Ashmita Das, Kolabtree co-founder, discusses the challenges in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and the future of biomedicine with biotech entrepreneur Jacob Glanville.
Kolabtree, freelancing platform for scientists, has launched “Innovators Speak”, a series of interviews with the world’s top industry leaders about the latest innovations in the life sciences. The first guest speaker was Jacob Glanville, CEO of therapeutics company Centivax. Notably featured in Netflix’s ‘Pandemic‘, Glanville is pioneering the manufacturing of universal vaccines and therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Speaking with Kolabtree CEO Ashmita Das, Glanville emphasizes the role of biotechnology in transforming innovation in therapeutic technologies and disease management. While he agrees that vaccines are important, he also believes that we need a medicine that can be mass-produced, accessed easily and is effective against future variants.
“The truth is we are not going to make enough vaccines for the world. We can reduce the amount of the outbreaks, but they will still happen, and that means what we really need is a therapy. An effective therapy downgrades this from a medical crisis to a manageable infectious disease,” he says.
Glanville developed the core business model and technology for biotech company Distributed Bio and its spin-off Centivax, both of which follow a lean business model to minimize redundancy and maximize efficiency, resulting in sustained profits without external investment.
Calling himself an “immune hacker”, he believes in engineering beyond what nature can offer to create effective medicines. “We’re bringing in new technologies to be able to make better engineered medicines to break through the continued limitations of nature. So we infer from nature, but we move beyond it in order to create better medicines.”
Talking about the significance of freelance scientific consultants, Glanville also touches upon why it’s important for young entrepreneurs to identify what tasks can be outsourced to freelance experts as and when the need arises, resulting in lower costs and greater productivity.
“Glanville is an inspiration for life science companies that are looking to create breakthrough innovations,” Das says. “Kolabtree helps these companies access the expertise they need to get an idea off the ground, develop a safe, effective product and take it to market with minimal hassle. We’re a one-stop shop for life science experts who can be hired on demand for specific, niche projects.”