L’ospite della nostra video webchat del 30 gennaio è Elizabeth Robinson specializzata in Biotecnologie al MIT e co-fondatore di NicOx SA – un’importante azienda biotech franco-italiana, creata nel 1996 e specializzata nello sviluppo di farmaci che rilasciano ossido nitrico . È stata vice presidente esecutivo della NicOx SA ed è ora membro del consiglio d’amministrazione e presidente della NicOx Srl. Elizabeth Robinson è anche consulente di Sofinnova Partners ed ha una vasta esperienza nello sviluppo e nel brevetto di componenti farmaceutici innovativi. Elizabeth Robinson è uno dei soci fondatori ed azionisti di Relivia Srl, un'azienda italiana che opera nel settore dermatologico. In Italia dalla fine degli anni 80, è stata consulente per lo sviluppo tecnologico della Techint dal 1988 al 1990 e successivamente direttore della gestione prodotti della Recordati dal 1990 al 1996.
Elizabeth in questa breve nota biografica parla di sé, della sua carriera e della sua esperienza professionale in Italia .
“I am American but have been in Italy since the late 80's. As a young PhD student at MIT I had a dream come true when my profs asked me to take my project (hyaluronic acid) into a start-up company - it is now a marketed product !!! That was a unique thrill and it was a wonderful time in the mid 80's in Boston - the tiny company which at them time had 5 employees is now Genzyme a giant in the industry. I came to Italy for purely personal reasons and after several years in the Italian pharma industry some guys came to me and they had a patent for a new pain drug, a little bit of animal and even clinical data (done a bit on the sly through other professor friends) and even some interest from big Pharma. We decided to try the American start-up model !!!! At that time 1996 it was pretty impossible and we could only find money outside of Italy - we found American VC money but they wanted to take the project away from us and move it to Boston so we said no. We got funding form France (we were just four people at the time) and now the company has more than 100 employees and is one of the most successful biotech in Europe - Nicox.
I just love the start-up sector - I think I am a start-up addict by now. I also think Italy provides a huge opportunity due to "scarcity" - it is harder to find a good deal and harder to get it going but if you do it can really stand out and have a high value - maybe even more than in the US.
I now also work closely with a VC group to help them become recognized in Italy and I am working with Assobiotech and also with Partnership for Growth to do anything I can to help improve the Italian environment in infrastructure for start-ups.
At present I am working on two new deals - another in the pharma sector and one in the textile sector !!!”
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