Tell us a little about your career to date?
I trained in the United Kingdom as a surgeon and practiced for 28 years, and for the last 6 worked at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. I specialized in the treatment of diseases of the liver, pancreas, and bile ducts, my special interest being surgery for pancreatic and liver cancer. In late 2019 I followed my dharma and took a sabbatical from clinical practice to develop new drugs for cancer. I started assisting 2 existing biopharma companies and since established 2 of my own, Glantaf in Cardiff, and InCym in Cleveland/Los Angeles. I have also helped a number of others on a pro bono basis.
What does your role entail?
My initial role is to target funding to facilitate the growth of the company and then secondarily I will use my global network of clinical contacts to conduct trials when the compound is at an appropriate state in its development.
What has been your companies biggest achievement?
We are a new company, less than a year old, but despite our youth, we have reached the penultimate selection round of Cancer Research UK’s Cancer Grand Challenges and will hear by the end of June if we are selected to progress to the final stage of evaluation.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest personal challenge has been the switch from clinical medicine to entrepreneurship and the learning curve has been very steep. Whilst very familiar with presenting to large clinical audiences, the content and approach for investors is very different and so I have had to make major changes to my style. I can now see why so many clinicians fail when trying to develop ideas during their daily clinical activities as there is simply not enough time in the day.
What is your companies overall vision?
Our vision is to use a state-of-the-art nano-formulating process to generate new intellectual property on a compound that we have identified that is a potent suppressor of inflammation in cancer. Inflammation is a key factor in many cancers especially pancreatic cancer where diet, smoking, and alcohol all contribute to the development of the disease. The molecule we are working on in addition to suppressing cancer growth is also effective in dampening chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, and may also be effective in acute inflammation such as in Covid-19 where studies are currently ongoing.
What has been the biggest learning expereince in your career?
In the transition from my “old” to “new” careers, it has to be the importance of networking. I have had numerous serendipitous encounters through networking and many of these have turned into either great business links or wonderful friendships – sometimes both.
What is your biggest piece of advice for your teenage self?
I am not sure. I think a teenager is too young for making life choices. That said, when the time is right for such career-wise advice, I think it would be “follow your heart and do something you have a passion for”.
What is your favorite quote?
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do