It has been a year filled with innovation and exciting technology in the healthcare sector. From the focus on CRISPR to the first approval of a CAR-T therapy, I was excited to see the release of Fierce Biotech's "Fierce 15." Unsurprisingly, the majority of companies on the list are focused on new therapies to treat cancers or rare diseases. Personalized neoantigen immunotherapies, immuno-oncolytic viruses, synthetic lethality and genetic therapies have all been featured due to their promising science.
However, what surprised and excited me most was the recognition of BlackThorn Therapeutics. BlackThorn described as a "clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company looking to innovate in the neglected space of neurobehavioral disorders."
Their focus is around treatment-resistant depression, components of obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism and dimensions of schizophrenia. Typically deemed "mental health" these disorders have incredibly poor treatment rates and are often clouded with a negative social stigma. The BlackThorn "INFORM" platform integrates components from data science and signal image processing to better define neurobehavioral disorders. I predict their combination of biology and IT will be effective in creating personalized medicine in this space. It is exciting to see investment and recognition in an often overlooked area.
BlackThorn's vision to "heal minds, transform lives" is one I can certainly get behind. Good luck to the team.
We want to see the best science combined with the best and brightest management teams, and we want to see the promise that they hold in their hands has, in this industry built on the all-or-nothing of risk and reward, a genuine chance of being the Next Big Thing.