NeuroKaire (formerly Genetika+): Transforming Digital Health with Precision Medicine Innovations

Pioneering the field of precision medicine, NeuroKaire (formerly Genetika+) employs state-of-the-art technology to transform extensive datasets into actionable insights, elevating patient outcomes and providing invaluable support to pharmaceutical companies

Precision Medicine
WriTten By
Maria Aguirre Galindo, Reuters Events
Published date
Sep 6, 2023

In an era defined by groundbreaking scientific advancements and a patient-centered approach to healthcare, Genetika+ emerges as a trailblazer at the forefront of precision medicine. The company has formed strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical enterprises to analyze patient neural responses through a simple blood test and provide valuable feedback to inform drug development decisions.

In a conversation with David Pattison, Director of Business Development, he elaborates on their approach, using cutting-edge brain-in-a-dish technology, Genetika+ is able to analyze neuronal connections and transform vast volumes of data into actionable insights. This approach has yielded remarkable results in the management of central nervous system disorders, with the company's focus on depression medications providing invaluable support to pharmaceutical companies.

The distinctive factor setting this company apart is its capability to transform vast volumes of data into actionable insights that profoundly shape the decisions of pharmaceutical enterprises. As David says, they have designed a platform “where pharma comes with a question that they're looking to translate data from, and we give them feedback from our platform to help make the decision”.

This approach not only enhances the accuracy of identifying treatment targets but also stands out in providing mechanistic insight and developing patient stratification strategies from validated human disease models. This forms the basis for precision medicine, an aspect that holds exceptional importance in both the current and future landscape of the pharmaceutical industry.

At the heart of this transformative journey are two visionary neuroscientists, Talia Cohen-Solal, Co-founder and CEO, and Daphna Laifenfeld, Co-founder and CSO. Driven by a mission to advance the understanding of brain activity to improve patient outcomes, they skillfully bridge the gap between scientific discovery, digital health innovation, and tangible patient benefits. Adding to the company's distinctiveness, Genetika+ takes immense pride in being a female-founded enterprise.

Shaping Personalized Drug Development

Genetika+ is on a mission to make medicine more personalized and effective by diving deep into the world of neuroscience to better understand diseases and treatments. Here's how they're making a difference:

At the core of Genetika+'s mission lies mechanistic insight derived directly from patients’ brain cells. Their approach leverages advanced network analysis techniques and computer vision to unravel the intricate mechanisms underlying brain-related diseases, thereby refining the selection of prospective therapeutic targets.

But Genetika+ doesn't stop there - they use patient neural response data to identify novel drug targets. By combining this information with patient clinical data, they not only identify those patients who are likely to respond optimally to treatment but also those who are most likely to tolerate the drug.

Patient stratification is another crucial focus for this startup. Having identified the optimal patient population, they are able to integrate this into a clinical offering for easy commercialization as a companion or complementary diagnostic.

Genetika+'s expertise demonstrates their commitment to helping the pharmaceutical industry evolve its precision medicine capabilities. As David highlights, understanding how a patient reacts to a medication "truly opens the door to personalized medicine." Their insights into neural reactions to diverse compounds and dosages empower the development of treatments customized to individual needs.

Revolutionizing Healthcare through Industry Partnerships

In today’s dynamic digital health landscape, pharmaceutical companies are facing the challenge of learning how to effectively team up with startups. Moving away from the habit of trying to develop everything in-house, the so-called “pilotitis” referring to the many pilots pharmaceutical companies have tried to execute, is crucial in building digital health solutions that can truly make a difference in patient care.  

It is time for pharmaceutical companies to take a step back and reevaluate their previous strategies, recognizing the need for more agile and collaborative approaches with startups. By embracing these partnerships, companies can gain access to fresh perspectives, innovative technologies, and specialized expertise that can vastly improve the development and implementation of impactful solutions.  

Genetika+'s journey serves as a powerful testament to the promise of collaborations between pharmaceutical enterprises and innovative startups. By sharing objectives, this partnership demonstrates that the sum is greater than its parts.

The Transformative Potential of Pharma-Startup Collaborations

By working together, pharmaceutical companies and startups, like Genetika+, are driving tangible changes in therapies, ultimately improving patient outcomes. These collaborations hold immense potential for reshaping the digital health landscape and pushing the boundaries of possibility.  

Collaboration forms the bedrock of effective partnerships between pharmaceutical leaders and startups. As David states, "The more we embrace collaboration, the better our outcomes." This underscores the importance of harnessing joint efforts and resources to achieve shared goals. A willingness to work together results in various opportunities that wouldn't be attainable in isolation.

Connecting the right teams within the pharmaceutical company with the startup from the get-go is also crucial for success. Given the substantial scale of pharmaceutical companies, with many different functions, establishing the right connection with the person that the product resonates the most with can become challenging. “It is really tough to get into the right conversation and work through the political landscape”, David highlights. By identifying the right stakeholders from the beginning, both parties can ensure alignment in their objectives and expectations.

A successful partnership hinges on acknowledging each other's strengths. By teaming up with established pharmaceutical companies, startups like Genetika+ can bring state-of-the-art technologies, innovative analysis approaches, and unique data to the table, complementing the resources and experience of their partners. This collaboration enables both parties to combine their expertise, which is crucial for enhancing the analytical powers of Genetika+'s precision medicine tool and advancing drug development efforts for pharmaceutical companies.

One unique aspect that partnership with Genetika+ brings to pharma is the ability to commercialize a biomarker or diagnostic as another feature on their commercial clinical test, overcoming some of the historical hurdles in drug and diagnostic partnerships.

Commitment and open communication are also essential for nurturing successful collaborations. David stresses the two-way nature of partnerships: "There has to be complete interest from both parties." This underscores the significance of active engagement and a willingness to exchange ideas and concerns. Establishing clear lines of communication, driven by a mutual commitment, ensures both sides are aligned in their objectives and expectations.

The journey of Genetika+ exemplifies the transformative potential of collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and startups. Their approach underscores the importance of embracing novel ideas and focusing on shared objectives. David's captures this: "Let's find mutual interest," indicating that discovering common ground lays a robust foundation for collaboration.  

Shaping the Future Together  

So, the question arises: What steps should pharmaceutical companies take to optimize their collaboration with startups, as exemplified by Genetika+'s journey? Insights from our discussion offers a roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry to navigate partnerships more effectively.  

  1. Foster Collaboration:

David's observation that startups should be seen as co-contributors rather than competitors resonates deeply. Nurturing a culture of collaboration, where the strengths of each party contribute to collective progress, sets the stage for joint success.

  1. Cultivate a Partnership Mindset:

A shift in mindset can make all the difference. By committing to a long-term partnership mindset, both parties can invest in building trust and rapport over time. This commitment goes beyond short-term gains, fostering an environment where mutual growth and sustained innovation become the ultimate goals.  

  1. Guide Startups from the Beginning:  

David's observation underscores a key point: Pharma's role in guiding startups towards the right resources from the outset. Proactive engagement ensures that startups like Genetika+ are connected with the support and knowledge needed to effectively navigate challenges.

  1. Encourage Open Communication:  

The cornerstone of successful partnerships lies in establishing transparent lines of communication. David's emphasis on mutual involvement speaks volumes. Fostering an environment of free-flowing dialogue allows for the exchange of ideas, insights, and challenges, nurturing a collaborative ecosystem where innovative solutions thrive.  

  1. Embrace Flexibility and Adaptability:  

David's insights highlight the importance of embracing flexibility. Startups excel on adaptability, and by creating an environment that values fresh perspectives and quick responses, pharmaceutical companies can tap into the dynamic energy that startups bring to the table.

As the industry continues to evolve, the lessons from Genetika+'s journey offer a compelling roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry to navigate partnerships more effectively and shape the future of digital health, in this case precision medicine.

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