Improving the Playing Field for Biotech Startups: Melinda Richter, Prescience

Podcast brought to you by: Chempetitive Group - Who for more than a decade has helped science-based companies build and execute innovative marketing campaigns. "We love science. We love marketing. We love the idea of combining the two to make great things happen for your marketing communications."


Melinda Richter, Founder, Prescience Bio and Contact Info

Listen (10:28) How are you accelerating the commercialization of life science technology?

Listen (7:47) Innovation centers helping out startups

Listen (2:55) Educating entrepreneurs

Listen (8:27) Jumping the financial hurdle

Lying in a Beijing hospital bed waiting and waiting for a diagnosis, Melinda Richter, a telecom executive on assignment in Asia, had one of those look-death-in-the-face experiences. "We're here once only, and we have to live our time well," she says in today's interview.

This brush with her mortality propelled Ms. Richter to do something that made a difference to others. This led her to the life science industry, where she found much greater hurdles to entrepreneurship than she had seen in high tech. Asking herself what she could do to help startups and speed up the time for commercializing what is some great technologies led her to found Prescience International. Prescience runs two 'innovation centers', San Jose Biocenter and Janssen Labs in San Diego. In today's show, Melinda describes what these incubator spaces are doing to help lower the barriers for life science startups to get off their feet. Prescience also offers courses for entrepreneurs to get hands on training industry leaders.

Commercializing Research: U of I Research Park

Podcast Sponsor: Ingenuity - iReport, the fastest and most accurate way to get biological meaning from your expression data. iReport/


Laura Frerichs, Director, University of Illinois Research Park Bio and Contact Info

Yi Lu, PhD ,Professor, University of Illinois Bio and Contact Info

Listen (3:49) What is the process for turning research into a successful startup?

Listen (10:53) Advantages to using the U of I Research Park

Listen (2:45) Trend is toward commercializing more research

Listen (1:46) Are there conflicts of interest here?

Listen (5:59) Dr. Lu is the founder of two companies at U of I Research Park

Listen (3:32) Decision to start a company

Listen (7:18) Leveraging existing glycometers to look for biomarkers

Listen (4:37) Does commercialization detract from research?

Listen (4:52) Why he's excited about digital health

Recently we’ve had on several guests who have created start-ups from technology developed at Stanford University. Today we have two guests on the program to talk about commercializing technologies developed at universities.

Laura Frerichs is the Director of the Research Park and Incubation Facilities at the University of Illinois. Laura discusses the programs that the Research Park has put in place to assist young businesses.

Later we talk with Dr. Yi Lu, a professor at the University of Illinois and founder of two start-ups, one of which has graduated from the Incubator.

Innovation in Big Pharma with Chris Haskell, Bayer

Podcast brought to you by: Assay Depot - the world's largest cloud-based marketplace for research services. With Assay Depot, you can easily find the perfect research service provider and manage your project from anywhere in the world.


Chris Haskell, PhD, Head, U.S. Science Hub Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Bio and Contact Info

Listen (4:00) Head of Bayer Science Hub

Listen (4:48) Grants4Targets and the Collaborator

Listen (2:24) Why is proximity important?

Listen (7:36) Characterize your master agreement with UCSF

Listen (3:35) Bayer is doing well - why the doom and gloom?

Listen (6:46) Personal journey to Bayer Hub

To finish up our special series, Innovation in Pharma, we wanted to bring someone on from Big Pharma to get their point of view. Chris Haskell is the head of the US Science Hub for Bayer Healthcare. The Science Hub sits at the core of Bayer's innovation strategy and Chris is developing innovative partnered research programs between Bayer’s research projects and early programs in academia and biotech. The Hub is located in San Francisco's Mission Bay next to UCSF. We talk with Chris about Bayer's master agreement with UCSF and ask him what benefits come from the close proximity to this top biomedical research university.

An eBay for Science with Elizabeth Iorns

Podcast Sponsor: Assay Depot- The world's largest cloud-based Research Exchange for pharmaceutical research services. Assay Depot is currently sponsoring the Open Science Challenge. Submit your research plan to, for a chance to win from the $10,000 prize pool. Guest: Elizabeth Iorns, CEO, Science Exchange Bio and Contact Info Listen (4:21) What is Science Exchange? Listen (3:06) Who are the providers? Listen (1:33) Advantages of being vendorized Listen (3:02) Will this send jobs overseas? Listen (11:06) Participation in Y Combinator Listen (3:55) Is this the future? Listen (1:38) New site trends Outsourcing is more and more the trend in bio these days. In an effort to reduce the huge cost of drug development, big pharma is teaming up with universities and small biotech. One hears of new virtual companies set up relying completely on a network of partners, much like NuMedii, a company we recently profiled. Yet there are challenges that come with outsourcing. Elizabeth Iorns and her colleagues have started to address just those challenges. The site is being referred to as an eBay for science. A former researcher herself at the University of Miami, Elizabeth joins us today to tell us about this new marketplace and how it solves outsourcing challenges.