From pharmaceutical research to start-up company

First it was the pharmaceutical study and then built a start-up company, Dr Kuifeng WANG-2006 Graduate from Shanghai Pharmaceutical Research Institute (below refer as ‘the institute’) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences-is now both the CEO of Shanghai Qinhao Biological Technology Pty Ltd and Suzhou Qinhao Pharmaceutical R&D Pty Ltd and the co-founder of Love-what-you-do Café.

As a ‘pharmaceutical industry start-up entrepreneur’,  Dr Wang has always held the spirit of scientific persistence and striving for innovation to redefine the philosophy ‘new drug spirit’ of Shanghai Pharmaceutical Research Institute, ie. ‘be decent person, do decent things, making new drugs’.

‘the institute’ has taught me a lot.

During the interview, Dr Wang has kept saying that ‘the institute’ has taught me a lot.

It did not all go well for Dr Wang when he was preparing for the National Entry Exam for University, he did well at Scholl but failed in the Exam which led him to Anhui Medical University only two years later.

The study experience at Anhui Medical University has prepared him for his later on start-up ideas.

Five years study and internship at the University made Dr Wang realize that as a medical practitioner, he can only treat/cure a small types of diseases and a small number of patients, ‘if I can turn to do research on drugs and make new effective new drugs, then I can cure countless patients’.

Hence, Dr Wang started to do further research on drugs in the hope that he can cure a lot more patients by using his drugs.

Dr Wang said, candidates in ‘the Institute’ are all walking on a road toward scientists. Another five years in ‘the Institute’ has given him significant improvement both in terms of professional knowledge and self-profile.

Dr Wang pointed out that all the supervisors in ‘the Institute’ provided guidance to the candidates from a quite broad/macro perspective while the candidates need to take care of every specific details, and this way of supervising actually cultivated candidates’ ability of discover and solve problems and can explore their potential. Candidates benefited from this kind of supervising can be trusted to take leadership in any field.

As one of the beneficiaries, Dr Wang’s supervisor was Shenxu-researcher of ‘the Institute’, he said: ‘drug is my lucky field, not only did I acquired a lot of knowledge, but also has made my good friends/tutors and future partners’, one of the example is Dr Liang MA (the other researcher at ‘the Institute’) became Dr Wang’s partner for their start-up companies.

Dr Wang mentioned that ‘this friendship is the result from ‘the Institute’ and will definitely be the wealth of my whole life’.

Chose the hard way—establish start-up companies

When talking about start-up ideas, Dr Wang has started his book store business when he was in college, ‘it was just small business’, however, this experience made him to plan for his life and career and has laid foundation for later on start-up companies.

It is never easy to start up a new company. When Shanghai Qinhao Biology Technology Pty Ltd was firstly established, that was when Dr Wang was just graduated, in order to attract enough funds, he has tried sales jobs in selling medical equipment and agent; also he was faced by short of staff at the initial stage that he moved all the facilities to the office by himself. He still very much acknowledges the help and support given by his supervisors at ‘the Institute’ in those early years.

This year the third year of the company, he has gained a place at Shanghai Zhangjiang High Tech Industry Park (known as ‘China pharmaceutical valley’), supported by the R&D platform of ‘the Institute’, he is providing a series of lab services for clients including: biological technology, chemical technology, chronic disease technology, protein and spectrum technology as well as chemical compound supply.

He also said that people may applaud for your success, but they will never see but only you yourself know the hard early days lead to that success. As the company is growing and settled at Suzhou Technology Start-up park, the team is expanding to 30 staff.

In addition, the company has got support from the Chinese government with relatively large funding. This time last year, one of the projects of his company has proudly gained the first place in the final ‘Win in Suzhou’ Start-up competition held in Australia. When attending the competition, the former director-Jian DING and the current director of ‘the Institute’-hualiang JIANG both wrote recommendation letters and provided generous support to Dr Wang which he remembers and appreciates till now.

The new understanding ‘the new drug spirit’.

As a start-up entrepreneur in pharmaceutical industry, Dr Wang has his own understanding towards ‘the new drug spirit’, he remembers very clearly once hualiang JIANG (the current director of ‘the Institute’) said ‘be decent person, do decent deeds and do research’, Dr Wang would like to quote this phrase to understand ‘the new drug spirit’ which is ‘be decent person, do decent things and make new drugs’.

He thinks that only when you become a decent person, can you do decent/good deeds and make good research and become an outstanding entrepreneur.

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Supported by:

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China Australia Technology Commercialization and Export Council
Australian International Professionals and Projects Association
Chinese Association of Professionals and Scholars Australia