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May 2019 Member News

Member News provides an opportunity for SDEE members to share news and announcements. This month's Member News features:

  • Mark Fortner, Aspen Biosciences
  • Claire Weston, Reveal Biosciences
  • Stephane Richard, CureMatch
  • Grant Goad, WestSouth
  • Ray Wagenknecht, Wagenknecht IP Law Group
  • Sarah Glofcheskie, Axiom Real-Time Metrics
  • Francisco Lio, Neuropore
  • Michelleanne Bradley, Metis Consulting
  • Marilyn Bruno, Aequor
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From Startup to NASDAQ – The Story of San Diego-based Crinetics Pharmaceuticals

By Amy Duncan, Goldfish Consulting, Inc.

Of the six San Diego life science initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2018, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals (CRNX) raised the most money at $117 million1. Started by four scientists in 2008 and now developing novel therapeutics for rare endocrine diseases, co-founder Scott Struthers was invited by Devang Thakkar and TiE South Coast to present how Crinetics went from garage to NASDAQ. Scott also co-founded San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) so were happy to join him at JLABS San Diego for an update on his story.

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Confronting Climate Change: The Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

On April 3rd, 2019, San Diego Entrepreneur Exchange (SDEE) presented a panel discussion on climate change. The event was sponsored by American Laboratory Trading (ALT) and LaunchBio, which offered space for the event at Genesis at Campus Point. After the networking reception, Randy Schreckhise spoke about SDEE’s mission and their social and educational events.

Scott Thacher introduced the speakers: Ralph Keeling, professor of Geochemistry at Scripps Institute of Oceanography; Mihri Ozkan, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Riverside (UCR); Orianna Bretschger, founder and CEO of Aquacycl; and Phillip Kopp, founder and CEO of Conectric Networks.

Photo left to right: Kopp, Ozkan, Bretschger, Keeling

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Get to Know SDEE Consultants - Piet Lesage

An Interview with Piet Lesage on Entering Foreign Markets

Piet Lesage is a Consultant Member of the SDEE. He joined the organization in 2017.  He is based in Orange County and regularly drives down to San Diego to attend the SDEE events. He sits on the board of the Orange County Regulatory Affairs discussion group, where he is responsible for outreach to Professional Organizations. We sat down to learn more about GB5D, his consulting company and how GB5D helps Life Science - particularly MedTech – customers.

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How John Hood’s Determination to Help Patients Turned $20 million into $7 billion

About a year ago, John Hood, Ph.D., sold his company, Impact Biomedicines, which had only raised $20 million, to Celgene in a deal worth up to $7 billion. As the keynote for this year’s SDEE “Get To Know Your Neighbors” event on March 21 at the Alexandria at Torrey Pines, we were eager to hear his story. Hood walked us through his fedratinib journey, which began 17 years ago, and pointed out lessons he learned along the way.  

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Why Emotions are Very Much A Part of Science Writing – Notes from Ed Yong’s Talk

It’s storytelling that evokes feelings and emotions that makes readers care about science. That’s what we heard from Ed Yong, a science journalist for The Atlantic, who talked about “Why Storytelling Matters in Science” to a large crowd of scientists and science writers. Hosted by Dr. Kristian Andersen at the Scripps Research Auditorium on February 21, 2019, the talk was part of the first annual Center for Viral Systems Biology workshop. Here’s a summary of what Yong covered.

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SDEE Message from the President, Randy Schreckhise


As you may know, SDEE started in 2010, when a group of local biotech entrepreneurs coalesced around obtaining and maintaining SBIR funding. The founding group included Scott Thacher, Danielle Hayes, Scott Struthers, Debbie Slee, Jiwu Wang, David Schwarz, Rich Maki, Dave Larocca and Ruo Steensma. Over the years the focus of the organization has expanded beyond biotech, to include many industries with a focus on entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs start and grow their companies.

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Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs – SDEE Workshop Summary

Invest in and grow your intellectual property (IP). Those were the key take-home messages from an SDEE workshop titled “Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs – From Principles to Practice” sponsored by American Laboratory Trading (ALT) and Hera Hub. IP is essential for protecting technology and many entrepreneurs struggle to integrate IP into growth strategies. To gain insights, SDEE hosted a workshop with speakers experienced in patent law and strategies:  Ray Wagenknecht, Managing Attorney, Wagenknecht IP Law Group, PC; Noel Gillespie, Partner, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP; and Joe Mullis, General Manager, Neology Corporation. Here is a summary of what was presented at the workshop.

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Amy Rasdal’s 5 Things to Know About Consulting

Never stop networking and always be selling. That was Amy Rasdal’s key message when she spoke to consultant members from San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) on January 31, 2019 at a workshop held at LabFellows.

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LaunchBio – Evening With An Entrepreneur

The Office of Innovation of the University of California, San Diego, in collaboration with Launch Bio, organized an evening with entrepreneurs and startup showcase on January 15, 2019 at Genesis in Campus Point. The event was sponsored by the City of San Diego, Biolabs, Procopio, CSC Leasing Company, and Hughes Marino, and started with a networking reception and the exhibit of local startup companies. Representatives of UCSD and Launch Bio introduced the panelists.

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ALT San Diego



Ted Jacobs
Executive Managing Director
Global Life Sciences Practices Group


Takeda San Diego


Duane Morris MaxCyte Wagenknecht Barney and Barney Longfellow

SDEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs
in order to provide a voice for the early stage start-up, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies,
and to sponsor networking and educational events
to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

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