Careers at Aptinyx
Aptinyx’s mission is to discover and develop innovative therapies for challenging disorders of the brain and nervous system.
In 2008 scientist Joe Moskal founded Naurex, a biopharmaceutical company. The firm was launched to develop modulators for the NMDA receptor, which plays an important role in the regulation of memory and learning processes. The end goal was to treat brain and nervous system disorders. Naurex‘s lead drug was GLYX-13, which showed promising results in preclinical trials.
The company placed a specific focus on the treatment of depression. Moskal felt that existing drugs on the market had limited efficacy, with only 40% of patients responding to anti-depressants. He also noted their undesirable qualities such as side effects, addictive properties, and delayed action. Test results showed that GLYX-13 worked rapidly, within a matter of hours rather than weeks.
In July 2015 it was announced that pharma firm Allergan would be acquiring Naurex. At this point GLYX-13’s name had been changed to Rapastinel and it was in Phase 3 of clinical trials. Naurex had created a chemistry platform based on key features of Rapastinel and another drug called NRX-1074. With its acquisition, it decided to spin this platform off into a new firm, Aptinyx, in September 2015.
Business model of Aptinyx
Aptinyx has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company is developing its drug offerings for people afflicted with brain and nervous system disorders.
Aptinyx offers three primary value propositions: innovation, accessibility, and performance.
The company’s methodology is distinguished by its innovation. Pharmaceutical researchers have long tried to develop compounds that target the NMDA receptor. Compounds that turn the receptor “on” can produce neuronal damage; therefore, most research has focused on those that turn receptors “off”. That said, this approach poses safety concerns as well, such as psychosis-like symptoms. Aptinyx’s strategy is to develop compounds that do not turn the receptor fully on or off.
The company creates accessibility by targeting a wide range of conditions. Its drugs have compounds that enhance pathways involved in nerve cell communication through modulation of the NMDA receptor. This system is applicable across a wide variety of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, which is why Aptinyx believes its offerings have promising potential for everything from epilepsy to neuropathic pain to traumatic brain injury to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The company has demonstrated strong performance. It maintains a robust chemistry platform of NMDA receptor modulators. It has established a discovery screening process that quickly evaluates the functional and binding properties of the modulators. The compounds that form these modulators have been effective in a wide variety of disease models, including those for depression, migraines, and age-induced learning impairment. They have also-shown to be fast-acting, working within hours.
Aptinyx’s products are not yet commercially-available and are still undergoing clinical trials. The company promotes and provides information about its drug pipeline through its website and social media pages.
Aptinyx’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers learn about its offerings through its website while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
Aptinyx’s business model entails designing and developing drugs for consumers with brain and nervous system disorders.
Aptinyx plans to work with Allergan on the identification and preclinical development of small-molecule, orally-bioavailable NMDA receptor modulators for the treatment of specific neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Allergan reserves the right to in-license certain compounds discovered during this process for specified target indications.
Aptinyx’s main resources are its laboratories and its human resources, who include research scientists, research technologists, and quality systems specialists. As a relatively new spin-off it has relied heavily on outside funding, raising $65 million from 10 investors as of May 2016.
Aptinyx has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through extensive research and development and wide applicability for its products. Its biggest cost driver is likely R&D, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of product development and administration, also fixed expenses.
Aptinyx currently has no revenue streams as its offerings are not yet commercially available. When they do go on the market, its main revenue stream will likely be product sales.
info: Norbert earned a Ph.D. from the University of Frankfurt and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. He previously served as President and CEO of Naurex and held several roles at Baxter International, including Chief Science and Innovation Officer.
info: Ashish earned a B.S. in Finance and a B.A.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an M.B.A. from the Wharton School. He previously served as VP of Corporate Development at Naurex and worked at Vanda Pharmaceuticals.
info: Torsten earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from Copenhagen University and worked as a postdoctoral associate in Molecular Psychiatry at Yale University. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer and VP of U.S. Drug Develolpment at Lundbeck.
info: Joseph earned a B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He previously served as Chief Scientific Officer of Naurex and as an assistant professor and Director of the neurosurgery laboratories at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
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