Starting at discovery
Vivek Ramaswamy describes how Roivant is leveraging the scale of the pharmaceutical industry, and the mentality of a start-up, to help bring new and powerful medicines to market.
We’re culturally wired a little bit differently to most Pharma companies in that we don’t discover most of our drugs in-house. Rather, we view the entire world as our laboratory – because the real problem as we see it isn’t in the discovery of drugs – that’s happening in an inspiring way. The real problem is taking those discoveries, and translating them into becoming approved medicines that can actually reach patients and impact their lives. And to that end – the process is broken.
How are you different to other pharmaceutical companies?
What we’re trying to do is to borrow from the best of large scale Pharmaceutical companies, and some of the benefits of scale, but to pair that with the benefits of entrepreneurship, of small, scrappy nimble startups.
We build these things called Vants. Effectively, nimble, entrepreneurial, biotech or health tech companies in their own right, with their own leadership teams, their own operating teams that work on specific projects that advance say, a given medicine to patients.
We can work with any partner, any individual academic University, company start-up around the world to help them advance their project by using Roivant’s platform to take an existing discovery through development.
How do you see the industry changing in the near future?
Historically, the pharma industry’s model has been to deliver chronic therapies, drugs that you take once or twice or thrice a day, over the course of your lifetime.
Because of fundamental changes in science and genetic medicine, we’re going to see more one time therapies and even cures.
As a consequence, I think we’re going to see more and more pharma companies, really thinking about problems beyond just developing individual medicines, and moving on to the healthcare of the patient more holistically.
We couldn’t have imagined cures of the kinds that we can deliver with new gene therapies, with new RNA based medicines. Now it’s possible.
And I think we have to really think about a new narrative for what life itself looks like in a world where people are living longer.