Interview with the founders of the Pikralida startup

“We created a company to face medical challenges” – publication on

Recently, we had the pleasure of talking to Agata Torosiewicz from Polski Fundusz Rozwoju S.A. about innovative discoveries in the field of medicine and the challenges faced by biotech start-ups. We told her about the origins of our venture dating back to when we met, working on an innovative drug development project. We got on so well together as a team that we decided to set up a company focusing on R&D projects that would address the needs of patients suffering from civilisation and neurological diseases, as well as geriatric patients. Projects that would enable the discovery and development of innovative medicines for treating diseases for which there are no drugs available or for which drug therapy has limited efficacy.

One of our projects, developed in cooperation with the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, has received a substantial co-financing from the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR). Its aim is to develop a breakthrough therapeutic solution to prevent the development of epilepsy after brain injury or stroke, with the risk among such patients being as high as 50%.

Of course, it takes longer than weeks or even months to develop an innovative drug. The time from the very emergence of the concept of a drug to its introduction on the market is usually more than ten years, from the discovery phase, which involves the selection of the so-called drug candidate, to the preclinical development phase, during which the compound is cleared so to be administered to a human subject, to the final clinical trial phase, designed to evaluate the safety of the effect of the innovative substance on the human body and to test the therapeutic potential of the new drug.

Although small, our team is composed of experienced professionals with various skills that perfectly complement one another. And even though we are a newly emerged start-up, over the years we have managed to get and keep in touch with experts in new drug development, people with impressive scientific achievements. As it is, we have just what it takes: the knowledge, the experience, and, last but not least, the courage to face challenges to unlock the potential that so far has been largely untapped in Poland.

We are more than sure that these resources will allow us to successfully overcome the obstacles commonly encountered in our industry. These include, above all, a lot of red tape, the issue of finding lab space suitable for carrying out R&D work, and, obviously, finances. Although there is still not much capital investment in biotechnology companies in Poland, our efforts are largely subsidized by both national and European funds. Moreover, we hope that the fact that Pikralida has recently received an important NCBR grant will be an incentive for future investors. Indeed, it is a high risk business which requires substantial funds, but if a new effective drug is successfully identified, it yields a very high return on investment. And we firmly believe that success is our only option.

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