Subscribe Become an Author Sign Up Log In

Andrii Buvailo

Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief

Andrii Buvailo is a pharmaceutical industry analyst and writer, focusing on emerging companies (startups), technologies and trends in drug discovery, as well as R&D outsourcing. His articles were published on Forbes.com, and market research reports were referenced by some of the leading life science organizations.

Andrii is a Director of Ecommerce at Enamine Ltd -- a global supplier of fine chemicals and contract research services for the pharmaceutical industry. In this role he is involved in IT-management (ecommerce applications and systems), sales management and marketing activities, related to supporting drug discovery organizations across the globe with innovative chemicals and research services. Apart from his role at Enamine, he oversees BiopharmaTrend.com, and industry analytics consultancy.

He received a master's degree in Inorganic Chemistry and a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. He spent a year at Prof. Eric Borguet Group at Temple University Department of Chemistry developing gas sensor and biosensor systems, He also participated in numerous scientific projects in Ukraine, Belgium, and Germany (DAAD, Horizon 2020, NATO, CRDF grants), and published in high-impact research journals. Andrii has hands-on experience in structural and coordination chemistry, surface science, physical chemistry, nanomaterials and gas sensors, as well as bioinorganic chemistry. He received extensive theoretical training in molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, and computer-aided drug discovery.

   

Selected posts from Editor

3 Ways Big Data and Machine Learning Revolutionize Drug Discovery

The Internet media is trending now with numerous mentions of “big data”, “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” all together destined to revolutionize pharmaceutical and biotech industries and the way drugs are discovered. These new technologies are believed to make drug discovery cheaper, faster, and more productive.

But how is “magic” supposed to happen, after all?

Pharma R&D Outsourcing Is On The Rise

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly outsourcing research activities to academic and private contract research organizations (CROs) as a strategy to stay competitive and flexible in a world of exponentially growing knowledge, increasingly sophisticated technologies and an unstable economic environment.  

The R&D tasks that firms choose to outsource include a wide spectrum of activities from basic research to late-stage development: genetic engineering, target validation, assay development, hit exploration and lead optimization (hit candidates-as-a-service), safety and efficacy tests in animal models, and clinical trials involving humans.

According to a report by Clearwater International (autumn 2019), the global CRO market will potentially rise to a $45 billion industry by 2022, as compared to an estimated $30 billion valuation (by Objective Capital Partners), exhibiting the current rate of market growth of around 10% CAGR with projected acceleration up to 12%. This is in line with Vantage’s alliance benchmarking study, revealing that over 80% of bio-pharma respondents reported increased alliance activity compared to previous periods. Getting ideas and expertise from external sources is a well-established practice in the pharmaceutical industry with about one-third of all drugs in the pipelines of the top ten pharmaceutical companies initially developed elsewhere, according to a 2014 WSJ article by Jonathan D. Rockoff.  

19 Online Marketplaces Facilitating Life Science Research

(Last updated: 23.08.2018)

Online marketplaces are websites with a “many-to-many” business logic. They can host multiple suppliers trading with multiple buyers via different e-commerce tools available as a part of a website functionality.

Why are online marketplaces great?

Online marketplaces can provide a substantial added value to its users. For example, buyers can quickly compare and select better offerings without the need to research multiple websites and surf online for price comparisons or product specifications. Additionally, marketplaces bring more transparency, trust, and standardization to the whole process of sourcing.

How Pharma Reacts To Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

UPDATE April 04. 2020.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID19 approaches 1M globally. Since too many drug repurposing programs and vaccine development projects have been urgently initiated, we decided to summarize them in a separate post:

A Running List Of COVID-19 Treatments And Vaccines In Development

With this, we stop further updates of this news roll, all new COVID research will be reported the Running List -- stay safe and healthy!

 

UPDATE March 18, 2020:

BREAKING: China says a flu drug favipiravir approved in Japan was effective in a study of 340 coronavirus patients. According to official sources, the drug is effective in mild or moderate cases. Patients treated with favipiravir  turned Covid-19-negative after a median of 4 days since the initial positive test -- which is a substantial improvement compared with a median of 11 days for the untreated patients. X-rays examinations confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients treated with favipiravir vs 62% or those without the treatment.

Favipiravir formula

UPDATE March 17, 2020: The first clinical trial for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine has started in the US from today on -- for mRNA based vaccine developed through a partnership between the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Moderna Therapeutics. Notwithstanding the record-breaking speed for this Phase 1 clinical trial to have begun, the vaccine will be available to the general public not earlier than a year from now, in the best-case scenario. 

 

UPDATE March 14, 2020: FDA Approves Roche’s Coronavirus Test, which will speed up testing by an order of magnitude. This is the first commercially-available test which takes around 3.5 hours. 

A detailed live statistics for Wuhan coronavirus shows the current number of 155,209 cases, 5,811 deaths, 74,262 recovered. A full list of biotech companies rallying in this space -- at the end of this post.

UPDATE Feb 5, 2020: 

Utah medtech Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: CODX), a developer of a test for the Wuhan virus strain 

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) has already shipped synthetic genes for use in the pursuit of coronavirus vaccines, and customized oligonucleotide probes and primers to help accurately detect the Wuhan virus.

Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) uses proprietary technology to treat the SARS strain, currently looking to adapt its approach to the novel virus

- Distributed Bio is developing Centivax, a new kind of universal vaccine, but it is unclear how and when it can be applied to the current strain

GenScript is freely offering to researchers a qRT-PCR detection assay based test for coronavirus, which might be helpful to detect infection early

Mammoth Biosciences develops a toolbox for the next generation of CRISPR-based diagnostics, partners with SF based researchers developing a precise diagnostics test against coronavirus.

Sherlock Biosciences is a biotech startup developing CRISPR-based test for coronaviruses -- it requires a blood, urine, or saliva sample for the analytics.

AbCellera is trying to identify antibodies that can neutralize the virus and block transmission.

 

 

UPDATE Feb 04, 2020: A number of biotech companies also join the race to develop treatments or vaccines against Wuhan coronavirus, including US biotech companies such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Vir Biotechnology. Regeneron studies a combination of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies REGN3048 and REGN3051, while Vir is "working to rapidly determine whether its previously identified anti-coronavirus monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) bind and neutralize 2019-nCoV, also referred to as 'Wuhan coronavirus.'" Shares of Vir Biotechnology surged as much as 38% upon announcement to join the race.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, a total death toll raised up to 427, with more than 20.500 infected people confirmed globally.

UPDATE Jan 31, 2020: WHO declared Wuhan coronavirus a global health emergency, hours after the first registered case of human-to-human transmission in the US. A total death toll raised 213, with almost 10,000 cases confirmed globally.

 

A Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was first reported in early January 2020 and since that time more than 4,500 people have been confirmed to be infected, and 106 dead (actual as of Jan 28th) -- primarily in an 11 million city of Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province Hubei. More than 70 cases were reported in 17 other places outside China, including at least 5 cases in the US. 

What is Wuhan coronavirus?

Wuhan virus (WHO 2019nCoV) is a positive sense, single stranded RNA beta coronavirus, a member of Beta-CoV lineage B (subgenus Sarbecovirus), supposedly able for human-to-human transmission -- according to Zhong Nanshan, head of the health commission team which investigates the outbreak. The RNA sequence is around 30 kb in length. 

Top AI in Pharma and Healthcare Conferences in 2020 You Can’t Miss

Artificial intelligence (machine learning and deep learning, to be more specific) has become widely discussed topics in the area of life sciences and healthcare over the last several years and the excitement keeps growing. While a lot of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations express considerable interest in possible new opportunities, associated with the use of artificial intelligence for early drug discovery, clinical trial optimization, and business intelligence, a considerable gap still exists when it comes to understanding new technologies by pharmaceutical professionals and leaders. The key questions here are these:

  • What machine learning / AI can and can’t do for the pharmaceutical industry

  • What should be done to harness practical and measurable value out of machine learning / AI?

  • How it should be done and what are the timelines for getting returns on investments? 

How Big Pharma Adopts AI To Boost Drug Discovery

(Last updated 08.10.2018)

The type of artificial intelligence (AI) which scares some of the greatest minds, like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, is called “general artificial intelligence” -- the one which can “think” pretty much like humans do, and which can quickly evolve into a dangerous “superintelligence”. There is a notion that it might be invented in the nearest decades, but today we are definitely not there yet. The AI which is making headlines these days is a “narrow artificial intelligence”, a limited type of machine “intelligence” able to solve only a specific task or a group of tasks. It can’t go anywhere beyond specifics of the problem for which it is designed, so apparently, it will not hurt anyone in the nearest time. But already now it can provide meaningful practical results on those narrow tasks, like natural language processing, image recognition, controlling self-driving cars, and helping develop new drugs more efficiently. With the ability to find hidden and unintuitive patterns in vast amounts of data in ways that no human can do, AI represents a considerable promise to transform many industries, including pharma and biotech.  

Top 7 Trends In Pharmaceutical Research In 2018

Being under ever-increasing pressure to compete in a challenging economic and technological environment, pharmaceutical and biotech companies must continually innovate in their R&D programmes to stay ahead of the game.

External innovations come in different forms and originate in different places -- from university labs, to privately held venture capital-backed startups and contract research organizations (CROs). Let’s get to reviewing some of the most influential research trends which will be “hot” in 2018 and beyond, and summarize some of the key players driving innovations.

2018: AI Is Surging In Drug Discovery Market

Updated: 10.01.2019. Newly added content is marked in the text with "Update" sign.

The idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate drug discovery process and boost a success rate of pharmaceutical research programs has inspired a surge of activity in this area over the last several years. In 2018, things are getting even “hotter” with the increase in the amount of partnerships, investments and other important events, summarized and grouped below into “mini-trends”.

Current State of AI in Pharma: Key Achievements Beyond Hype

/Last update -- 24 Dec 2019/

A background context -- opportunities and challenges

Current widespread interest towards artificial intelligence (AI) and its numerous research and commercial successes was largely catalyzed by several landmark breakthroughs in 2012, when researchers at the University of Toronto achieved unprecedented improvement in the image classification challenge ImageNet, using their deep neural network “AlexNet” running on graphics processing units (GPUs), and when that same year Google’s deep neural network managed to identify a cat from millions of unlabeled Youtube videos, representing a conceptual step in unsupervised machine learning.