Sept. 13, 2021

EP30 - BenchSci wants to bring new medicine to patients 50% faster with Simon Smith

EP30 - BenchSci wants to bring new medicine to patients 50% faster with Simon Smith

For anybody who is not familiar with it, there is a real productivity crisis in the pharmaceutical industry and they have even given it a name, which is Eroom's law, the opposite of Moore's law. Moore's law states that every 18-24 months, the amount of transistors you can get for the same or lower price doubles. In pharmaceutical, R&D is the opposite. Every 18 months, the price of getting a new drug to market DOUBLES!

The goal of BenchSci is to help bring new medicine to patients 50% faster by 2025. They are solving the problem that about 80% of preclinical R&D experiments in pharma are unnecessary. Why is this important? Well, upwards of 1% of the global economy, and 10% of the G7's economies as measured in GDP are tied to pharmaceuticals, and it is growing faster than inflation. They are trying to solve it by using machine learning to read scientific literature like a Ph.D. scientist, then use the knowledge to guide scientists to run more successful (and therefore fewer) experiments.

There aren't a lot of companies like BenchSci that are saying, well, we're not really trying to help find new biological targets or generate new drugs or optimize clinical trials. What they do is help scientists run better experiments, to move more quickly from having novel targets to testing that novel drug and getting it into the clinical environment.

Simon Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer at BenchSci, where he oversees all of their marketing including commercial marketing, product marketing, employer branding, communications, events, and creative and content. He joined the company when it was just about 19 people and a few hundred-scientist users; they are now at nearly 200 people, and over 41,000 scientist users. Prior to BenchSci, Simon was the SVP Strategy at Klick Health, where he led digital strategy for a portfolio of pharmaceutical products, including the US launch of two novel drugs. His career spans over two decades working at the intersection of technology, life science, and communications. His passion about applying emerging technologies to improve human health, longevity, and wellbeing is what makes me so excited to have him on the podcast today.

Oh, and did I say BenchSci is backed by F-Prime, Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), and Inovia Capital. The platform accelerates science at 15 top-20 pharmaceutical companies and over 4,300 leading research centers worldwide. They are a CIX Top 10 Growth company, a certified Great Place to Work®, and top-ranked company on Glassdoor.