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Life After Start-Up Stadium: Immunome

By: , Posted on: June 2, 2017


For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

This is the first in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants.Today we spoke with 2015 Alum, Scott Dessain, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer and Scientific Co-Founder of Immunome.

Scott Dessain of Immunome
Scott Dessain, CTO & Scientific Co-Founder of Immunome
Gregory Licholai of Immunome
Gregory Licholai, Management Co-Founder of Immunome

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
Immunome is located in Philadelphia, PA and was founded in 2008 with Management Co-Founder, Gregory Licholai, M.D., MBA (now President and Chief Science Officer at Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals). We started as an Infectious Disease/Biodefense company but pivoted to become an Immuno-oncology company in 2014-2015.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
Yes! For a biotech start-up, time is the most expensive commodity. We had just brought in an A-list management team and achieved strong proof-of-concept in cancer, and we had to get the word out far and fast. The Start-Up Stadium was a key part of our “coming out” at BIO 2015.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
Yes, it was a very engaging and valuable session.  Most of the questions made us focus on clarifying our value proposition as an investment and how we were going to produce a differentiated drug in the clinical marketplace.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
A biotech startup can be somewhat of a blur — constantly seeking feedback from investors, stakeholders, potential partners, competitors. The key is to sift through the information, not trying to be something for everyone, but to find the right path that best leverages the differentiation of the technology, the skill and experience of the management team and the clinical opportunity. The Start-Up Stadium was a fun part of that process.

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
Of course.  Everyone we want to meet will be there!



Scott Dessain co-author Improving Biotech Investment.

Scott Dessain is co-author with Scott Fishman of the new book about investing in biotech start-ups called, Preserving the Promise: Improving the Culture of Biotech Investment.


This book is available now on ScienceDirect. Need it in print? Purchase on the Elsevier Store and get up to 30% off the list price with free global shipping. Apply discount code STC317 at checkout.

The author of this article is Stacy Matsuko. This article was originally posted on Read the original article here.

For more information about Preserving the Promise: Improving the Culture of Biotech Investment and authors Scott Dessain and Scott Fishman, visit

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