BioCurate aims to draw upon the expertise of industry and the sector to help guide and progress projects, to educate and develop researchers, and to facilitate new collaborations. For industry, there are several opportunities in which to become involved, whether it be during or after each step of BioCurate’s formal review process. The focus at each stage of review is summarised as follows:
- Initial screening – Projects are submitted to BioCurate in a half-yearly BioCurate Opportunity Assessment (BOA) process and are reviewed for scientific & medical soundness from a commercial perspective. Feedback is provided to researchers to help them understand the potential for impact (e.g. does their project address an unmet need?) and risk (e.g. do they have a validated target?)
- Proof of Concept (POC) Fund – This Fund specifically supports early-stage projects where preliminary data may not be comprehensive, but supportive of the target and approach. Following BOA review, the Fund will assist with additional experimental validation to address identified developmental gaps. Upon review of the POC final report, projects may proceed to an EOI application, straight to an Exclusive Evaluation and License Agreement and formal in-licensing to the BioCurate portfolio, or into another round of POC funding.
- Expressions of Interest (EOI) – Projects deemed medically sound and commercially attractive are shortlisted and a full Expression of Interest submitted (by researchers and University BD/TTOs working together).
- Tier 1 Review – Once a formal EOI is submitted, the BioCurate team and relevant external consultants conduct a comprehensive review into the science and commercial potential, inclusive of regulatory and clinical development path.
- Tier 2 Review – With a verified link between the target and human disease, evaluation and planning for new therapeutic development can occur.
- Tier 3 Review(s) – Data is evaluated utilising the expertise, where required, of select international industry experts, and a plan for an international standard (“IND-ready”) preclinical package is formulated.
BioCurate aims to complement, rather than compete with, the Venture Capital and biopharma- industry investment sectors by improving the quality and quantity of ‘investment-ready’ assets in the new drug project pipeline that are available for investment and partnering. BioCurate’s industry engagement strategy commenced implementation in 2018.
These relationships have provided commercial insight and additional national and international recognition for BioCurate. This has further reinforced the reputation and credibility of the team that the Universities have assembled, within the international biopharmaceutical sector.
Currently, BioCurate has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the following biopharmaceutical companies and organisations: