Many times people suffer from some self-generated disease which might lead to some serious health issues. Inflammation is one such self-generated defense mechanism that still remains one of the untouched medical conditions. Inflammation generally occurs as a self-defense mechanism in response to some foreign body or an injury. But, quite often this can result in unnecessary rapid reactions by bodily organs. This sometimes leads to serious health problems and in extreme cases, can be fatal.
With various researches being conducted to find a better solution for the issues faced due to inflammation, very few have managed to contribute to it. One such personality is Dr. Caroline Barelle, CEO of Elasmogen. Elasmogen is in the process of next-generation soloMER products. These products will be helpful for the sight-saving treatment of inflammatory diseases of the eyes and inflammatory conditions of the gut.
Caroline is a graduate in biochemistry from the University of Aberdeen. She has completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry and later chose to develop her business skills by completing an MBA. Currently, as a CEO, Caroline plays a significant role at Elasmogen. She handles all the aspects of the company from securing investments and making strategic decisions about the direction of the business to overseeing the science programs.
Overcoming the Challenges
Like any other entrepreneur, Caroline’s initial journey with Elasmogen was quite difficult. The biggest challenge she faced was to start a biotech company and to secure money for it. As a biotech startup, the main focus was on setting up a lab and negotiating the shareholding structure along with employing the correct team.
Caroline says, “Every activity was one that I had never done before so it was all new and much of it such as the legal and accountancy activities were conducted in a totally different language from scientific speak!”
The major issue emerged when the company was established. Caroline and her team had to continuously maintain and secure the investments. Apart from the investments, she had to maximize productivity and achieve the desired goal in the world of therapeutic drug development.
Having done her studies in biochemistry, Caroline always wanted to contribute her career in drug discovery and development. From this, she gets the motivation to run a biotech firm so that it will benefit numerous human lives in the coming years. This will also create opportunities for scientists to develop their skills and prove and share the success for better drug delivery.
According to Caroline, the greatest achievement to date is that she was courageous enough to set up a new biotech company. She not only started a company but, also helped it reach a level through these seven years. She adds, “I also take great pride in being able to provide jobs for fantastic people who are the most important asset – we work hard but also make time to enjoy what we do.”
Novel Drug Discovery
As Elasmogen has just started its journey, it aims to provide novel drugs to the world. The journey of these proposed medicines has to reach out to patients who are in absolute need. Caroline, with her scientists, designs and develops such novel drugs.
Currently, the company is focused on developing types of drugs which are antibody-like. These drugs are named as soloMERs. The market today is dominated by such antibody-based drugs and these drugs by Elasmogen will prove helpful in changing patient’s lives.
Elasmogen’s core products are for the treatment of inflammatory, auto-immune disease and cancer. The development of drugs changes with time. With the advancement in technology, learning, refining and improvement of research and development occur. This is helping Elasmogen to develop the next generation of biologic drugs to improve clinical outcomes.
Growing with Others
An entrepreneur has plenty of responsibilities when it comes to managing a company and its team. Caroline gets her inspiration from the people she is surrounded by. She believes that one should surround themselves by the people who create positivity and help one grow. It is of utmost importance to interact with people who have gone through a similar journey that one wants to follow.
Caroline mentions, “And finally in the words of Grace Hopper ‘it’s better to seek forgiveness than permission’ – essentially just go for it!”
Apart from the supporting system, one needs to be innovative. Caroline adds, “Innovation is at the core of what we do and so provided it is adding value to the company and indeed the potential to be a life-changing drug then letting the team be curious and creative is easy as those are inherent characteristics of a good research scientist.”
Further, Caroline wants a future with a vision to build and grow the company in the clinical drug development process. She wants to bring her first product to the market and enter clinical trials followed by a robust pipeline of next stage products.