National Yang Ming University Business Center of Industry-Academia Liaison Serial Events of Bio-navigator -- Corporate Keynote Speech
A Flourishing Biotech Entrepreneur – Dr. Chan Wei Kang’s Path to Success
Contribution to society has been the motivation behind
Dr. Chan Wei Kang’s devotion to the pharmaceutical industry.
(From the right: Principal Kuo, Dr. Chan, the chief executive officer Pei Hsien Chih)
Experienced in the development of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Dr. Chan Wei Kang has been invited to the fifth round of the Academia Liaison Serial Events of Bio-navigator -- Corporate Keynote Speech on the 14th of March. He used to work as the deputy general manager in the Research and Development Department of Syntex, U.S.A. and was the co-founder of ScinoPharm – a well-known active pharmaceutical ingredient company in Taiwan. In this lecture, Dr. Chan shared his experiences regarding the ways of making good use of the academic research power in Taiwan to put innovative ideas into practice, allowing the biotechnology industry in Taiwan to create more chances and possibilities!
Dr. Chan Wei Kang took pride in making several achievements while working at ScinoPharm, including establishing the company’s networks and teams, starting a professional consulting group by recruiting professors specializing in organic chemistry from all over Taiwan, and drawing outstanding talents from eight universities in Taiwan to ScinoPharm through student contests!
After retirement, Dr. Chan’s passion for the biotechnology industry has led him to found “Allianz Pharmascience Limited,” “Nano Targeting & Therapy Biopharma Inc.,” and “Helios Bioelectronics Inc.” one after the other, stepping across the fields of new drug development, nano drug development, and biomarker testing. These three startup companies are all intimately connected to academia.
Allianz Pharmascience Limited focuses on the development of orphan drugs. New drug companies generally carry out independent research and development to keep their businesses running. Unlike these companies, Allianz Pharmascience Limited cooperates with universities, research units, or hospitals for each indication to maximize the academic research power. Helios Bioelectronics Inc. and Nano Targeting & Therapy Biopharma Inc. also collaborate with National Chiao Tung University, National Central University, and National Taiwan University, respectively, to develop chips for testing and nanocarrier.
There is an excellent business potential, he believes, hidden within the developing academic research! The Taiwanese academia possesses technologies that are comparable to those owned by other countries, with many units holding first-rate equipment, yet the research outcome is not outstanding. This is mainly because the Taiwanese academia has scruples about business cooperation. In contrast, scholars from overseas academic institutions such as Harvard and MIT, show enthusiasm in cooperating with many companies.
Dr. Chan Wei Kang discussed the patent issues.
In the lecture, Principal Kuo claimed that most academics apply for patents for the purpose of faculty promotion. As a result, many intellectual properties (IP) cannot be commercialized. He encouraged scholars possessing an early-stage technological potential to cooperate with firms and apply for the patent together (not for outright sell). Any commercial profits made in the future can be contributed to the related universities. Dr. Chan responded that patents need to be disconnected from theses for a patent application is a commercialized behavior. To make a patent application meaningful, we need to think about what extended products can be made before applying for a patent!
Dr. Chan has found fund-raising a difficult task despite his experiences in founding several companies! Investors do not care how much money you have made for a company in the past, he emphasized, but when you will start making money for them. It is important to get mentally prepared to start a company, as most investors you encounter don’t trust you! Apart from the essential requirement of fundings, there are other crucial factors for startup success; clear positioning of the company, customer needs for products, specific company goals, and complete packages offered. Talents and teams do not need to be outstanding but are able to achieve company goals, as it is easy to start a company, but hard to keep it alive!
Dr. Chan Wei Kang 's experience sharing provoked resonance amongst the audience.