failed drugs create massive R&D costs that need to be subsidized through the small number of drugs that do make it through the pipeline, a cost ultimately passed on to the end patient. VSL’s software helps drug companies make better-informed decisions heading into animal trials about how the drug will translate in future trials which leads to better outcomes.
VSL’s CEO, Jo Varshney, is uniquely qualified to lead the company with her experience as a veterinarian as well as a doctorate in genomics and computer science. We’re proud to back Jo and her team of engineers and scientists as they help drug companies not only bring better products to market faster but ultimately help to reduce the end cost to the customer.