As a direct result of the growth and evolution of ValiRx, we recently appointed Dr Andrew Carnegie as Head of Strategic Commercial Development for our newly launched laboratory facilities, Inaphaea BioLabs.
With more than 17 years’ business and commercial development experience in the biotech and life sciences sectors, Andrew will lead Inaphaea’s growth strategy and secure third-party business. He will also ensure the tCRO™ provides testing services that help to achieve improved translation of drug candidates that are of greatest relevance to customers.
In the first instalment of our ‘meet the team’ series for Inaphaea BioLabs, we discover a little more about Andrew, his career, previous experience and his plans and ambitions for the new laboratory.
How would you describe your career history?
Diverse, extensive and very interesting!
My further education was in the sciences. I took an undergrad degree course at the University of Essex in Cell & Molecular Biology before moving on to complete a PhD at Birkbeck College, London. I chose to study clostridium perfringens: specifically the study of cell toxicology focusing on how the alpha toxin released causes the death of cells.
My third-year degree project, under Nelson Fernandez, Professor of Immunology at the University of Essex, involved the use of confocal microscopy which I used as part of my PhD course. I also completed a post-doc in dopamine receptors at Reading University.
My first job, however, wasn’t a lab position; it was in business development, but it did put my science to good use as I was working with a pre-clinical CRO.
I’d enjoyed working in the lab, but I wanted more! I wasn’t completely satisfied with working in early-stage R&D and wanted to be able to see the whole process through to fruition. I was also curious to learn how technology in a lab setting could play a key role.
Soon after my time with my first CRO, I moved into a role which gave me the opportunity to put both my scientific and business development experience to good use and I became proficient in translating and marrying the needs of the lab with those of the business sector. This role also enabled me to see a compound transition from the lab bench through from pre-clinical into the next stages.
From there, I enjoyed numerous positions with different life science and biotech organisations which enabled me to further develop my scientific skills as well as my business development and marketing expertise.
How has your previous experience informed your current position?
I feel that all my diverse experience has led me to this current position and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to play a major role in launching and growing a much-needed service in translational research. After working for many years in commercial development in the biotech industry, I have a good appreciation of the challenges for drug developers and fully support the ambition of Inaphaea to address a clear gap in the market.
What does your role at Inaphaea involve?
I have worked closely with Suzy and the team at ValiRx to oversee the staffing and equipping of the new lab facilities at MediCity in Beeston.
It’s my job to promote Inaphaea BioLabs; to generate interest and facilitate partnerships. I prefer to use the networking and conference circuits to speak to people face-to-face to find out what it is they need and how we can support them.
I’ve identified a number of conferences and I’ve hit the ground running. We’ll be a Bronze Sponsor at BioTrinity which takes place in late April, and I hope to follow up soon after with a launch event to celebrate the opening of the lab facilities here at MediCity.
Inaphaea’s laboratories are targeted to be fully operational within Q2 2023, with initial services focusing on cancer cell activity; allowing the study of drug candidates in a range of cell lines to elucidate activity, toxicity, and mechanism of action of test molecules.