Life may have created chaos in one family facing the prospect of no therapy for a rare condition, Pompe disease, but it did not stop two fathers and businessmen from creating a new path for research within the medical care system. Recently, the Baiada Institute hosted the Eye of the Entrepreneur session where this rare disease met its match through the creativity and business expertise of two entrepreneurs. John F. Crowley, Chairman, President and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. and P. Sherrill Neff, founding partner of Quaker Partners teamed up to share how their collaboration enabled families burdened with Pompe disease to have hope for new therapies.
The Eye of the Entrepreneur series is using a live interview format to look inside the minds of featured entrepreneurs and the business environment in which they work. The purpose is to reveal entrepreneurial ecosystem in which they practice, provide wisdom, guiding principles, philosophies and practical advice to the audience of novice and experienced entrepreneurs. The moderator, Mark P. Loschiavo, Executive Director of the Laurence A. Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, guided the discussions.
The earliest partnership efforts, as noted by Sherrill Neff, depending on mutual respect and the building of an trusting and authentic relationship between members of the two organizations. The entrepreneurs shared that the key benefit of the partnership between Amicus and Quaker Partners was identification of AT2220 (duvoglostat HCL), a therapeutic drug combined with gene therapy that had had positive results in early human research studies. Amicus continues to identify opportunities to fund research projects to discover other novel therapies for rare diseases.
When asked about what is next for Amicus, John Crowley responded that there are more than 6000 rare diseases worldwide and the question is not what is next, but which is first in this growing list of healthcare concerns. He further stated that collaborating with experts in science, biopharmaceuticals, drug development, business and finance allows for more insightful decision-making. Both speakers concurred that collaboration among a trusted group of advisors is an essential component of the success of an entrepreneurial venture.
The Eye of the Entrepreneur program allows entrepreneurs and students of entrepreneurship to benefit from the thoughtful reflections of successful leaders in various industries. It provides a dynamic forum for learning from those who have tried, failed, try again and succeeded in taken their passions and expertise and generating sustainable businesses. As this session showed, combining expertise, passion, determination and business acumen led to a rare disease meeting its match.