EQRx Raises $200 Million To Make Medicines More Affordable

By Amit Chowdhry ● January 17, 2020
  • EQRx recently announced it is launching to create novel patent-protected medicines for affordable prices. And the company also raised $200 million.

EQRx recently announced it is launching to create novel patent-protected medicines for prices that are more affordable for people and sustainable for healthcare systems. And EQRx is focused on re-engineering the process from drug discovery to patient delivery with the goal of offering a market-based solution for the rising cost of medicines.

This will be done by utilizing advances in science and technology to bring treatments for life-threatening and chronic diseases to people more efficiently and cost-effectively. Plus EQRx intends to offer its therapies at dramatically lower prices compared to today’s innovative medicines.

“Over the last several decades, society has benefited from unprecedented technological advances and a deeper understanding of disease biology, revolutionizing the way many diseases are treated today. That said, the pricing of new therapeutic approaches is pushing beyond the limits of common sense, preventing people and society from equally benefiting from innovation,” said Alexis Borisy, chairman and chief executive officer of EQRx. “The time is now for a market-based solution to rising drug costs. Our blue-chip team of founders and leaders is proud to launch EQRx and to lead the way in redefining what it means to innovate and deliver high-quality medicines that are within reach of people through more equitable prices.”

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To pursue this ambitious business model, EQRx assembled a team of life sciences enterprise leaders, including Borisy, Melanie Nallicheri (former chief business officer and head of Biopharma for Foundation Medicine and senior vice president at McKesson Distribution Solutions, as president and chief operating officer), Robert Forrester (former chief executive officer of Verastem Oncology, as CXO), Susan Hager (former senior vice president of corporate communications, government affairs and advocacy at Foundation Medicine, as chief communications officer and senior vice president, corporate Affairs & citizenship), Peter Bach MD (director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, as co-founder and advisor), and Sandra Horning MD (former executive vice president, chief medical officer and global head product development, Genentech/Roche, as co-founder and advisor).

“The process of developing and bringing new drugs to market should and can be organized towards the goal of their being affordable both for patients and society,” added Bach. “Today even people with insurance are delaying filling prescriptions or going without due to the high-cost sharing that is ‘part and parcel’ of high drug prices. New approaches are needed. EQRx aims to create affordable new medicines that are priced for access, and accessibility is the critical attribute for every medicine if it is going to improve people’s health.”

The company also revealed that it raised $200 million in Series A funding led by GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and Casdin Capital, Section 32, Nextech, Arboretum Ventures, and several others.

“The bold mission of EQRx to deliver better medicines at lower prices is one that can redefine the therapeutics landscape,” explained Krishna Yeshwant, MD, general partner, GV. “The company’s business model will deliver a sustainable approach for creating, reinvesting in, and rewarding therapeutics innovation, while ensuring these new medicines are broadly accessible to people and healthcare systems through dramatically lower pricing.”