Foresight is 20/20: Lessons Learned with Claudia Zylberberg
Claudia uncovered a gap in the market for high quality ancillary materials during her time in the human plasma industry – and combined that with her belief in the future of cell and gene therapies to found Akron Biotech. Here, she reveals the lessons learned along the way and offers her perspective on the now booming advanced therapies industry.
James Strachan | | Longer Read
A gap in the market is good, but a gap in an emerging market is better
I am originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I began my doctoral work, which eventually became a cross-institutional PhD project that took me to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Following a move to the United States, I completed two postdocs in Florida before taking a job in the human plasma industry with a company called Nabi Pharmaceuticals, where I worked in bioinformatics and recombinant protein development.
At Nabi, we were working on recombinant vaccines for S. Aureus. One of the critical components used during the manufacturing process, an enzyme, was causing a number of quality-related problems. I went to visit the vendor, and they told me that they couldn’t manufacture it at a higher grade or in a more stringent environment to improve its consistency because the cost was too high and there wasn’t the market for it. Essentially, it was “take it or leave it” – and we couldn’t make the vaccine without the enzyme. I realized then and there that there was a gap in the market for reliable, high-quality materials for the production of biologics and advanced therapies, so I left Nabi to set up Akron. While Akron was getting off the ground, I actually co-founded a stem cell bank with the idea that, in the future, you might be able to make use of younger, and potentially healthier, stem cells. Even then, I was excited – and literally banking on – the future of cell and gene therapy. It was clear to me that the field of regenerative medicine was about to take off in earnest, and that for these therapies to be successful, the market would need high quality ancillary materials. Akron has been growing steadily since 2006 on the hypothesis that high quality ancillary materials would be critical to the clinical and commercial success of these life-saving therapies.
Read the full article now
Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Medicine Maker’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!
Or register now - it’s free and always will be!
You will benefit from:
- Unlimited access to ALL articles
- News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
- Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine
Or Login via Social Media
By clicking on any of the above social media links, you are agreeing to our Privacy Notice.