In conversation with the founders
“Weatherden was born at JPM” says Duncan McHale, a clinical geneticist and leading authority in the biotechnology industry, referring to the annual healthcare investment summit. “Houman and I were discussing all of the great science we had seen across three decades in the industry and got talking about the casualties of the process – that is, from the translation of a novel idea through proof of concept and clinical trials to out-licensing, buyout or a standalone drug company.”
“We realised early on that there was a clear need for a solution that could address these deficiencies. We looked at the services in this space and saw that no single firm had the integrated approach or comprehensive skill set needed to tackle this.”
“That’s when the idea of a nimble consultancy that could leverage extensive clinical, scientific and drug development expertise across a spectrum of therapies and modalities emerged” adds Houman Ashrafian, an award-winning Oxford professor, serial company builder and venture capital partner. “Our mantra of maximising value stems from our clinical heritage, and this drives Weatherden’s mission to de-risk drug development and facilitate the process of translation into life changing therapeutics. We want to help biotechs alleviate unmet clinical need in patients efficiently and cost-effectively.”
Blending more than 500 years’ experience across the industry with a large team of drug development, regulatory strategy, clinical pharmacology, pharmacovigilance and clinical operations experts, Weatherden is uniquely positioned to guide you through the transition from drug discovery to drug development. We work flexibly with clients across the globe, enabling them to tap into the expertise they need, when they need it across the drug development lifecycle.
Weatherden has successfully enabled preclinical and clinical stage biotechs avoid a well-worn path of recurring problems. These range from early discussions around indication selection, ensuring that the foundational science translates into a clinical hypothesis, designing the appropriate preclinical work package to support this, to refining trial designs to optimise the data package whilst considering ways to accelerate the delivery such as patient stratification and interim data review points.
“We work with external experts in the relevant therapeutic area to support the decision-making process and engage early with regulators to identify any risks to the programme. Choosing the right CRO and the right sites to deliver the clinical trials is also key,” adds Houman.
“The optimum time is at least 6-9 months ahead of entering clinic. While our turnaround specialists have helped clients mitigate errors and omissions in the transition from discovery to clinic, biotechs should consult with us early to navigate the pitfalls and develop their strategy,” says Duncan. “But our scope isn’t limited to the earlier phases” adds Houman. “We offer critical services that are relevant at multiple stages and clinical phases, including organising scientific advisory boards, writing regulatory filings such as deferrals, waivers, and paediatric investigation plans, and preparing clients for funding pitches and advising on fundraising strategies, to name a few. The most recent addition to our portfolio is biotech acquisitions due diligence for investors, funds and biopharmaceutical companies.”
“It’s a very exciting time for us at Weatherden and the industry more widely” concludes Duncan. “The pace of scientific breakthroughs is increasing and we have the enviable task of working with clients to transform novel science into medicines that will transform patients’ lives.”
“We see Weatherden playing an increasingly important role in the global biotechnology sector. Our input is rapidly scaling across all segments and we are excited to see this translate into tangible improvements in patient outcomes and value realisation for our clients.”
Our track record
An above average rate of repeat business and word-of-mouth driven new client relationships reflects the quality of our input and the outcomes we achieve.
With a portfolio of clinical trials in 16 cities and 11 countries, our thoughtful design and integrated approach can chart your fastest path to efficacy in patients.
Blending more than 500 years’ experience, we are uniquely positioned to de-risk your programs and maximise value across the drug development lifecycle.
We can manage single and multi-centre trials across the world – our current portfolio involves 15 cities across 12 countries, including Brazil, France, New Zealand, Spain, the UK and USA.
We have led multiple defence meetings with regulatory authorities, including the MHRA, EMA, FDA, and PEI.
Our expertise spans more than 15 therapeutic areas, which is augmented further by our network of KOLs.