TECHNOLOGY SPONSOR: Venture Capital & Private Equity
Dynamk Capital, one of That's Nice's Road to 2021 sponsors, discusses how the company is envisioning the future of the pharma/biopharma industry.
Our team is incredibly proud of the part we play in life sciences and the work we do in support of partner companies that supply critical technologies that biopharma innovators rely upon. This is ingrained in our culture as entrepreneurs — whether we are supporting recruiting, product development, outsourcing, or positioning for a strategic acquisition — we live and breathe life sciences. Our growth plan includes building our own teams in key markets to support our mission and ensure that Dynamk Capital is the go-to sponsor for life science industrials.
Every day, we look for ways to help our partner companies add value by solving the toughest challenges facing biopharma innovators to bring life-enhancing and lifesaving therapeutics to patients.
We are closely monitoring the integration of drug substance and drug products in-house with drug development and manufacturing, a shift from the traditional approach that generally involves outsourcing to third-party fill-finish. The underlying trend is for innovators and producers to continue to outsource non-value activities to third parties, such as CDMOs and fill-finish partners. We believe that CDMOs that continue to speed timelines from gene to manufacturing to delivery of released product have a competitive advantage.
We are actively investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which have enormous potential in the discovery and development of novel therapies.
We are actively investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which have enormous potential in the discovery and development of novel therapies. Envisagenics, one of Dynamk’s earliest portfolio companies, is using ML to address genetic diseases caused by RNA splicing errors with their SpliceCoreTM platform. AI and ML will come into play as digitally identical process models (i.e., digital twins to actual manufacturing processes) become a reality. We are already seeing this in early stages and expect significant focus in this area through 2021 as manufacturers plan for the coming decade.
We are also exploring new technologies, several being commercialized by our portfolio companies, that are using non-viral–based mechanisms to introduce gene-editing payloads. This could potentially eliminate the need for viral vectors in certain applications.
We recently invested in Lucid Scientific, who launched their RESIPHER smart handheld readers that sense real-time metabolic changes in response to potential therapeutics. The device provides valuable insights into cellular metabolism that are key for therapeutic discovery and drug safety considerations.
Ongoing Impacts of COVID-19
Owing to our focus on life science industrials, our overarching investment thesis has not changed as a result of the pandemic, but there have been tactical shifts necessary to adjust to our new reality. As COVID-19 hit initially, our priority was ensuring that our portfolio companies were well-positioned and funded to ride out any potential adverse effects and to take advantage of programs where their technologies could make a difference. We saw that very clearly with our partner company RoosterBio supplying critical MSCs and optimized cell culture media and development services to those actively developing therapies for ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and related COVID-19 complications.
It quickly became obvious that life science leaders were proving their resilience. COVID-19 underscored the importance of tools, technologies, and services already critical to biopharma; biopharma is relying on these innovations and technologies with increased intensity. The industry has more immediate needs, from development and supply of diagnostics, to therapeutics and potential vaccines. In the short term, it was critical that supply chains, production, and quality teams were able to meet these increasing demands.