Interview with Kevin Chen | CEO & Co-founder | Hyasynth Bio

Tell me something about your project? (Just one specific project you have right now)

Hyasynth is creating a new class of drugs, based around the phytocannabinoids. We're changing the supply chain and making it easy for companies and investors to fund new therapeutics based on the successes that we've seen coming from cannabis in nature. It's a typical human progression from a natural phenomenon to a well-understood, and widely available set of products.

Who is/are part of this project (people, company etc.)? 

Our founding team consists of Shoham, Zach, Alex and myself. Our lead advisor is Vince Martin. Our main expertise is in metabolic engineering.

What are the challenges you encountered? 

Plenty of things. We've got regulation around every aspect of our project, and that goes on top of the typical challenges that you'd see from a biotech development.

How did you get the funding? 

We were part of the first-ever cohort of IndieBio in the summer of 2014 in Cork, Ireland. From there, raised a follow-on round and received a good chunk of funding from the Government of Canada.

What motivates you to create this project? 

My projects need to be really challenging and really interesting. They need to hit relevance within two or three years of the start date. Anything later than that can be developed after this project, and anything earlier will be irrelevant before the project gets finished.

What equipments did you use/are using? 

Various. I can't really name one particular thing, but it's the same types of things you'd see at any metabolic engineering company.

When did you started this project and when do you think it will be finished/when did you finished it? 

The project started in 2014. It will be finished within the next couple years. Things will start coasting exponentially soon.

In what aspect do you think your project can be useful to people or let's just say, of changing the world? 

We're enabling a new class of drugs to be developed that are related to over 100 different diseases. It's an untapped potential that we're enabling. In many cases, prescription drugs have harsher side effects compared to a phytocannabinoid. We're changing phytocannabinoids from being a last resort drug, to a good first try.

What are your plans after this project? 

Bigger problems, harder challenges. This one has a good set of challenges going into it, but there's more out there.

Do you think your project would be successful and useful?