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Signs of Movement in IBS Drug Development

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Despite Big Pharma's struggles, the availability of compounds developed for other pain indications could energize start-ups' interest in irritable bowel syndrome.

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Pharma's R&D Heartburn Spells Opportunity for GI-Focused Biotechs

Some Big Pharma have looked at the risk-reward equation for gastrointestinal R&D and they have opted out. But GI still represents a massive opportunity for Big Pharma, both in terms of its traditional primary care strengths and more recent forays into specialist medicine. This combination should open up new doors for GI-focused biotech players, several of which feel they can succeed where pharma has failed in tricky areas like IBS, with next generation drugs. Others have hitched their stars to commercially unvalidated targets, exploring new and potentially lucrative mechanisms of action.

Pharma's R&D Heartburn Spells Opportunity for GI-Focused Biotechs

Some Big Pharma have looked at the risk-reward equation for gastrointestinal R&D and they have opted out. But GI still represents a massive opportunity for Big Pharma, both in terms of its traditional primary care strengths and more recent forays into specialist medicine. This combination should open up new doors for GI-focused biotech players, several of which feel they can succeed where pharma has failed in tricky areas like IBS, with next generation drugs. Others have hitched their stars to commercially unvalidated targets, exploring new and potentially lucrative mechanisms of action.

Ocera Therapeutics Inc.

The founders of Ocera Therapeutics recognize that the medical needs of patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases are largely unmet, and they think they can do something about it. Their goal is to develop new therapeutic products for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and liver disease sufferers by in-licensing clinical-stage compounds with promising efficacy and safety profiles.

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