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Balancing cutting-edge science and commercialization add to complexities of leading a biotech startup, says AgomAb CEO

Career path

Balancing cutting-edge science, business and teamwork: the necessary ingredients for success in the biotech startup world

Published 4 October 2021 in Career path • 5 min read

CEO Tim Knotnerus is laser-focused on developing potentially life-changing drugs and relies on a passion for improving people’s lives to navigate the ups and downs.

Tim Knotnerus has been able to see the healthcare industry from a perspective that most rarely can. As a venture capitalist focused on the biotech sector, he has been exposed to novel technologies and teams that could improve or save the lives of millions of people.

But in his current role as CEO of AgomAb Therapeutics, a biotech company focusing on growth factor biology, he sees how teamwork, dedication and a bit of luck dictate the success of the research and development of new drugs. Unlike other sectors, the stakes are extremely high; AgomAb is focused on drugs that modulate growth factors, which – if successful – could prove to be a breakthrough for different types of organ failures.

“Spending my working life on the goal of improving the lives of patients means everything,” he says. The healthcare sector is known for ploughing enormous sums into interventions that often fail to even reach clinical trials. “In drug development you are dependent on the biology, which brings a lot of uncertainty and day-to-day challenges. You really are a full-time problem solver”. As a result, our work means dealing with disappointment on a regular basis, and yet the enormous upside in the potential for transformative change keeps the team motivated and perseverant.

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