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Maven Bio founders Michael Brady and Arjun Murthy ’20.

Startup Stories: Accelerating the Search for New Medicines

A conversation with Arjun Murthy ’20, whose startup Maven Bio uses AI to help pharmaceutical companies streamline the drug development process.

In this series, Karen Guzman talks to student and alumni entrepreneurs about how they are making an impact with their startups.

Founders: Arjun Murthy ’20 and Michael Brady

Venture: Maven Bio empowers life sciences teams with the information they need to bring medicines to market, and to patients, more quickly. The company’s AI-enabled market intelligence platform combines a proprietary dataset consisting of dozens of data types with a user interface that lets teams evaluate markets, companies, and therapeutic opportunities more efficiently.

What was the moment when you had the idea for this startup?

My co-founder Mike and I previously worked in life sciences, where we saw firsthand how time-consuming and difficult it was to properly evaluate the potential of a particular company or therapeutic opportunity in the market. We had both worked with AI products in our past roles, and we became convinced that large language models could provide a unique opportunity to transform the way life sciences teams analyze information to make decisions.

What’s the problem you’re trying to solve or the gap that you’re trying to fill?

Life sciences companies make hugely consequential decisions on a regular basis that involve our collective health and a lot of money. The cost of developing a single new drug, for instance, was estimated at $1 billion in a recent study.

And yet, these critical decisions are often made with imperfect or incomplete information because the process of understanding a given drug or company is very time consuming and challenging. Not only is the information scientifically complex, but there is an overwhelming amount of it, and it changes all the time as companies release updates like trial results and regulatory approvals.

Maven Bio’s platform is designed to help teams make better decisions by combining the power of AI with a deeper, broader set of data to craft a more cohesive picture of the market.

What was the most important resource Yale SOM contributed to your startup?

Yale SOM contributed to my journey in so many ways. Professor Kyle Jensen’s class Management of Software Development gave me a great overview of the practical aspects of how to manage a software development project. Several of Professor A.J. Wasserstein’s classes were also incredibly helpful. His own entrepreneurial background let him share very relevant lessons that I continue to apply in my work.

What’s the biggest milestone your startup has hit since graduation?

Being among the less than 1% of companies accepted into the Y Combinator program. We were part of the summer 2023 cohort and got to spend the summer in San Francisco working alongside other amazing founding teams from across the world. We were particularly lucky to have Garry Tan, the CEO of Y Combinator, as our mentor throughout the journey.