For its 2019 list of the top 50 most innovative companies, Fast Company selected 10 from the biotech industry that are having a significant impact on the treatment of patients. The first five are highlighted below.
Foundation Medicine – In June 2018, sequencing diagnostics company Foundation Medicine came under the umbrella of Swiss pharma giant Roche in a $2.4 billion deal. Despite its acquisition, Foundation Medicine remains an autonomous company from Roche. It was selected for the Fast Company ranking for its innovative sequencing platform, which includes its approved F1CDx test that assesses all classes of genomic alterations in 324 genes known to drive cancer growth. In September, the company got Breakthrough Devices designation for a broad “liquid biopsy” test that analyzes blood for 70 genes tied to cancer growth, allowing doctors to monitor treatment response without doing invasive tissue samples, Fast Company said.
Arterys – San Francisco-based Arterys was selected for its use of artificial intelligence to support clinical testing. In 2017, received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its Arterys Cardio DL application. The Arterys technology is the first of its kind to receive U.S. approval that leverages cloud computing and deep learning in a clinical setting. The Arterys system provides automated, editable ventricle segmentations based on conventional cardiac MRI images that are as accurate as segmentations performed manually by experienced physicians, according to the company.
Alnylam – Massachusetts-based Alnylam was placed on the list for being the first company to bring an RNAi treatment to market. The company won FDA approval in August 2018 for Onpattro (patisiran). The medicine is used for the treatment of the polyneuropathy of hereditary transthyretin-mediated (hATTR) amyloidosis in adults. hATTR amyloidosis is a rare disease that affects about 50,000 people worldwide. Recent studies suggest RNAi drugs could also target neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, Fast Company said.
Flatiron Health – Also snapped up by Roche in 2018, Flatiron Health developed its Health OncologyCloud platform that includes the industry-leading electronic medical record for oncology, advanced analytics, patient portal and integrated billing management. Its tech is an aggregating data resource that enables researchers to develop real-world insights into the ever-changing oncology landscape. Flatiron was founded by former Google employees Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg. When the deal with Roche was announced, Flatiron said it will continue its current business model, which contains a network of partnerships that includes partnerships with Celgene and Amgen.
Amgen – Speaking of Amgen, the California-based company came in at number five on the Fast Company list of innovative biotechs. While Amgen is one of the biggest biotech companies in the world with a number of blockbuster treatments, such as Enbrel, Fast Company singled out one of its most recent FDA-approved treatments, Aimovig. The drug was co-developed by Amgen and Swiss pharma giant Novartis. Aimovig was approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. The migraine medication was approved based off of stunning Phase III data that showed Aimovig reduced monthly migraine attacks in half. Aimovig was the first of a new class of anti-CGRP drugs to be approved for migraine treatment. Check out available jobs at Amgen!
The other five biotech companies that made the Fast Company Top 10 list include Viz.ai, Velano Vascular, Berkley Lights, T2 Biosystems and Catalog.