Growing External Innovation – Partnering within the Biotech Ecosystem to Foster Innovation in Neuroscience

Published on Nov 9, 2021
Meghan Fleming

Don’t stop believing

Neuroscience is a challenging therapeutic area – but thanks to external innovation there are still viable paths for advancing innovation.

Panelists from Amgen and ARCH Venture Partners spent this session discussing the role Venture Capital (VC) plays in advancing innovation in neuroscience, using Neumora Therapeutics as a case study. Neumora, the result of a collaboration between Amgen and ARCH Venture Partners, is pursuing precision medicine for neuroscience.

Neuroscience is, of course, a challenging area that many pharma companies have exited, including Amgen in 2019. However, there remains significant unmet medical need and a great deal of speculation that the area is poised for the same rapid progress seen in immunotherapy and cell and gene therapy in the last decade.

After their exit, Amgen sought to maintain a hand in neuroscience through other models. They had their choice of companies to work with but opted to focus on VC partners. According to Sahaj Madhav, Director, Business Development at Amgen,

“Today probably not more than 10% of all potentially fundable ideas be it of academic or think tank origin are going to be funded.”

Sahaj Madhav, Director, Business Development at Amgen.

To this end, Amgen collaborated with Atlas Ventures to out-license two programs to Vigil Neuroscience, and then collaborated with ARCH Venture Partners to out-license two programs, invest $100 million for equity and launch an R&D collaboration with Neumora.

Source: BIO-EUROPE Digital 2021 - Session


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