Around this time last year I talked with Joseph Tucker about a “new path to manufacturing opiods“. He and his business partner and science lead Peter Facchini, had taken the final step that would make it possible to manufacture opioids using a yeast fermentation process. It took years to get from Peter’s early research work to the stage where it had commercial potential and in the last year that success is tantalizingly close with their new company Willow Biosciences.
Joseph Tucker is Executive Chairman of the new company and Peter Facchini is its Chief Scientific Officer. He is also a Professor of Biosciences at the University of Calgary and Genome Alberta had a hand in funding some of the earlier work that helped get the process off the ground.
They were speakers at an Innovate Calgary event in the new Life Sciences Innovation Hub located in the University of Calgary Research Park. From biological research to multi-million dollar biotech company: A perspective on the research-based entrepreneurial journey was well attended and there was lots of discussion about what it takes to make that leap from the lab into the commercial world.
It wasn’t easy working around their respective schedules but I eventually got the 2 of them together on a phone to follow-up on the discussion that had taken place in the Hub. Excuse the sound quality but it shouldn’t get in the way of what turned out to be an interesting 20 minutes or so.