Enabling Technologies for Major Platform Potential

Jun 29, 2019 | Blog


Issue #35. Saturday, June 29

Hello Everyone,

For this edition of the Zoic newsletter, we will be highlighting several deals in the diagnostic and device therapeutic spaces. We will also be starting with a deal in the drug discovery area, which is a field of pharmaceuticals that fits within our thesis.

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Enabling Technologies For Major Platform Potential

We normally do not invest in technologies or companies that are proceeding through the standard pharmaceutical regulatory approval process. However, we have previously highlighted deals in this space that have an accelerated approval process, such as immunotherapies, that would fit our thesis. Another category is drug discovery technologies. As these are enabling technologies that can have major platform potential, and yet do not require regulatory approval themselves, these could fit out thesis. Furthermore, there is a great deal of activity in this space as new drug discovery mechanisms are found and, in particular, assisted by AI and machine learning.

Back to the device field, there are still new mechanisms of action for treating conditions. We have previously highlighted directed energy, such as using electrical and magnetic impulses to treat, for example, mental conditions. Another field is applying new environments, such as high concentrations of oxygen to treat heart infarctions. Super-saturation of oxygen has been successful in treating open wounds for many years, and devices such as this can accelerate internal tissue damage now.

In the field of diagnostics, it is clear that it, not just the systems themselves that are valuable but the data gathered from them. In many cases, the deals we follow on or invest in this space start with a piece of unique hardware. This hardware, though, rapidly becomes more important as a source of data collection, rather than the primary source of revenue. Gathering more data, on both an individual level and a population scale, will lead to better discoveries and predictions, such as with infectious diseases including the flu.

Another company in the diagnostic space that we have been following iseMurmur. This is a promising technology that, using just a smartphone, can detect heart murmurs and provide physician training. The predictive capability of the platform and, as just mentioned, the data gathered can have tremendous value in preventing more serious conditions. What we would look for in this case to better fit our thesis would be more unique hardware IP to better protect the system, particularly in securing the data collection.

Lastly, we cover an innovative new combination of diagnostic and therapeutic technology. A while ago, we talked about using imaging and spectroscopy to detect cancerous cells. The promise of spectroscopy, combined with modern hardware, is that this detection can occur instantaneously and at low cost. This technology takes the concept even further by both detect free circulating tumor cells in the blood and, once detected, eliminates them with certain wavelengths. A very interesting platform that, much like other technologies we have covered in oncology, can change the way we think about cancer treatment.

What We’re Reading
Accumulated Mutations Create A Cellular Mosaic In Our Bodies
Enzymes That Can Transform Blood Type A to O Found in Human Gut Biome
Marc Andreessen And Bradley Tusk Invest In New $25 Million Vices Fund
Amgen and University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design Team Up to Build Better Cancer Drugs

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