Here is how B-BIC has helped this project.
- The money itself. It would be very difficult to raise money for this project from standard sources.
- Challenging questions from the reviewers. During the review of our preproposal, one challenge from the B-BIC point of contact was that we should design a Phase 3 trial for our product and see whether, with a reasonable number of patients, we could generate the statistical power needed to prove our product was superior to current EPO products. This is a very commercially focused question that an academic reviewer would never ask. It took us a long time to get the answer. However, it came in very handy in a recent investor pitch, in which an outside expert (who had run EPO clinical trials) asked me the same question and I was immediately able to answer it.
- Back-and-forth with the reviewers, being able to respond to their comments. Doing this has also helped us understand the kind of questions that investors ask, and have ready answers. Also, clinician reviewers had a completely different take on our science than we did. We needed to significantly adapt our story to reach both of these audiences.
- Evaluation based driven by the commercial opportunity
To sum up, the challenging back-and-forth interaction with B-BIC people has been a huge plus. It has helped us prepare for investor meetings, and also helped us bridge the gap between our own reductionistic protein engineering worldview and that of clinicians.