Member Spotlight: Q&A with MD Biosciences

Oct 01, 2020

Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. In October, we spoke with Anya Moradian, Vice President of Business Development, MD Biosciences Neuro, who leads business development locally in Cambridge and across the United States.

Tell us about your organization, its mission, and current initiatives.

MD Biosciences Neuro is an industry-leading provider of preclinical and translational research services focused on the development of pharmaceutical and diagnostic assets. Established in 2006 in Israel, we recently inaugurated our business presence in Cambridge, MA to interact more closely and directly with our sponsors and partners.  We provide services across a range of therapeutic areas and specialize in neurology and pain. MD Biosciences Neuro aims to develop predictive and translational preclinical models and methodologies to improve approval rates in clinical trials and provide safe and effective treatments for patients. As a leader in this field, we are continuously advancing our depth of services and are currently focused on growing partnerships locally in Cambridge.

How does your organization’s activities help patients now and into the future?

We are expanding our range of translational models so that our partners can use preclinical research as a reliable predictor for clinical trial results. We have established models and methods that help build a complete story of neurological disease and effective treatments with the potential to impact patients immediately. We regularly perform in vivo electrophysiology in our rodent models, which provides quantifiable measures for neurological disease severity, pain side effects, and treatment effects. We also heavily emphasize our translational pig models, as this species shares valuable similarities with humans, including skin and neurological characteristics. We have developed models for neuropathic pain, post-operative pain, and wound healing and have helped our partners achieve success in clinical trials. These results are directly impacting patients and we are looking forward to more opportunities in advancing translational research.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

One of the challenges we have in the life sciences industry is improving the approval rate of neurology and pain treatments. While our understanding of neurology is growing, there are still several limitations. Compared to other therapeutic areas, there are fewer predictive models, fewer known biomarkers that help quantify disease, and a narrow scope of human data. Consequently, the development of neurological treatments heavily depends on qualitative and subjective measures, which is an inadequate predictor of disease and treatment. MD Biosciences Neuro is combatting this challenge by developing novel quantitative measures that help de-risk clinical trials. Our translational models are more predictive than traditional rodent models, and we expect improved approval rates as a result.

What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?

We are currently expanding our services in Cambridge and are interested in pursuing collaborative opportunities that will advance drug discovery in neurology and pain. We are continuously developing novel models and methodologies that will help our partners achieve preclinical translatability and clinical success.

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