Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the pharma sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising gastrointestinal drug startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Gastrointestinal Drug Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of pharmaceuticals. For this research, we identified 153 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies are chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing gastrointestinal drugs. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 153 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
OrphoMed – Small Molecules
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, gastric ulcers, and hemorrhoids, affect millions of people globally. Small molecules are currently emerging as attractive candidates for the treatment of these diseases. Small molecules enable oral administration and intestinal drug delivery for ease-of-use and high efficacy, respectively.
OrphoMed is a US-based startup that develops dimer therapeutics based on small molecules. The startup utilizes a proprietary platform technology to generate conformationally stable dimers with the receptor pharmacology of the parent molecule. This solution enables improvements in the efficacy and safety of small-molecule drugs. The startup’s pipeline includes drugs for IBS and cystic fibrosis, as well as a liver-safe analgesic.
Enthera – Selective Inhibitors
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) often adversely affect the mucous membrane of the gut, leading to gastric erosion from prolonged use. Selective inhibitors target specific metabolic pathways that cause GI disorders to reverse the disease state. These drugs also have similar efficacy as NSAIDs but without their side effects.
Italian startup Enthera offers biologics for autoimmune disorders. Their solution is based on a pathway that involves the insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) and regulates stem cell apoptosis in the gut, pancreas, and other tissues. Enthera’s pipeline includes a selective inhibitor that downregulates autoimmune response in Type 1 diabetes and IBS.
Edesa Biotech – Secretory Phospholipases A2 (sPLA2) Inhibitors
sPLA2 are enzymes known to induce several inflammatory diseases by breaking down phospholipids into arachidonic acid. sPLA2 inhibitors, therefore, treat inflammation at its root rather than acting after inflammation occurs. Since their use does not lead to serious side effects or discontinuations, startups are exploring their use for the treatment of a range of GI disorders.
Edesa Biotech is a Canadian startup that develops treatments for anorectal and dermatological conditions. The startup’s solution inhibits sPLA2 so as to prevent the inflammatory process at its earliest stage. EB02, the leading candidate in their pipeline, is under investigation for the treatment of hemorrhoids. The startup is also working on an inhibitor drug for anal fissures.
Scioto Biosciences – Bacterial Therapeutics
In recent years, a lot of research has established the role of the gut microbiome in numerous gastrointestinal disorders. Further, many diseases of the gut are linked to changes in the composition of the gut microbiome. The introduction of particular beneficial bacteria has the potential to reverse the disease state. To this end, startups are exploring microbiome therapeutics for the treatment of GI disorders.
Scioto Biosciences is a US-based startup that provides microbiome therapeutics. It develops the Activated Bacterial Therapeutics (ABT) platform that allows the delivery of live therapeutic bacteria to the gut. The solution uses microparticles and a prebiotic load to ensure bacteria survive in the gut as a biofilm. The startup’s lead candidate is under investigation for the treatment of preterm infant gut dysbiosis, childhood obesity, and C. difficile infection.
BiomX – Phage Therapy
Another way to influence the gut microbiome is to eliminate harmful bacteria with viruses. Phage therapy is the use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections. Unlike antibiotics, phages are very specific and act on one or a few strains of bacteria. This enables pharma startups to develop therapies for precise interventions in the gut.
Israeli startup BiomX develops customized phage therapies for the treatment of diseases such as IBD and cancer. The solution uses phage discovery and advanced synthetic biology, as well as multi-dimensional optimization to develop a custom phage cocktail. BX003, a custom phage therapy in development, treats primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disorder associated with IBD.
What About The Other 148 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence that enables you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 gastrointestinal drug startups showcased above are promising examples out of 153 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.