When Is the Right Time to Form a Spin-Out? With Wesley Jackson, PhD, Valitor


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Wesley Jackson, PhD, spent years conducting post-doctoral research and writing grants, all the while setting the wheels in motion to launch Valitor.

Valitor is developing VLTR-557 a long-lasting anti-VEGF. The technology platform, a multivalent polymer (MVP), is integral to VLTR-557.

With Firas Rahhal, MD, Dr. Jackson shares why he stuck with the science behind Valitor during his PhD studies and beyond. He also discusses why he kept his sights set on entrepreneurship while his colleagues pursued academic careers.

Long story short: Dr. Jackson worked for a medtech start-up as a college student and fell for the “we’re all in this together” culture of the company.

As the scientist behind MVP, Dr. Jackson says his commitment and passion for the company and its products give Valitor a competitive edge. A larger company may shelve an acquired product, leaving it to sit ignored. The start-up has ownership, and will maintain that responsibility for as long as it takes.

Listen to the podcast today to discover:
• More about Dr. Jackson’s background, which includes a PhD through a joint Bioengineering program at UCSF and UC Berkeley, followed by post-doc research at NIH.
• Details on spinning up Valitor: tech transfer, intellectual property challenges, securing funding. How it all came together and the people that helped make it possible.
• The right time to move forward with a spinout as an academic. Is it when you raise institutional money? When you assemble a team? Or something else?
• The science behind Valitor’s multivalent biopolymer technology: how it was conceived, how it works, and the molecules it works with.
• How Valitor’s technology addresses wet AMD and why the company calls their lead product, VLTR-557, the second-generation anti-VEGF.
• How the technology uses hyaluronic acid to develop a long-lasting product.
• The current state of Valitor, both scientifically and as a business.

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Wesley Jackson, PhD: linkedin.com/in/wesleymjackson
Firas Rahhal, MD: ois.net/firas-m-rahhal-md
Valitor: valitorbio.com