Nimbus Discovery is applying advances in computer-based drug discovery to unlock fundamental biological pathways. Nimbus has already delivered selective, potent, and differentiated compounds within the first year for two disease targets, IRAK4 and ACC, which are pivotal to the progression of an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and obesity, respectively. Over the next 12-18 months, Nimbus will identify clinical candidates for these targets and will expand its pipeline to include a new series of important targets.
Nimbus Discovery has a technology and business model with three distinctive elements:
Nimbus receives privileged access to leading-edge technology, including next-generation WaterMapTM and related technologies, and exclusive rights to key targets. Under the terms of the agreement established in 2010, Nimbus receives exclusive use of customized software packages developed by Schrödinger for these targets, access to a dedicated team of Schrödinger computational chemists and unlimited use of cloud computing resources. Schrödinger continues to make a sizable investment in its platform and this has led to breakthrough technologies such as WaterMap™, Induced Fit and Glide XP. This commitment to innovation, in the context of the unique partnership, gives Nimbus a continuous and sustainable first-mover advantage.
Rather than building costly infrastructure that is difficult to scale, Nimbus leverages a small and experienced internal team across a network of external R&D partners. Using risk-sharing agreements and flexible collaborations, Nimbus has now implemented high throughput crystallography, fragment based discovery and specialized ADME capabilities. At steady state, Nimbus anticipates having ~10x more FTEs working outside versus inside the company. This ultra-virtual operating model allows the highly-experienced Nimbus core team to simultaneously pursue programs in multiple disease areas while consuming a fraction of the capital typically required.
Each Nimbus program is placed in its own dedicated subsidiary under an LLC umbrella. This structure creates additional deal optionality without foregoing any of the traditional benefits of C-corps. First, it enables project-driven transactions with Pharma allowing partners to acquire a target-specific subsidiary and own the IP/assets of a particular program if it so chooses. Second, it solves the classic drug discovery illiquidity problem where it takes 7-10 years to get a return on capital via M&A or an IPO. The LLC structure enables shareholders to cycle capital back to investors in a tax-efficient manner on a per project basis.