Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Merck, Pfizer, Lilly Form New Company to Speed Development of Drug-Discovery Tools

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Eli Lilly said today that they have partnered with PureTech Ventures to create a new firm called Enlight Biosciences that will focus on the development of new drug-discovery technologies. 
 
The three pharmas and PureTech have ponied up a total of $39 million that Enlight will direct toward “breakthrough technologies that can fundamentally alter drug discovery and development.”
 
Enlight is focused on “pre-competitive” technology that will “connect preclinical research, clinical development, and medical practice,” according to a company statement.
 
The company noted that despite the recent emergence of “vital enabling technologies” such as PCR, PET, RNAi, and gene microarrays, “over the last few years most traditional life science investors have focused their funding on late-stage therapeutic programs.”
 
As a result, Enlight said, “important technologies that could be of great strategic impact to the pharmaceutical industry are not being commercialized.”
 
Enlight said it has already begun technology-development programs in the areas of molecular imaging, biologics, and drug delivery, and is planning to launch programs in other areas.
 
The company’s website lists a range of “areas of interest” under the categories of imaging and biomarkers, safety and toxicology, predictive models, chemistry and biochemistry, synthesis and production, formulation and delivery, and biologic platforms.
 
In the “biomarker” category, for example, Enlight is interested in developing “systems biology/multi-marker patterns, protein/antibody arrays, label-free binding assay methods, [and] platforms for patient segmentation.”
 
Rod MacKenzie, senior vice president of Pfizer Global R&D, said in a statement that the effort should help develop “breakthrough technologies” that will enable innovation in biopharmaceutical science, which he described as “an urgent priority” for drug-makers.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.