While at the BIO Investor Forum meeting in SF, I took a moment to see a presentation given by Chris Wagner, President and CEO of Sirius Genomics, Inc. The company is a diagnostics firm in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
The firm focuses on personalized medicine by developing a companion diagnostic for criticalcare medicine. The company is developing a diagnostic product that is designed to select the most suitable patients suffering sepsis who would benefit from using a drug made by Eli Lilly called Xigris.
The drug consists of activated protein-c and generates about $200mm per year for Lilly. Wagner believes that their Sirius personalized diagnostic could help Xigris generate about $600mm per year. To get started on its plans, the Sirius Genomics partnered with a speciality pharma company that expects to buy Xigris from Lilly.
Sirius Genomics would use a different kind of business model monetize its companion diagnostic. In this partnering deal, Serius Genomics would receive a percentage share of the drug’s gross sales. Based on his business analysis and forecast, Wagner believes that the company would generate about $100mm per year within five-years. The company believes that this business model is better than doing ‘value’-based pricing that other diagnostics companies have been doing.
Wagner said that they would use drug industry rigor applied to diagnostics development. He believes that to be successful, they need to go through the FDA and get an approval for their diagnostic. Wagner estimated that in 20 years, most drug products will use some kind of personalized (companion) diagnostics.
Each year, nearly 1 million patients in North America and Europe suffer from sepsis. Sepsis develops when an uncontrolled infection raises the the body’s three defense processes of inflammation, immunity and coagulation. An overly aggressive defense response can cause multiple organ failure and death. Xigris and Vasopresson are two drugs that can treat sepsis. Sirius Genomics uses SNP profles that identifies 40% of the population that can get a 2X efficacy for Xigris. Wagner said that their approach could potentially boost sales of Xigris by 3X.