Digital RESI Works! Interview with Don Kiepert, CEO at Seropeutics

2 Apr

Donald Kiepert

By Greg Mannix, Chief Conference Officer, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Greg Mannix

When It became clear that the on-site RESI Europe conference would not be possible due to the Covid-19 crisis and travel restrictions that we are all aware of, many companies had already purchased their registrations.  It was understandable that many of these companies were skeptical when we announced, just 2 weeks before the conference, that we would offer all of the content and live partnering on a digital platform. I wanted to talk to a company that went through this phase of skepticism but decided to give it a try.

Donald R. Kiepert – Executive Chairman & CEO – Experienced CEO, Entrepreneur, and Pharmacist who has started 12 successful life sciences companies. Previous CEO roles at Point Therapeutics (NASDAQ:POTP) and Lantheus Medical Imaging. Currently on two pharmaceutical company boards and one medical device board. Raised $100M at Point with market capitalization value of $500M. Lantheus became a $350M global pharmaceutical company with three products in clinical development. Proven leadership skills, Experience leading drug development programs, FDA interactions, Board creation and management, and partnering and licensing deals.

Greg Mannix:  Seropeutics registered for RESI Europe Paris when it was still slated to take place on March 23rd in the City of Lights. What stage of fundraising is Seropeutics in and what were you looking to accomplish at RESI Paris when you originally registered?

Don Kiepert:  We have raised an angel round (from me) and received several NIH and other grants. We are now pursuing a 25M Series A.

GM:  What was your initial reaction when you heard the conference would no longer take place on-site and would change to a digital format?

DK:  I was concerned because I believe these types of meetings are normally more effective as face to face sessions.

GM:  Did you ask for a refund of your registration fee?

DK:  Yes, my first reaction was to request a refund or a discount.

GM:  Why were you skeptical about a Digital Conference?

DK: I was concerned about the ability of the IT system to operate flawlessly so the meetings could be effective and come off on schedule.

GM:  In the end, you decided to give Digital RESI a try. Were you able to book any meetings? What kinds of meetings did you have?

DK:  We had a total of 16 meetings which were on time and proved to be a highly effective approach.  We met with 6 Pharma company executives, 3 vendor/investor companies, and 7 VC type organizations.

GM:  How did you find the built-in video conferencing platform? Was it possible to have productive meetings on-line?

DK:  There were some minor technical issues but yes, the meetings were effective and productive.

GM:  How many new connections will you be having follow-up meetings or interaction with after the conference is over?

DK:  At this point, we have 6 follow up meetings scheduled.

GM:  Do you think Digital Conferences like this are useful moving forward?

DK:  Absolutely and I plan on attending the next one on 4/29 and 4/30. Like I said, I am a believer in face-to-face meetings, but I can honestly say that our experience at the digital conference was really productive, so we will do it again.

Seropeutics is an early-stage pharmaceutical company that is advancing breakthrough therapies to treat fragile X syndrome (no FDA approved drugs) and other neurological diseases. fragile X will have an orphan drug status. IND is targeted 12-months after program funding.  Seropeutics has developed two distinct first-in-class chemical platforms that precisely and selectively modulate novel combinations of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptor types. Safety established in rodents and rhesus monkeys. Pre-clinical proof of concept established in fragile X mice demonstrating prevention of seizures and amelioration of repetitive behaviors and social deficits.

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