From Scientist to Entrepreneurial Scientist: The Creation of BioTech Companies
Presented by SGInnovate
Partnered with Entrepreneur First, RECORNEA, St James’s Place Wealth Management
Countless scientists are working on BioTech innovations in research laboratories globally, but how many of these scientists actually take their innovations out of the lab? According to Tech Crunch, BioTech companies were historically built by BioTech venture capital firms who founded and built the companies themselves. However, scientific founders leading the charge for bio companies are becoming the norm these days – scientists have become entrepreneurial scientists.
While the journey to start BioTech companies can be daunting and risky, there are no rewards without risks. In the first of a series of talks, we bring together three BioTech entrepreneurial scientists who have started and lead BioTech companies to share their experiences.
Date: 16 October 2019, Wednesday
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: BASH, Level 3, 79 Ayer Rajah Crescent, Singapore 139955 via Lift Lobby 3
- Prof Antonio Bertoletti, Scientific Director, Lion TCR and Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School
- Prof Phan Toan Thang, Founding Director & Group Chief Scientific Officer, CellResearch Corporation Group and Associate Professor & Principal Investigator of the Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group, Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
- Prof Too Heng Phon, Founder, MiRXES and Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Moderator: Dr Kakanga Moses, Co-Founder & CTO, RECORNEA and Volunteer, Bio-Tech Commune
6:00pm – 6:30pm: Registration
6:30pm – 7:30pm: Panel Discussion and Q&A
7:30pm – 8:00pm: Networking
Prof Antonio Bertoletti, Scientific Director, Lion TCR and Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School
Prof Antonio Bertoletti, MD is an expert in the field of viral hepatitis, with a specific interest in the immunopathogenesis of the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection. He began working in viral hepatitis as a medical student at the University of Parma, Italy. He continued his research work at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla characterising for the first time the HBV-specific cytotoxic T cell response in man. He returned to the University of Parma, where he worked in the Department of Infectious Diseases as a Clinical Scientist. He then worked at the University College of London, United Kingdom from 1997 to 2006 before moving to Singapore where he is now Professor at the Emerging Viral Disease Program at the Duke-NUS Medical School.
His current research is focussed on the development of new immunological based therapies (TCR-redirected T cells, HLA-peptide specific antibodies) for the treatment of HBV and HBV-related Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Prof Phan Toan Thang, Founding Director & Group Chief Scientific Officer, CellResearch Corporation Group and Associate Professor & Principal Investigator of the Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group, Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Prof Phan Toan Thang is the Founding Director and Chief Scientific Officer of CellResearch Corporation Group. A graduate of the Military Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam in 1991, Prof Phan has had a keen interest in wound healing since the early days of his medical and scientific career. His interest led him to hands-on experience during his four-year surgical residency in Hanoi at the National Institute of Burns and at the Army Hospital 103. Prof Phan's commitment and excellence in laboratory research was proven when he spent two years at the prestigious Wound Healing Institute and Department of Dermatology in Oxford, England.
Prof Phan arrived in Singapore in 1997 to join the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Singapore General Hospital. In 1998, he met Mr Ivor Lim, and together they established the Skin Cell Research Group (currently Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group) focusing on skin and keloid scar biology. The Wound Healing and Stem Cell Research Group was the first group in the world to explore the role of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions in keloid pathogenesis and is recognised today as one of the world’s leading groups in keloid and scar biology research.
Prior to taking up his faculty position at the Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry at the National University of Singapore, Prof Phan completed two years of post-doctoral research at the Stanford University Children Surgical Research Laboratory.
Prof Phan is the author of more than 80 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, two book chapters, has more than 35 granted patents and serves as a reviewer for prestigious international scientific journals as well as local and international research funding bodies. His recent innovative research work is the discovery of a novel source of stem cells from the umbilical cord lining membrane with translational potential for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and cell-based therapy.
Prof Too Heng Phon, Founder, MiRXES and Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
Prof Too Heng Phon received his undergraduate training in Biochemistry at the Imperial College of Science & Technology, UK. He then continued with his PhD training in a joint research project at the Imperial College, Institute of Ophthalmology and West Minister Hospital, London. Thereafter, he received further training in the Medical Research Council, Cambridge (UK), where he was a Procter & Gamble Fellow. He then moved to the Department of Anesthesiology and Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School where he was a recipient of the Merck Sharpe Dohme Academic Development Fellowship. Currently, he is a faculty in the Department of Biochemistry, National University Singapore and adjunct to Bioprocess Technological Institute, A*STAR. He was a Fellow of the Singapore Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance in Molecular Engineering of Biological & Chemical Systems program and co-chaired the Chemical & Pharmaceutical Engineering programme later. In recent years, he was funded by Roche Diagnostics (USA & Asia Pacific) and the National Institute of Health (USA) to develop tests for infectious diseases. He is and was an awardee of a number of commercialisation of technology grants from A*STAR and SMART. He has intellectual property protections on specific diagnostic platforms with various research departments and with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. His involvement in the biomedical sciences in Singapore started with the education of political leaders (Ministers, Supreme Court Judges, etc.) at the National University of Singapore in 2000. He is also the founder of the local spin-off, MiRXES (A*STAR/NUS). He is also an adjunct Professor in Biotransformation Innovation Platform, A*STAR.
Dr Kakanga Moses, Co-Founder & CTO, RECORNEA and Volunteer, Bio-Tech Commune
Dr Kakanga Moses is the Co-Founder and CTO of RECORNEA Pte, a MedTech company developing devices in the ophthalmology space. Moses received his PhD in Biochemistry from the National University of Singapore. Prior to that, he worked as a Laboratory Technologist at the Uganda Virus Research Institute where he was part of a team that conducted clinical trials for medical devices and biopharmaceuticals. Moses is also a volunteer at Bio-Tech Commune, a network that seeks to connect young science entrepreneurs with established science entrepreneurs for mentorship.