Pharma companies have increasingly relied on innovative biotech startups to bolster their pipeline. The global small-molecule drug discovery market reached $25B in 2019 and is expected to grow to $50B by 2027. Think's business model is to partner with pharma companies to build precisely targeted, readily synthesizable molecules. For a drug target of interest, standard partnership models consist of an upfront fee with long-term development milestones and royalties. Just for the SHP2 (similar class to PTP1B) market, there have been several partnerships with deal values exceeding $500M. Synthetic biology is a growing field that designs microbes to confer capabilities outside their native function. Proof-of-concept has been demonstrated in elusive target, PTP1B, which is implicated in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer. Further development will focus on optimizing the two novel drug scaffolds and expanding the platform to other key protein classes.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown cause, occurring primarily in older adults. IPF is a fatal disease with median survival at 3-5 years. While there exist several clinical approaches to treating IPF, few therapeutics have been clinically proven to provide significant benefits to patients. Eleven P15 is uniquely positioned for early detection and early intervention of IPF. The pivotal discovery of a common polymorphism in the promoter of MUC5B (rs35705950) has been associated with IPF and pulmonary fibrosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and this polymorphism increases the production of mucus.