Relay launches 'Bloomberg' for biopharma dealmakers

A group with Tufts University roots has ambitious plans to enable biopharma dealmakers to monitor and assess life sciences assets--much in the way Wall Street traders are able to stay on top of twists and turns in their industry. Cambridge, MA-based Relay Technology Management officially announced the release of its software product today for business development pros in life sciences.

With its algorithms that ascribe ratings to assets, Relay's web-based tool aims to let biotech business development aces see grades on the "relative attractiveness" of life sciences assets such as compounds, targets, people and organizations. The system--Business Development Live (BD Live!)--aggregates data from traditional news wires, scientific literature, tech transfer sources and clinical trials. And users can get daily updates on changes in the industry.  

Relay might have history on its side. Big Pharma has been blasted for lack of R&D productivity, prompting industry chiefs to treat their pipelines like stock portfolios and entertain discussions about return-on-investment in their experimental programs. Yet the payoff on an experimental drug can take 10 years or more, which has always made assessing the value of a pre-commercial asset complex, with divergent views on the worth of compounds among dealmakers. Relay is taking a stab at rating assets comparatively to aid biotech evaluators.

"We are building Relay with the vision for it to become the Bloomberg of the life sciences industry," says Brigham Hyde, Relay's co-founder and managing director. "Much like Bloomberg helped to streamline the bond market and bring an objective standard to bond valuations, Relay aims to bring data-driven decision making to the life sciences industry."

Relay has already garnered some attention in the publishing world, announcing late last year a partnership and strategic investment from the Nature Publishing Group.

- here's the release