Innovative Medicines at Radically Lower Prices
EQRx views price as a fourth pillar of innovation, equally as important as the other pillars of innovation: efficacy, safety and convenience. Innovations have made the latter three easier than ever before, but unlike other industries, healthcare costs haven’t decreased. The price of a medicine should never be the rate-limiting factor to patient access. EQRx is developing an extensive pipeline of investigational products that have the potential to alleviate cost burden from health systems and the challenges of increasing drug prices. In just two years, EQRx has already made significant progress toward its mission to make innovative medicines available at radically lower prices—starting with two potential therapies, sugemalimab and aumolertinib, in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Every 15 seconds, a person across the world is diagnosed with lung cancer, and every 18 seconds, a person dies of the disease, making it the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. In 2020, an estimated 2.2 million people were diagnosed with lung cancer. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer, accounting for 84% of all lung cancer diagnoses. Like patients with many different types of diseases, patients with lung cancer have been shown to experience financial toxicity that has made a negative impact on their quality of life. If approved, sugemalimab and aumolertinib have the potential to serve as a new treatment for certain patients with advanced disease, providing them with a more cost-effective and accessible treatment option.
EQRx aims to deliver high-quality, important new medicines to patients that are equal to or better than currently available therapeutic options but significantly less expensive. EQRx is focused on known biology and an initial focus in oncology and immuno-inflammatory diseases—two of the largest cost driving drug categories for payer systems across the globe. This concept is not new — companies have been doing this for years— but no company until now has used it as a means of competing on price. EQRx’s business model will deliver a sustainable approach for creating, reinvesting in, and rewarding therapeutics innovation, while ensuring its new medicines are broadly accessible to people and healthcare systems through dramatically lower pricing. In regards to the company’s two lead candidates: • Aumolertinib is being evaluated as a first-line treatment for patients with EGFR-mutated stage IIIB and IV NSCLC. In a head-to-head study, aumolertinib demonstrated improved progression-free survival with fewer side effects compared to gefitinib, suggesting that aumolertinib could be a more effective treatment option for these patients. • Sugemalimab is currently being evaluated as a consolidation therapy in patients with locally advanced, unresectable stage III NSCLC without disease progression after either concurrent or sequential chemoradiotherapy. Around the world, both sequential and concurrent chemotherapy are commonly used treatment approaches for this stage of disease, as some patients may not be able to tolerate concurrent chemotherapy. Sugemalimab would offer the potential for a new therapeutic approach for a broad patient population, if approved.
EQRx’s drug development and cost-saving model brings together every aspect of the healthcare system through non-traditional partnerships that bring a new level of transparency. EQRx is currently partnering with multiple companies on various pipeline candidates. The company has several undisclosed partnerships, as well as partnerships with Hansoh Pharmaceuticals and C-Stone Pharmaceuticals (as outlined above). Most recently, EQRx entered into a strategic drug creation, development and commercialization collaboration with Exscientia, an AI-driven pharmatech company with a mission to radically improve how drugs are discovered, to accelerate the advancement of new world-class medicines. This collaboration will leverage the AI capabilities of Exscientia to accelerate the discovery of small molecule therapeutic drug candidates in multiple target areas, including oncology and immunology, further expanding the breadth of EQRx’s pipeline of novel therapies. The Company plans to enter similar early-stage R&D collaborations in the future.