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Jésus Martin-Garcia, qualified personality
The founder of Eclosion, a Genevan start-up incubator whose know-how and resources have permitted a large number of biotech start-ups to take off, Jesus Martin-Garcia shares with Synergie Lyon Cancer the same desire to facilitate the transition between research and the patient.
To obtain his specialised degrees enabling him to embark in the business world, Jesus Martin-Garcia first studied economics and law at the University of Geneva, before obtaining an international Master in Business Administration from Harvard. He joined McKinsey & Co in Zurich in 1989 as a consultant, and specialised in consumer goods and the pharmaceutical industry. “Very early on in my career, I became interested in using innovation to make people’s lives easier and change society”, says Jesus Martin-Garcia. With the development of the Internet and communication technologies, Jesus Martin-Garcia plunged into this whirlpool of progress to found LeShop, now leader in e-commerce in Switzerland, and VMG*, an innovation consultancy for large telecom companies.
LeShop was sold In 2001, when Jesus Martin-Garcia took up a new challenge, that of transforming know-how in biotechnology in the region of Lake Geneva into start-ups. “After having worked for 10 years to make new technologies available to consumers through the Internet and telecommunications, I thought about the most efficient resources for accelerating the transition from scientific research to tools for prevention, diagnostics and care needed by both doctors and patients”. So the vocation of “Eclosion” came into being: that of helping academic researchers to validate their discoveries (new receivers, enzymes and signalling pathways, etc.) from the pharmacological standpoint and transform them into “proto-products” whose therapeutic potential can be evaluated. “Our team of experts evaluates the feasibility and pertinence of a project as a function of existing medical needs. If we obtain the go-ahead, we finance the experiments necessary to validate its therapeutic potential on the basis of private and public partnerships”. The aim is to develop original molecules known as “first-in-class”. Since Eclosion first started, hundreds of projects have been backed and about fifteen start-ups have taken off. “Even if a project doesn’t result in a product, we enrich our knowledge through experience”, asserts Jesus Martin-Garcia.
I want to create bridges so that the rough diamonds of research can serve patients as quickly as possible.
Naturally close to the values of the Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation, Jesus Martin-Garcia accepted to sit on its Management Board. “Not only am I fascinated by everything that concerns the application of science and knowledge, but Lyon is also a remarkable centre of excellence in cancerology. I was seduced by the Foundation’s originality and its capacity to drive new promising projects with extremely useful resources, such as the bioinformatics centre. I think I can contribute my experience, which is both general and specific to the field of biotechnologies, to the evaluation of projects with the other members of the Board “.
* Value Management Group