Venture capitalist launches company to bring drug prices down

Venture capitalist Alexis Borisy launched a new company, EQRx, Jan. 13 with the goal of bringing drug costs down, according to STAT.

The company's strategy is to create new drugs that mimic the effects of current best-selling ones, bring them to market as quickly as possible and sell them to insurers and large hospital systems at a discount.

Because EQRx's drugs will be based on existing drugs, Mr. Borisy told STAT they will be cheaper to develop, allowing EQRx to make a profit despite selling the drugs for less money. 

Mr. Borisy, who is based in Boston and who co-founded two other companies, Foundation Medicine and Blueprint Medicines, told STAT he will call EQRx's drugs "equivalars," meaning they're designed to be like an existing blockbuster drug but have their own intellectual property. They won't violate the patents of the drugs they are made to mimic, and will be protected by their own patents. 

The biggest question, however, is whether payers and big hospital systems will be willing to buy his equivalars, since they tend to be hesitant about switching to new drugs just because they're cheaper, STAT reported. 

Mr. Borisy, who will serve as both CEO and chairman of EQRx, told STAT the company has raised $200 million from top tech and biotech investors. His goals are to have the company develop about 50 drugs within the next 10 years, bring the first drug to market within five years, and have 10 drugs on the market within a decade. 

Co-founders of EQRx include Peter Bach, MD, director for the center for health policy and outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Sandra Horning, MD, former CMO of Roche. 

Read the full article here

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