Biotech Startup 101: IP Management | SGInnovate
May 27 2021


Online Event

Biotech Startup 101: IP Management

Presented by SGInnovate and SINERGY

Intellectual property is the lifeblood of the biotechnology industry. Strong patents are critical for biotechnology companies developing innovative solutions. For biotech startups, a well-thought-out patent strategy and having a plan for generating future intellectual property could be the deciding factor for its success.

In this webinar, we invite experts to share some common mistakes biotech startups make regarding IP management and their tips on managing intellectual property.

Date: 27 May 2021, Thursday
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm (Singapore Time / UTC +8)

4:00pm - 4:05pm: Welcome Remarks by SGInnovate and SINERGY
4:05pm - 5:00pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A on Biotech Startup 101: Intellectual Property with

  • Sara Holland, Senior Associate, Potter Clarkson
  • Akbar Vahidi, Co-founder, Allozymes
  • Ken Noonan, CEO, Lightstone Singapore
  • Moderator: Suresh Sachi, Deputy Chief Executive and General Counsel, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Speakers' Profiles: 
Sara Holland, Senior Associate, Potter Clarkson


Sara Holland is a European and UK patent attorney based in Nottingham, UK, with an academic background in molecular biology. Her PhD involved engineering artificial yeast chromosomes, and in 7 years of postdoc research, Sara looked at the molecular mechanisms of metal toxicity in yeast and identified phenotypic heterogeneity in wild populations of yeast. 

Sara helps biotechnology companies protect their intellectual property in a way that aligns with their business plan. Her particular focus is in the field of synthetic biology, and she works to help companies realise their potential in the field of synthetic biology. Sara also aims to try and raise awareness of synthetic biology amongst companies and sectors that traditionally wouldn’t consider themselves to be “biotech”.

Akbar Vahidi, Co-founder, Allozymes
Akbar is a scientist-entrepreneur who got his PhD from NUS and has a decade of experience in enzyme technology and biocatalysis, delivering several industrial projects to big pharma, food and biofuel companies during his career in academia. He was the lead researcher in an interdisciplinary team that invented Allozymes’ technology for faster and cheaper enzyme development. Akbar then started Allozymes as co-founder and CTO, where he is excited to apply futuristic solutions to solve sustainable manufacturing problems by unlocking the full potential of enzymes.

Ken Noonan, CEO, Lightstone Singapore
Ken is currently the Managing Partner/CEO of Lightstone Singapore Pte. Ltd (LSV(SG); an early-stage life sciences venture fund focused on commercializing innovative technologies found in or imported to the Singapore life science ecosystem. Prior to the formation of LSV(SG) Ken was, for a decade, a Venture Partner at Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV); one of the predecessor funds to Lightstone Ventures. In addition to leading LSV(SG), Ken is an advisor to the National Research Foundation, Singapore; the Singapore Eye Research Institutes venture capital initiative and A*STAR’s drug discovery program. 

Earlier in his career, Ken was, for 15 years, a Senior Partner at L.E.K. Consulting where he managed its European Life Sciences Practice, consulting on technology and commercial strategies for both established and development stage companies.  Ken joined L.E.K. from Booz-Allen & Hamilton (BAH) where he led its European Life Sciences Practice. Prior to joining BAH, Ken was the Managing Director of The Wilkerson Group Ltd.; the European arm of The Wilkerson Group Inc., a boutique strategy consulting firm dedicated to life science companies in pharmaceuticals, devices, diagnostics and service. Prior to entering consultancy, Ken had operating roles at both a research product and an in vitro diagnostic company.

During his career, Ken has sat on a variety of public and private Board of Directors of life sciences companies in the U.S. and Western Europe.  He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Ligature Therapeutics Pte Ltd a see stage SG company focused on discovering novel molecules able to drug currently undruggable disease-causing proteins.

Ken holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Princeton University. He did his postdoctoral work at the Biocentrum of the University of Basle, Switzerland.  

Moderator's Profile:
Suresh Sachi, Deputy Chief Executive and General Counsel, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR)

Suresh Sachi is currently the Deputy Chief Executive and concurrently the General Counsel of the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR). He is a lawyer and a qualified Patent Agent.

He currently oversees the corporate functions for the Agency and ensures that A*STAR’s resources are deployed in an efficient and integrated manner.

As the Agency’s General Counsel, he has charge of all legal and intellectual property matters and is responsible for establishing, implementing and maintaining A*STAR’s legal, intellectual property, risk management and compliance policies.

Before joining A*STAR, Suresh Sachi was in private legal practice in a leading law firm where he was a partner in the Technology and Intellectual Property Department.

He has represented many public and private organisations, including local and foreign institutes of higher learning and has significant experience working with multi-national corporations, public listed companies, small and medium enterprises as well as hi-tech start-up companies.

Mr Sachi spearheaded a number of national efforts to coordinate and streamline legal and IP terms across Singapore’s public agencies, including the Public Sector Master Research Collaboration Agreement (MRCA), bringing together all public sector agencies engaged in R&D in a single research collaboration agreement; the Master Clinical Trials Agreement across all public sector trial centres; streamlining and aligning public sector RIE grant terms and conditions and establishing a National IP Protocol for Singapore.

He currently serves on the board of IPOS and IPOS International. He was a former member of the board of governors of the IP Academy. Mr Sachi is a founding member and past president of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) Singapore. He served on the Ethics Committee of the Singapore Eye Research Institute and is currently a member of the SingHealth Centralised Institutional Review Board.

As a specialist in intellectual property and technology transfer, Mr Sachi is a frequent speaker at the Global Forum on Intellectual Property and other forums by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, LES Singapore, the IP Academy, and the Law Society of Singapore. He is an active coach and trainer in the IP landscape in Singapore. He was named in the 2019 IAM 300 magazine as one of the World’s Leading IP Strategists (IAM 300).
Mr Sachi holds a LLB from the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore and attended the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, Fontainebleau in 2016.


Topics: MedTech / HealthTech / BioTech, Startup and Corporate Open Innovation