Our user Pat Corsino, a R&D Manager at Nuovo Biologics, is studying the mechanism of action behind their antiviral and oncology technologies. I spoke with him about life and efficiency at an early-stage biotech, check out his advice about being proactive at a small biotech!
Q: What does Nuovo Biologics do?
Pat: We’re a small biotech company. We’re working on novel antiviral and anti-cancer therapeutics.
Q: How often does Nuovo Biologics contract out experiments?
Pat: Quite a bit, we have several collaborators all over the country. They help us plan and perform experiments, because we have limited capabilities in house. Right now, we need to get experiments done quickly in order to get funding to expand our laboratory.
Many collaborators do experiments for us, but sometimes there are projects that we can’t do through our network. That’s where Science Exchange comes in handy, because there’s a wealth of different experiments on the site.
Q: Tell me about the project that you did on Science Exchange?
Pat: We needed atomic absorption spectroscopy done, because as we were preparing our compound through several manufacturing processes we needed to find out if there was any residual chemical reactant in our compound.
What was interesting about our project on Science Exchange is that we started with one idea, but when we began talking to the laboratories on Science Exchange, they helped redirect us to a flow injection technique, which was better and more efficient. We worked with Millis Scientific to perform the experiment – it was nice that everyone was very knowledgeable.
Q: What’s your outlook on contracting out experiments, how do you make those decisions?
Pat: That’s something we struggle with daily, because there are so many different experiments that we need to do and to build out any of them is very expensive. It’s really about what we think will work long-term, and whether it’s worth it to build the infrastructure, buy the equipment, and bring the reagents in house.
On the other hand, when we try something out for the first time, there may be something we don’t know: whether it’s going to work, trying out an in vitro model, etc. If we try it out with Science Exchange and it doesn’t work, no big deal. If it does, great, we can then bring it in house. It’s really about our plans for the long term.
Q: Do you have any advice for early-stage biotech startups?
Pat: I think it’s really dependent on what you’re working on. For us, we have positive results, but we need to learn about our drug’s mechanism. If you have something that you want to figure out, the best thing to do is start wide. Cast a large net against your idea, then narrow things down.
[about_box image=”http://thebenchapp.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/25a0c07-e1374082790299.jpeg”] Tess Mayall builds Science Exchange’s online and offline community of scientists and providers. She is a geologist by training, but considers herself a friend of scientists near and far. [/about_box]