Perlstein Lab, or PLab as it is also known, continues to hone its automated drug discovery platform and presents its latest iteration Wednesday March 23rd at Y Combinator Demo Day. The platform they created helps the bio startup focus on finding cures for rare diseases rather than common ones. This novel approach is different from most Big Pharma labs and is thus one of their differentiators.
What is an “automated drug discovery platform?” I asked this to PLab founder and CEO Ethan Perlstein and he summarized for me. Hold onto your braincells, we’re about to get a little technical.
First of all, it is important to know that, according to Perlstein, there are about 7000 diseases classified as rare and 95% of these have no FDA approved cure. This is PLab’s area of focus. This is a much different model than Big Pharma which usually focuses on more common illnesses where the research ROI stands to be much greater.