Lessons learned: The case of to-BBB
In the summer of 2014, Gaillard left to-BBB, the company he founded, because he did not agree with the new direction set out by the majority of directors and shareholders. The company had just received another round of financing, so there was more in our bank account than ever before. Less than six months later, the company filed for bankruptcy. This could have been the end of a promising startup, based on a new method to help drugs to pass the so-called blood brain barrier. But Gaillard decided to give his dream another chance. In March 2015, with the help of three investors, he bought back all relevant patents and data results from the administrator in the bankruptcy. He started rebuilding everything in order to resume product development, together with parties who understand and value our products. Lessons learned will be shared.
Dr. Pieter J. Gaillard
Co-founder and CEO, 2-BBB Medicines BV
Dr. Pieter J. Gaillard is a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur. He founded the company to-BBB in 2003, to-BBB Taiwan Ltd. in 2008, and is now leading the re-start of the companies (2-BBB) after the bankruptcy early 2015. In the mean time, Pieter founded Eyesiu Medicines BV, focused on therapeutic eye care, and is named inventor on the patents protecting the products in development by both companies. He is educated as a neuroscientist at Utrecht University and obtained a PhD degree in pharmacology from Leiden University. With his team at to-BBB, he successfully raised six rounds of equity investments, ranging from seed to series C venture capital, and numerous non-dilutive credits and grants. As to-BBB’s chief scientific officer, he effectively licensed-in the core technology (G-Technology®) from the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan, and led the company through the discovery and preclinical phases of drug development, delivering the company’s lead product 2B3-101 in a clinical phase I/IIa brain cancer trial in 2011, and the company’s second product 2B3-201 for acute relapses in MS in a phase I trial in 2013. In the mean time, he and his team established numerous research collaborations with top tier pharmaceutical companies, foundations and academic groups to combine to-BBB's innovative approach with their potential drugs in development. In 2017, he licensed-out 2B3-101 to a listed, oncology-focused Danish company, and established a Joint Venture company (EnhanX Biopharm Inc.) in Taiwan around the 2B3-201 program. Also, an ophthalmic spin-off company, Mireca Medicines GmbH, was created in Germany with 2-BBB as shareholder and Pieter assumed the role of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Meanwhile he is also actively involved as (supervisory) board member or (expert) advisor at e.g., Leiden Marketing, Leiden Bio Science Park, (co-founder of) BBBNedwork Foundation, Carduso Capital and (co-founder of) SEVBI, a foundation for effective off-label prescription.
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