Wed, 9 December 2009
Andrew Hessel (biologist, author and co-founder of the Pink Army Cooperative) is today's featured guest.
Topics: how new drugs have been developed during the last few decades; why these processes cost so much; and how it may be possible to use open source techniques to develop new drugs faster, cheaper, better, and targeted for patients individually. This is the focus of the Pink Army Cooperative.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the December 9, 2009 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 23 minutes] (This interview was recorded on October 4, 2009 at the Singularity Summit in New York City.)
Andrew Hessel, is a consulting biologist and author interested in synthetic biology and open source biology. He advocates the use of open source for writing DNA code. In software development, open source has led to robust code, highly skilled developer communities, and non-monopolistic pricing — in other words, good things for end users. If the same results can be achieved in genome engineering, open source could potentially create a more diversified and sustainable biotechnology industry.
He earned his MSc. in bacterial genomics from the University of Calgary in 1995. He joined the Amgen Institute, a 120 person research facility located in Toronto, Canada, where he facilitated dozens of advanced research projects involving microarrays, genetic sequence analysis, and data mining. Today, the Institute, no longer affiliated with Amgen, is known as the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. In 2002, he cofounded Miikana Therapeutics and helped create the virtual business model they successfully used. Miikana was sold to Entremed in December, 2005 for $21 million plus milestones.
Since 2003, he has worked to raise awareness about the potential benefits of synthetic biology and open source biology. His efforts have been supported by the University of Oklahoma, the University of Toronto, MIT, and most recently, the Alberta Ingenuity Fund. His ongoing goal is to help create an open source biotechnology company that specializes in individually personalized cancer therapeutics.