In just the last 100 years the world has witnessed more advances in medical science than in all previous history of humankind. These remarkable breakthroughs translate into people living longer and healthier lives — and yet, with all the scientific achievements attained, all the diseases conquered, all the medical advancements realized, for many in need the speed of discovery seems excruciatingly slow, because there are still over 7,000 diseases worldwide for which there are no effective treatments.
The pharmaceutical industry is working hard to find cures, but it can take years and cost billions of dollars just to bring one new drug to market. At Martin Pharmaceuticals we are passionate about developing life-changing medications for patients with rare diseases or challenging medical conditions by uncovering already-approved drugs that may benefit patients facing a different need than originally intended for that medication, then advancing development of that drug in a new indication, with the objective of out-licensing, collaborating or selling the program to a major pharmaceutical company that has a focus in that area.
Our mission is to make a real difference in peoples’ lives, turning hope into answers.
BENEFITS OF REPURPOSING DRUGS
By repurposing and extending an existing drug’s use, or through reformulating or improving the form of delivery of the drug, or by using it in combination with another compound, we can bring hope to a whole new population of patients and their families desperately searching for answers.
SPEED TO MARKET
Since drugs approved for other uses have already been tested in humans, detailed information is available on their pharmacology, formulation and safety. What is more, because repurposing builds upon previous research and development efforts, new candidate therapies may be able to start human trials quicker and, if approved, help address the needs of patients that much sooner.
FOCUS ON ORPHAN INDICATIONS
We also concentrate our discovery efforts on “orphan” indications. In the U.S. the Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs and biologics which affect fewer than 200,000 people per year. Orphan Drug Designation provides companies with, among other benefits, tax incentives and the exclusive right to commercialize the cure for a specific condition for a period of seven years without interference from potential competitors. Other countries have similar programs.
REDUCING TIME, COST & RISK OF BRINGING DRUGS TO MARKET
Fifty years ago, the entire new drug development process – from target identification to the registration of a new therapeutic, and on to commercialization – was typically performed by a single organization. Not so today. Half of all new major pharmaceutical companies’ drugs come from external sources.
There are a number of reasons for this. One of the biggest obstacles for the pharmaceutical industry is that it typically takes more than a decade to take a drug from discovery to market, and as such, it has become harder than ever for companies to justify tying up capital that long, especially publicly-held pharmaceutical companies. Most shareholders are patient, but not that patient. Moreover, from start to finish a drug development program can cost upwards of $2 billion.
In contrast, approval of an existing drug for a new use can be achieved in a much shorter time, occasionally as little as three to four years after a drug is designated to be repurposed, and at a fraction of that cost.
Additionally, a universal problem pharmaceutical companies face is dependence on patents and other exclusivity rights that have a finite life. As those expire, as market share and margins are assailed by competitors, portfolios of these companies need to be constantly replenished with new assets – a never-ending challenge.
As a result, most pharmaceutical companies actively seek to acquire proven late-stage assets from third-party drug developers to complement and improve in-house R&D efforts and productivity, strengthening their product pipelines and better ensuring a steady stream of new drugs and future revenues.
A MISSION WITH A PURPOSE
By pursuing a strategy of repurposing drugs to augment pharmaceutical companies’ pipelines and thus provide much needed treatments to patients faster, Martin Pharmaceutical plays an essential role in helping advance the practice of medicine for the betterment of all society – while building value for our shareholders.