Guru sat down with John Butler, CEO/CSO and Founder of QuantumCyte, to talk about his motivations to start his own company, how QuantumCyte is assisting the effort to treat every kind of cancer, how personalized medicine is no longer a buzzwork and much more.
Why did John leave his lucrative job to start QuantumCyte?
After John's wife was diagnosed with late-stage metastatic carcinoma cancer, he left his lucrative job as a successful CEO and turned his attention to helping patients like her find drug therapies by utilizing his background in genetics and genomics.
How QuantumCyte is aiding the effort to treat every kind of cancer in the world
John and his co-founder Dr. Bidhan Chaudhuri discovered an unmet need in the cancer field and wanted to develop technology to find drug therapies for every cancer patient on the planet. Currently, 25% of the patients suffering from the four most well-studied cancers globally have access to FDA-approved treatment. If one looks at rare cancers, the therapy options are pretty low or even unavailable. QuantumCyte is developing a technology that looks at cancer from a genetic perspective and at each patient's biology to find drug therapies to cure their cancer.
QuantumCyte's technology allows for more specificity when studying drug response in cancer cells
Clinical labs have tests that they use to detect how a patient will respond to current drug therapies. These tests allow them to study the drug-resistant and drug-responsive cells at the same time. As drug-resistant cells are present in a tiny population of roughly around 5%, most of the signal-to-noise ratio is based on drug-responsive cells and is an inefficient method.
QuantumCyte's technology allows you to segregate these two cell populations and study them separately, thereby improving the signal-to-noise ratio and get a better output.
QuantumCyte's innovative technology is significantly better than traditionally available methods
The traditionally available methods for studying a biopsy are not scalable, provide mediocre results, and are labor-intensive as they rely too much on the technician's skill to isolate the correct cell population from the slide. QuantumCyte automates this process, gets tremendous results, and can run hundreds of biopsies in one given shift.
QuantumCyte in 10 years
“In 10 years, if our system is in 20% of the hospitals globally and can demonstrate that our technology can accelerate clinical trials and research, paving the way for developing clinical tests that benefit patients, then we’re successful. clinical tests to benefit patients, then we're successful.” John
Personalized medicine is no longer a "buzzword"
John tells us that personalized medicine might've been a buzzword 15 years ago, but in the current climate, the medical community is beginning to accept the predictability of drug markers and looking into orphan drugs. Doctors are now doing genomics on their patients and looking at options to provide personalized medicine.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
"The most important thing about becoming an entrepreneur is having a very supportive family structure." -John
John couldn't have said it better. It's crucial to have a supportive family when you're on the entrepreneurial road. You need someone who will be there for you as you go through ups and downs daily. It's also important to be persistent and figure out precisely what your message is when trying to get funding.