The Journey from Chemist to Entrepreneur
Starting my own bioanalytical research company after many years working for Big Pharma has been daunting, but also satisfying, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Here, I describe my journey from naïve beginnings to fully functional lab and the steep learning curve that led the way.
Elizabeth Thomas |
“Why don’t we set up our own bioanalytical contract research organization?” That was the simple question that I posed to a group of close colleagues in 2004, back when I was an associate director of bioanalysis at AstraZeneca. It’s fair to say that the response lacked enthusiasm. After all, why would my coworkers want to give up well-paid, secure jobs to do something much riskier and more demanding?
Fast-forward to July 2013 and I was asked the same question, and this time things were different, for at least three reasons. One, an established service provider, ICON Bioanalytical labs in Manchester, UK, was closing, leaving a real gap in the market. Two, skilled people would soon be made redundant both at ICON and at AstraZeneca who announced that it was moving research and development from Cheshire to Cambridge. And three, the BioHub was to open at AstraZeneca’s Alderley Park facility, adding a tempting location to the mix. Yes indeed, times really had changed since that first conversation in 2004. Entrepreneurial urges had been fueled.
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