Dr George Syrmalis, Founder & CEO of The IQ Group Global
An oncology drug that introduces a new therapeutic class and a glucose biosensor that could change the way diabetes is managed forever; these are two of the latest developments to come out of the The iQ Group Global.
In the future, biotechnology is going to be responsible for the biggest evolution the world has ever experienced. That’s according to Dr George Syrmalis, Founder and CEO of The iQ Group Global. “I don’t think the world has ever seen such a great shift,” he says. “The applications of biotechnology are not only therapeutic or diagnostic; they apply across every facet of our lives. Biotechnology is not a product nor an industry, its the most powerful tool known to humanity, it will enable us to redefine the way we live, to create a sustainable ecosystem, redefine global nutrition resources, identify the pathogenesis of disease and prevent it. We just need to work out how to deploy it effectively to create the most meaningful impact on society.”
Readying the world for a revolution instigated by biotech
The iQ Group Global is playing a significant role in this. Comprised of multiple companies that provide services to the biopharmaceutical industry, the business’ aim is to help its clients commercialise life science R&D and maximise return on investment for The iQ Group Global shareholders. To do this, it works with its clients throughout the entire product development cycle. George believes this approach is beginning to redefine the sector.
“Pharmaceuticals, whether chemicals or biologics, typically take 12–14 years to go from discovery to market. To become commercially available they undergo various phases of clinical testing and an extremely rigorous due-diligence process by the regulator. The development cost is around $2.5 billion, and the success rate is only 20 per cent. Through our group of companies, we partner early on with University biotech incubators and support the entire R&D journey.”
Harnessing potential to help people living with cancer or diabetes
“This innovation creates a new therapeutic class for tumour therapy.” - Dr George Syrmalis
When The iQ Group Global sees an innovation with great potential, it sometimes elects to acquire it and develop it in-house. That has been true for its two latest assets: an oncology compound and a glucose biosensor. “Both of these assets are currently at the clinical testing stage,” explains George. “We are planning for the biosensor to be on the market within the next two years, and for our oncology compound — which has generated some very promising early data — to progress to clinical trials. This innovation creates a new therapeutic class for tumor therapy,” George notes. “And, irrespective of the approval, it is introducing a new way of thinking about cancer.”
The Group’s other innovation, the glucose biosensor, enables the measurement of glucose in saliva. This means that people with diabetes will have the ability to monitor their blood sugar levels without constantly having to prick their fingers. “This will significantly improve the lives of diabetics” George explains.
Thinking even further ahead
“By modifying the current biosensor technology we will also develop other tests, for example, cholesterol, hormones, tumour and immunological markers. The concept with our glucose biosensor is to bring it in contact with saliva and then the reading comes up on your smart device.
The resulting datasets are stored in the Cloud, creating non-relational databases or ‘big data’. This data can then be analysed to provide significant insights into the disease state and the patients’ quality of life in real-time. It will be life-changing for hundreds of millions of people.”
For George, the ultimate vision for The iQ Group Global is to be a one-stop-shop strategic partner to the global biotechnology industry. But for this to be a success George shares that the company must act courageously and have a focus on sustainability. “Our clients will come to us, and we will take their innovation from the lab right through to the regulatory phase of the project. At The iQ Group Global we push the limits every day, consistently operating in terra incognita.”
However, navigating the unknown is how innovative and life-changing technologies develop. “Innovation is neither systematic nor is it predictable,” says George. “One has to be able to see things, from a future perspective — as they should or could be — and go out there and make those things happen. In science fiction, everything is big and bold until it is made into science fact. There is no dream too big.”
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