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patent protections, has been published in a renowned academic journal, has been validated through various pre-clinical tests, and even human studies. Also, the scientist who discovered the molecule can raise his or her profile on the firm’s system if he or she has built a portfolio of key discoveries and has other credentials such as a doctorate from a respected school.
So your last name doesn’t have to be Baltimore, Langer, or Sharp for someone to take notice of you with this software. (Yet given all those three guys have published and patented during their careers, their names and are prominent in the firm’s system. Langer, for example, is highly rated under searches for experts in drug delivery and nanotechnology, Greenwald says. He adds that the firm isn’t yet releasing numeric scores on individual scientists, however.)
The startup is already generating revenue from a beta version of its software, which has been used for a select number of biopharma clients. Greenwald says that one of his early clients, who he declined to name, has used the technology to search for a specific type of compound, and the group ended up finding and licensing one with the results of their search. Indeed, the firm’s “BD Live!” application for business development outfits automates much of the search and analyses that can take PhDs and MDs weeks if not months to accomplish, Greenwald says.
Relay plans to make money from its business development application with a subscription model. The idea of giving each compound or scientific discovery a numeric score certainly differentiates it from search engines for scientific literature such as Cambridge, MA-based Pubget’s website and Google Scholar. Yet a question will be how many business development groups will be willing to pay for that extra analysis that Relay offers.
Still, Relay isn’t banking solely on the business development market. Greenwald and his colleagues are also planning applications of their technology for human resources recruitment, intellectual property professionals, and technology licensing offices in biotech. The firm also believes that its technology could be engineered to perform analyses for other customers in science-oriented fields outside of biotech like chemicals and medical devices.
Relay, which has been bootstrapped, is now searching for investors to help fund the launch and sales of BD Live.
Larry Miller, the CEO and co-founder of Newton, MA-based health IT startup MedNetworks, and a board member at Relay, said in an e-mail that Relay has a good chance of being successful.
“There is no ‘clearinghouse’ for life science technology to connect universities and biotechs with pharmaceuticals and other later stage development companies,” Miller wrote. “It still runs like a cottage industry, relying on a combination of business development professionals with a nose for good technology, and serendipity. Relay can fill this gap.”
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