Leading the Medical Office at a Biotech Unicorn

Being Chief Medical Officer at an emerging biotech company is like picking up spilled mercury—there’s always at least one more little thing to chase. No CMO can do it all alone. That’s why building a solid team is critical.

In this episode, Dr. Ramin Farhood, Vice President of Medical Affairs, and Kim Kushner, Senior VP at SSI Strategy talked with Dr. Suku Nagendran, President of R&D and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Jaguar Gene Therapy. They discuss the challenges and rewards of being a CMO.

Dr. Negendran was formerly the CMO at Avexis. A gene therapy start-up that achieved unicorn status and delivered a life-saving drug for babies suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1. He shares insights from his time at Avexis that emerging CMOs can learn from as they navigate the complexities of the current biotech startup climate.

The Takeaway:

Always keep the mission in mind. You’re trying to help patients. Stray from that, and you could hurt patients and your company.

You can’t know everything, so you need your team’s knowledge, openness, and honesty to develop the right solutions for your patients.

Regardless of your company’s share price, you must do the right thing. Speak your mind, and challenge others. Courage counts.

Trust in partnerships. Outside partners can act as an “angel on your shoulder” to identify gaps.

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