May 27, 2020 - Edmonton based startup, DrugBank, recently graduated from the 2019/20 Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) Program. CDL is a seed-stage accelerator program for massively scalable, science-based companies. Its nine-month program pairs founders with experienced entrepreneurs and investors to set focused, measurable objectives with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation.
The competitive program offers participants the chance to work closely with mentors who assist in setting short-term objectives, helping the ventures focus on scaling quickly, and accelerating their growth. From November to April, DrugBank participated in group sessions with other companies, and were matched with a number of talented mentors who helped DrugBank target specific milestones including targeting a beachhead market to accelerate growth, growing strategic roles on the team, including adding a number of sales professionals, and additional software developers, as well as completing a fundraising round.
“We knew going into CDL that it was the opportunity of a lifetime, but I don’t think we knew quite the impact the program would have on our trajectory. The calibre of mentorship and peer networking is beyond compare, and we have seen major impacts on our company growth already,” says Michael Wilson, CEO.
Some of the significant impacts on the company DrugBank has seen during their time at CDL includes:
- Increasing the size of the team by 65 percent
- Growing our sales capacity and exceeding our sales targets in Q1 and Q2 of this year
- Currently completing our first fundraising round, with a number of investors coming directly from the connections we made at CDL
- Defining a well-balanced and ambitious long-term strategy for the company
Craig Knox, CTO of DrugBank explains that, “graduating from CDL is a significant milestone that indicates your company has made major progress throughout the program. Not every company graduates, so we feel extremely proud to be a part of the newest CDL alumni.”
So what’s next for DrugBank?
Wilson says that it’s all about scaling quickly, while using their fundraise wisely. “We intend to continue growing our team, bringing on strategic roles that can contribute to our growth, and provide new features and solutions that our customers see great value in. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to medical advancements, particularly in artificial intelligence for drug discovery and repurposing, and clinical solutions such as electronic medical records software, precision medicine, and telemedicine.”
DrugBank is also poised to grow across every department with a focus on ramping up sales specialists, business development, and marketing efforts, and is confident they will follow in the footsteps of Edmonton technology startup-turned-scaleup company, Jobber.
DrugBank was developed as a University of Alberta research project in 2006 in Dr. David Wishart’s lab, and was spun out commercially in 2015. DrugBank has maintained the free online portal and free academic downloads, but also has two highly successful commercial products: clinical data and scientific data.
Clinical data is available to clinical software companies like electronic medical records (EMR) companies, or precision medicine software companies. We provide these companies with an API license, allowing them to access information on indications, side effects, interactions, and other relevant clinical information that helps them with decision-making and reducing the chance of adverse drug events occurring.
Scientific data is available to pharmaceutical research and development companies to help with drug discovery, development, and repurposing. DrugBank offers data downloads that are updated daily, to ensure the most up-to-date, accurate information is incorporated into the customer’s software.
Today, DrugBank is the world’s largest knowledge base of structured pharmaceutical data. DrugBank enables data-driven decision making in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical spaces. By using DrugBank, companies and researchers can more efficiently discover or repurpose new drugs, and improve treatments for patients. The core of DrugBank’s knowledge base consists of proprietary authored content describing the clinical level information about drugs such as side effects, drug interactions, as well as molecular level data such as chemical structures, metabolism, and what proteins a drug interacts with.
Shay Barker, Operations Manager