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Protodigm, a contract "skunkworks" company launches a novel approach to drug development

Protodigm, a first-of-its-kind contract life sciences skunkworks company, announced its formal launch today, founded by CEO Mike Rea of IDEA Pharma. Protodigm offers its clients research, innovation, and a universe of possibilities in which a drug could be brought to market.

"Protodigm gives pharma clients a novel approach to drug development by exploring all options and building cases of evidence while steering clear of risks," said Rea. "We're using a skunkworks approach to test and define what's approvable, what a drug might do, and what the market might want to do with it."

Rea brings 20+ years of drug development expertise to Protodigm. As the founder and CEO of IDEA Pharma, he has helped lead eight of the fifteen biggest drug launches in the last five years. Having earned himself considerable notoriety amongst biotech and pharmaceutical professionals, he boasts inclusion in lists such as: The Medicine Maker's top 20 inspirational medicine makers and most influential people in healthcare, PharmaPhorum's top 10 innovators, and a lifetime 'Red Jacket Award' from PharmaVOICE as one of the 100 most inspiring people in healthcare.

In addition to his leadership at Protodigm, Rea is the creator of IDEA Pharma's annual pharmaceutical innovation index, the top spot highly coveted by major pharmaceutical companies. He also authored the book, "Positioning Pharmaceuticals."

"Using what we have learned at IDEA Pharma, we believe Protodigm will revolutionize the drug development process," said Rea. "The pharma industry is begging to be changed. With a team of the best innovators in biotech and pharma, Protodigm will have the ambition, network, and expertise to bring positive change to drug development."

Rea added, "The key to understanding Protodigm's services is understanding what it is -- a contract skunkworks. Protodigm is not a consulting firm, a contract research organization (CRO), a think tank, or an incubator. Skunkworks, a term used in business, engineering, and technical fields, is a group within an organization, separate from traditional R&D, that's purpose is to invent and innovate with autonomy, uninhibited by bureaucracy. To invent and innovate requires varying skillsets, techniques, and, most importantly, the knowledge of how to use them, something Protodigm's team is uniquely positioned to do."

Joining Rea is a group of scientists who are PhDs from Oxford and Cambridge, a medical doctor and FDA scientific advisory board member, a drug development visionary who has authored 70+ scientific publications, big data analysts, a logistics specialist, a Harvard business school graduate, life science company CEOs and executives, consulting executives, equity research veterans, and a venture capitalist.

"Protodigm aims to avoid premature specialization in drug development," Rea said. "We provide to our clients a map of all the likely ways a drug can be brought to market before it is committed to clinical trials. We anticipate revealing unexpected avenues to commercialization, saving our clients time and money while maximizing opportunity."

Learn more about Protodigm at

About Protodigm:

Protodigm is a contract skunkworks company providing its clients an investigational body to invent and innovate new assets. Protodigm applies skunkworks techniques to drug development giving its clients all possible development options by generating hypotheses and supporting evidence. This approach breaks the industry mold because drug development is too often a high-risk, single-track process. If an asset fails, it can be devastating. With a skunkworks approach, assets can be developed with multiple parallel options in addition to its initially intended use, de-risking innovation, saving time, money, and effort.

Media contact:

Scott Stachowiak

Russo Partners LLC

+1 (646) 942-5630

SOURCE Protodigm

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