Young biotech entrepreneurs | Sunday Observer

Young biotech entrepreneurs

As an industry where innovation is always first, biotech attracts many young entrepreneurs whose ideas could change the world. Here’s our list of some of the most inspiring leaders behind the new generation of biotech companies in Europe.

Europe is full of promising young minds in the field of biotech. Though it was difficult to choose only 10, we managed to narrow it down with the help of other seasoned biotech entrepreneurs.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, and there are many more people that clearly deserve a mention. The list is in no particular order.


Thomas Ybert

Co-founder and CEO of DNA Script, France

Thomas founded DNA Script in 2014, when he was only 30 years old. After completing a PhD in biotechnology, he worked at Sanofi and then on developing biofuels for the companies Amyris and Total. From his experience in the industry he noticed that the technology for writing DNA was lagging behind that used for reading DNA.

Thomas co-founded DNA Script along with two other exceptional young entrepreneurs, Sylvain Gariel (COO) and Xavier Godron (CTO). Together they decided to develop a new, biological method that can synthesize DNA faster, more accurately and much more affordable than the current chemical technology. The company is doing very well so far, having raised €11M in 2017.


Laura Soucek

Co-founder and CEO of Peptomyc, Spain

Founded in 2017, Amylon Therapeutics focuses on developing RNA therapies for disorders of the Central Nervous System. It’s most advanced program targets Katwijk’s disease, a rare genetic disease that causes brain hemorrhage.

Ryan Cawood

Founder and CEO of Oxford Genetics, UK

Ryan founded Oxford Genetics in 2011 after completing a PhD at the University of Oxford. He convinced his advisor to put some money into the company, took a bank loan, and managed to find lab space in the facilities of a company in exchange for making DNA for them.

Today, Oxford Genetics is an accomplished company that designs and optimizes custom solutions for companies developing biological therapeutics. The company recently opened offices in Boston and had to extend its current facilities in Oxford.

 Noor Shaker

Co-founder and CEO of GTN, UK

With a successful academic record in Artificial Intelligence, Noor founded GTN in 2017 to apply her knowledge to the field of drug discovery. Noor and her co-founder Vid Stojevic, a theoretical physicist, aim to screen huge amounts of possible drugs using Quantum Computing.

The technology that GTN is developing could massively cut down the time and money it takes to develop a new drug. The company is also tackling the challenge of developing medicines that can cross the blood-brain barrier to treat neurodegenerative diseases. Last year, GTN raised €2.4M (£2.1M) and signed a partnership to start working with a drug developer.

Veronika Oudova

Co-founder and CEO of S-Biomedic, Belgium

Having worked in business and market research for years, Veronika was introduced to the science of the skin microbiome through her co-founders, Bernhard Pätzold (CSO) and Marc Güell (Scientific Director). The idea was so enticing that she gave up her job to create S-Biomedic, in 2014.

S-Biomedic has developed a cosmetic product with bacterial species that help prevent the appearance of acne. The company raised €2M last July and is now working with Beiersdorf, the manufacturer of Nivea creams, to complete the development of the cosmetic product and commercialise it.


 Francesco Gatto

Co-founder and CSO of Elypta, Sweden

Francesco came up with the idea behind Elypta while doing a PhD at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. After seeing his results in the lab, his advisor encouraged him to take the path of entrepreneurship, and Francesco founded Elypta in 2017.

Elypta is developing a diagnostic method created by Gatto to diagnose Cancer from just a sample of blood or urine. This ‘liquid biopsy’ technology has shown unprecedented accuracy in diagnosing and monitoring the severity of renal cell Carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer. The ultimate goal of the company is to develop a test for all types of cancer.