Alec Mian, putting Barcelona on the internacional biotechnology map

Jun 03 2009

alec_mian

“The small (though growing) amount of funds available for new companies means that many are underfunded”

Alec Mian is currently a co-founder and CEO of Genmedica Therapeutics, a Barcelona-based biotechnology start-up focused on developing therapeutics for diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Genmedica Therapeutics focus on the discovery and development of innovative human therapeutics for diseases within the so-called metabolic syndrome, namely, diabetes, obesity and inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases.

In many Western nations, metabolic syndrome diseases currently affect about 20% of the population and are growing at epidemic rates. Recent epidemiological and biological data suggest that the etiologies of these diseases share unexpected and overlapping genetic and biochemical mechanisms, thus offering synergy in the discovery and development of therapeutics of otherwise unrelated diseases. This overlap in biology is the focus of Genmedica’s drug discovery and development efforts.

Genmedica’s lead drug candidates are oral therapies for diabetes type 1 and 2 that represent a new class of potential diabetes therapies, and a novel class of anti-inflammatory compounds. These drug candidates are currently in pre-clinical studies.

Genmedica Therapeutics is being run by CEO Alec Mian and strives to be capital efficient and quasi-virtual with minimal office and laboratory space in Barcelona, Spain.

Bitotech & Design

Previously, Alec Mian was CEO and co-founder of Gamera Biosciences Corporation in Boston, USA, which was founded in 1993 to develop high speed, microfluidics technology for the drug discovery and genomics industries. The company was financed by local and internacional venture capital sources, including Advent internacional, Bessemer Venture Partners and Oak Investments Partners.

Mian had been living in Barcelona and was considering moving to London to head another biotech company when he was contacted by Antonio Zorzano at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine: IRB to head a company based on Zorzano’s research into an oral replacement for insulin. This was a high-risk project, but “if successful, such a discovery and development would put Barcelona on the international biotechnology map,” says Mian.

In Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Mian founded the design company La Evolution Barcelona SL with a small group of designers and marketing people. Dr. Mian is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Santa & Cole, Spain’s largest design company.

Dr. Mian completed his Bachelors in biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He completed his doctorate in genetics at University of Cambridge, UK, with Gabriel Dover; and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, with George Church. He is author or co-author of over a dozen patents and publications. Dr. Mian is a Spanish resident and citizen of Canada and Germany.