Improving Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
School of Pharmacy faculty entrepreneurs bring technology from the lab to the marketplace
By Katie Ginder-Vogel
It’s not easy starting a new company, and it’s even more demanding to be an entrepreneur while also working full time as a professor at one of the top pharmacy schools in the country. Running a startup and a research program is like running two companies at the same time.
Two professors at the UW–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Division are up for the challenge of being both entrepreneurs and academic researchers:
- Seungpyo Hong, professor, is founder and president of Capio Biosciences, an oncology diagnostics company that captures circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole blood; and
- Glen Kwon, professor and Jens T. Carstensen Distinguished Chair, is founder and chief science officer of Co-D Therapeutics, whose lead product Triolimus is a three-in-one anti-cancer nanomedicine.
Both companies evolved out of cancer research—Capio Biosciences focuses on cancer detection, and Co-D Therapeutics is dedicated to cancer treatment. Hong and Kwon have both had the experience of being scientific researchers who founded companies to translate their discoveries into viable products and now have experience building leadership teams and fundraising to grow their companies. They shared their insights about the challenges and benefits of being both a professor and an entrepreneur, as well as what they’ve learned.