a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Undruggable Drugs

Jay Bradner, Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, and Hanne Winarsky

Posted May 6, 2020

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, we take a deep dive into the world of drug development—specifically “undruggable drugs”: a category of protein, protein family or even piece of RNA that’s so difficult to target that many researchers don’t even want to touch it.

Jay Bradner, President of the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, shares with a16z General Partners Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, and a16z’s Hanne Tidnam all the new tools, technologies and breakthroughs which are causing the science of therapeutics to explode in some of these areas where it’s been incredibly difficult (even impossible) in the past. From molecular glues to cell and gene therapies, Bradner shares the behind-the-scenes science stories of what it really takes to make a new drug that shatters the category of an “undruggable” target.

Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded at the 2020 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.



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The a16z Podcast discusses the most important ideas within technology with the people building it. Each episode aims to put listeners ahead of the curve, covering topics like AI, energy, genomics, space, and more.

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