Episode 3: Building Biotech Outside the Major Clusters

Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode 3: Building Biotech Outside the Major Clusters (Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures)

Join us for this episode of BIO from the BAYOU, a podcast where we feature stories and industry insights from the experts located in and working with the bustling biotech scene of the Gulf South Region’s vibrant ecosystem. New Orleans is the place where people come for the science and stay for the food, festivals, and resilient culture. Join host James Zanewicz, with Tulane University’s School of Medicine to welcome special guest, Dr. Elaine Hamm. Elaine’s countless roles in industry have provided a great foundation for this conversation on how to build a biotech company when you are not located in one of the major biotech clusters.

The conversation kicks off with Elaine’s explanation of what made her want to run Biotech companies in the first place. When it comes to life sciences, people think of the major clusters and Elaine shares her first-hand experience of how the virtual world that she was already operating in herself, and the pandemic ushered in for the entire industry, is altering the landscape. After examining some of the barriers to being outside these clusters, Elaine shares some benefits -including the ability to find seed funding, accessibility of capital, lessened competition, and greater masses of people who are readily willing to assist with resources.

Shifting the conversation, James asks Elaine to discuss what programs have proved to be beneficial for her, and how she was able to access them. You’ll directly learn about the federal programs and tools that can complete – and pay for – studies for you as examine drug safety and toxicity! They then discuss how she approaches any additional fundraising. While it often depends on the company, Elaine chats about how foundations are great avenues to find a lot of passionate people and resources that are specific to various diseases.

Learn how Elaine has made the role of “Virtual CEO” work. She shares the importance of getting good at product management, outsourcing, and how she identifies the best partners for their products. Through interviewing and the key desire for constant communication, she describes experiences in testing the waters before plunging into a full partnership.

As the conversation draws to a close, Elaine offers a piece of advice for her younger self. She reminds herself that startups are chaos, so you need to relax and be okay with a bit of chaos, you will ultimately make it. Self-care should not be forgotten!

Thanks for listening. Please like, share, and subscribe!

Links:

Learn more about Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures and connect on LinkedIn.

Connect with Patrick Reed and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with James Zanewicz and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about our podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network

 

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Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode 4: ”Executive in Residence” in Academia (Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures)

Tune in for this episode of the BIO from the BAYOU podcast, featuring stories and industry insights from the experts who can provide frontline access to this unique ecosystem. Host James Zanewicz, with Tulane University’s School of Medicine, welcomes back special guest Dr. Elaine Hamm. Elaine has served in countless roles industry wide; today she occupies the position of being the first “Executive in Residence” at Tulane University School of Medicine, and together they explore what this role means.

With a lot of perspective and experience in this area, Elaine shares some of the biggest challenges she seesfor academic scientists who are trying to engage with the business world. She describes the basic and boring scientific research questions needed for commercial activity, in contrast to the more complex and “fun” academic experiments. While figuring out product manufacturing can be quite boring, Elaine shares that this often proves to be one of the main killers for companies.

James asks Elaine to discuss what made her decide to venture back into the academy – and she shares her love for “boring” experiments and why the role of COO was one of her favorites (as it is necessary for there to be someone who simply helps others check the boxes). But how else can the role of being an Executive in Residence add value to the field? Since these experts are often those who have, “been there and done that”, they offer a great perspective gained through their various personal life lessons.

Shifting topics, these two chat about partnering strategies for academics and companies. Elaine cannot overemphasize enough the need to do your basic diligence about what science people will need to see. It’s important to make it as easy as possible to make someone want to partner with you. By focusing on the science, rather than the market, you can better show what differentiates you from others and where your data ultimately rests.

Learn about Elaine’s plan to hold “Lunch and Learns” and why she wants to begin with the Micro-immuno field. Conducting these meetings around what the industry cares about will help equip leaders in developing new vaccines, knowing what models to follow, and what corporate higher-ups want to see for eventual drug development and approvals. Elaine has insights for those who are passionate about impact in order to have success moving product forward. Understanding what it will take from a data perspective to get something approved is invaluable!

Transitioning topics, Elaine talks about how EIR can be done virtually and the advancements that have become capable with technology. Having previously filled two separate roles at a University (Scientist and Tech Transfer professional), Elaine shares advice for those following in her footsteps: such as the importance of keeping up with documents, and being hyper-focused on the data and experiments that truly matter.

As the conversation draws to a close, James asks Elaine to touch on how universities and small companies can best approach partnering, even if they are not located within one of the major biotech hubs. She says it is simple: What can these universities or companies do to make it worthwhile for her to have a relationship?She talks about finding the avenue for someone to truly be of help, along with what can be done to make it a flexible and advantageous role.

Thanks for tuning in. As we learn more from new experts, we will share more. Please don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!

Links:

Learn more about Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures and connect on LinkedIn.

Connect with Patrick Reed and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with James Zanewicz and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about our podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network

 

Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode 3: Building Biotech Outside the Major Clusters (Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures)

Join us for this episode of BIO from the BAYOU, a podcast where we feature stories and industry insights from the experts located in and working with the bustling biotech scene of the Gulf South Region’s vibrant ecosystem. New Orleans is the place where people come for the science and stay for the food, festivals, and resilient culture. Join host James Zanewicz, with Tulane University’s School of Medicine to welcome special guest, Dr. Elaine Hamm. Elaine’s countless roles in industry have provided a great foundation for this conversation on how to build a biotech company when you are not located in one of the major biotech clusters.

The conversation kicks off with Elaine’s explanation of what made her want to run Biotech companies in the first place. When it comes to life sciences, people think of the major clusters and Elaine shares her first-hand experience of how the virtual world that she was already operating in herself, and the pandemic ushered in for the entire industry, is altering the landscape. After examining some of the barriers to being outside these clusters, Elaine shares some benefits -including the ability to find seed funding, accessibility of capital, lessened competition, and greater masses of people who are readily willing to assist with resources.

Shifting the conversation, James asks Elaine to discuss what programs have proved to be beneficial for her, and how she was able to access them. You’ll directly learn about the federal programs and tools that can complete – and pay for – studies for you as examine drug safety and toxicity! They then discuss how she approaches any additional fundraising. While it often depends on the company, Elaine chats about how foundations are great avenues to find a lot of passionate people and resources that are specific to various diseases.

Learn how Elaine has made the role of “Virtual CEO” work. She shares the importance of getting good at product management, outsourcing, and how she identifies the best partners for their products. Through interviewing and the key desire for constant communication, she describes experiences in testing the waters before plunging into a full partnership.

As the conversation draws to a close, Elaine offers a piece of advice for her younger self. She reminds herself that startups are chaos, so you need to relax and be okay with a bit of chaos, you will ultimately make it. Self-care should not be forgotten!

Thanks for listening. Please like, share, and subscribe!

Links:

Learn more about Elaine Hamm, Ascend BioVentures and connect on LinkedIn.

Connect with Patrick Reed and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with James Zanewicz and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about our podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network

 

Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode: Episode 2: Economic Development and Advocacy (Sharon Courtney and Nicole Honoree)

Welcome to this episode of BIO from the BAYOU, a podcast where we feature stories and industry insights from top experts from within the bustling biotech scene of the Gulf South Region. Filled with expertise and excitement, the region’s vibrant ecosystem is unveiled a bit more in each episode. Today’s hosts, Sharon Courtney and Nicole Honoree, are also today’s guests as they share how they have advanced their biotech ecosystems through partnerships and advocacy. Sharon is from Tulane, while Nicole is from LSU Health New Orleans, and both have much to say about how and why their paths continue to cross.

Nicole kicks off the episode by discussing what her role is and how she’s done a bit of everything, from research, to creating opportunities for faculty and students, to focusing on the local economy through intellectual capital available. Sharon shares about her time at Tulane as her role brought new priority to community relations that proves to be an increasingly important piece as the university continues to grow. Both experts agree that while relations are crucial, they are not always easy. Nicole and Sharon come from places with similar missions, but are different institutions that find themselves in positions that often align with one another. They discuss why it is crucial to develop trust and a common goal in order for people to come together successfully.

Taking a step back, Nicole and Sharon discuss the New Orleans region and how they have both had to work to pull themselves up to some degree. While the capital is not naturally there, these experts found great value in academic research and their institutions commitment to support regional growth. While there have been many successes and setbacks over the course of their work, they share where they see themselves in the landscape today. Listen as they chat about resilience, along with the role of both the community and universities to leverage their unique strengths. These experts agree that it’s crucial with pipeline models to focus on partnerships atevery point along the way, as roles will continue to evolve over time.

These relations truly enhance the opportunity for startups in New Orleans. How has this evolved and how has entrepreneurship been supported in the community? Learn about the champions that have risen over time and the key players who stepped up to help create what they have today. Through extensive partnerships, cultivation of relations has become natural in moving toward a similar goal—no single institution receives individualized grants. The key to moving the economy forward are these partnerships, and building on the assets the universities are creating.

Every city and region has different assets and culture, what assets are critical to a strong base for building upon? Sharon and Nicole discuss the various districts that cities create and how New Orleans’ ability to bring everyone along with them has been a key factor to ongoing success. This idea of inclusive growth is the hope to change their economic base, so that tourism is not what they’re built upon. While enhanced access to capital is key, they chat aboutthe need for a broad view and a wide scope in building relationships. Drawing to a close, they touch on a unique characteristic about New Orleans — that despite one institution being public and one private, both were founded to be outward looking and care for their community. And they seek to maintain these unchanging missions over time.

Thanks for tuning in! Please like, share, and subscribe!

Links:

Connect with Nicole Honoree and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with Sharon Courtney and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network.

 

Podcast: BIO from the BAYOU

Episode 1: Partnering (Hosts & Guests James Zanewicz and Patrick Reed)

Welcome to BIO from the BAYOU, a podcast featuring stories and industry insights from experts located in and working with the bustling biotech scene of the Gulf South Region.  Instead of more traditional podcast scheduling, BIO from the BAYOU will release clusters of ~15 minute episodes around key Bio-Industry events such as BIO, JPM HealthCare Week, BioNetwork West and AUTM – so that Bio-Industry insiders have something to listen to while traveling or between meetings.

The entire Gulf Coast region is filled with expertise and excitement, and BIO from the BAYOU is here to bring you full access to our vibrant ecosystem.  Each episode originates directly from New Orleans, where people come for the science and stay for the food, festivals, and resilient culture.  The inaugural episode of BIO from the BAYOU is hosted by Patrick Reed of LSU Health and James Zanewicz of Tulane University – and they also serve as guests as they interview each other and explore the world of business development and partnering!

James was recruited to launch Tulane’s unique business development efforts, and explains how his experience seeing how business development partnering worked in the corporate world motivated him to bring the practice to academia.  He began by defining the product at Tulane differently – specifically focused on offering potential partners value in an individual way that meets each specific partner’s needs.  Efforts like those at Tulane shaped how Patrick brought business development and partnering into his work at LSU Health.  Recognizing that traditional technology transfer is more of a passive function- waiting for innovation to flow from the “research funnel”- he added business development and partnering to actively operate at the top of the funnel to help grow strategic partnerships and increase the research base.  He and James discuss the “death” of traditional tech transfer (which some call more of an “evolution”), along with the rise of the broader term “knowledge transfer”.

There are many ways to connect companies and investors to university campuses, and James and Patrick offer more detail about both the progress they’ve made and the opportunities they still see to continue elevating the practice.  Patrick explains how he convinced LSU Health leadership to give him the leeway to get into business development and partnering, and James discusses the homework required to prepare for meetings with potential partners. Doing background work is key to saving companies time in order to stand out from the pack, and one specific way he does this is by holding joint meetings with Patrick!  Bringing institutions in the NOLA region together to pursue business connections is not only good for the region’s institutions (with their complementary assets) overall, but also provides a way to maximize meeting value and proposals for potential partners.

As the conversation wraps up, James and Patrick talk about the value of James initiating meetings with investors, leveraging your institution’s location and local events for connections, and the approach of creating spaces and venues for networking to happen.  Finally, Patrick and James reveal the evolution of their own signature event: BIO on the BAYOU, a biotech showcase event with the goal of elevating the academic/industry partnering game for the entire Gulf South.  Version 2.0 of the event is scheduled for fall 2022, and will rise to a new level of connectivity with more academic partners, once again providing even more value to corporate and investor attendees in one of the most amazing cities to visit in the country.

Links:

Connect with Patrick Reed and learn about LSU Health New Orleans.

Connect with James Zanewicz and learn about Tulane University (and its School of Medicine).

Learn more about BIO from the BAYOU – the show, the upcoming event, and more!

Learn more about podcast sponsor, The XLerator Network.

 

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