First Place Winner in the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge at Digital RESI March

27 Apr
Lyndsey Linke
Interview with Lyndsey Linke (PhD, M.Eng), CEO and Co-Founder of SiVEC Biotechnologies

By Caitlin Dolegowski, Marketing Manager, LSN

Caitlin Dolegowski

Caiti Dolegowski (CD): Lyndsey, introduce us to SiVEC Biotechnologies and its technology.

Lyndsey Linke, PhD, M.Eng, CEO and Co-Founder of SiVEC Biotechnologies (LL): Recognized as the 2022 Top Emerging Company at BIO International, SiVEC Biotechnologies has developed BactPac™, a live biotherapeutic delivery platform to enable the next generation of nucleic acid and gene editing therapies. BactPac can both produce and deliver therapeutic payloads (mRNA, siRNA, proteins, and CRISPR/Cas) safely and precisely to a wide range of tissues and tumors that cannot be targeted by viral vectors and lipid nanoparticles. Using the BactPac platform, SiVEC is developing high-value, first-in-class assets targeting a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, respiratory diseases, and rare genetic diseases. SiVEC has secured over $4M in federal and state funding, has a strong patent portfolio, and an early collaboration with a gene-therapy company. SiVEC’s mission is to develop advanced biologics for hard-to-treat diseases and out-license the BactPac platform to companies needing a safe, tissue-targeted method of delivery to advance nucleic acid and gene therapies into clinical stages.

CD: What stage of fundraising is SiVEC Biotechnologies in and what milestone are you working toward?

LL: SiVEC Biotechnologies is seeking a lead investor in a seed round raising $7 million to supplement NIH funding and bring our lead asset to an IND submission, advance our oncology program into IND-enabling studies, make critical hires to strengthen and build out a winning team, accelerate our pipeline development, and secure our second industry partnership.

CD: Tell us about SiVEC Biotechnologies team.

LL:  Supporting SiVEC Biotechnologies’ mission is our leadership team, with 45 years of combined experience in relevant R&D. SiVEC is led by Lyndsey Linke, PhD, ME, (CEO and co-founder) who has secured over $4M in grants and sponsored research for SiVEC, has over 18 years’ R&D experience with nucleic acid therapeutics and antivirals, and is lead inventor on 7 issued or pending patents, including the company’s core technology. Lyndsey has also been recognized as an Inspiring Female Founder, she was a former Olympic Swimming Trials qualifier and a 9X US Master’s National Champion. SiVEC’s co-founder and VP of Operations, Darcy Mora (MS), has over 14 years’ research experience, she has served as Project Lead Vaccine Developer for more than 10 global wildlife vaccines at USDA, and is an inventor on 6 issued or pending patents. SiVEC’s Director of R&D, Ash Williams (PhD), has nearly 20 years of experience as a bacterial geneticist and cell biologist and was previously faculty at the University of Cologne after completing his post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Southern California.  SiVEC has a deep-seated bench of advisors, with diverse expertise in biologic manufacturing, regulatory affairs, scientific and business strategy, who have held esteemed leadership positions at Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, and AbbVie.

CD: Life Science Nation works with tech hubs to bring early-stage fundraising entrepreneurs to our RESI conferences. SiVEC Biotechnologies is a member of our associated tech hub, California Life Sciences. Is this how you learned of the RESI conference series?

LL: One of our business advisors, who is now formerly associated with California Life Sciences (CLS), had suggested we participate in the RESI 2021 virtual conference. This was a fantastic way to get introduced to potential investors, and while SiVEC was not formally raising money in 2021, participating in RESI was an opportunity to “get on the investor’s radar”. SiVEC was also a part of the Women in Bio (WIB)-FAST program, a mentoring program sponsored through CLS. As part of a WIB-FAST cohort graduate company, CLS invited SiVEC to participate in the CLS Innovation Track to pitch at RESI 2023 at JPM.  That was our first in-person experience pitching at RESI and was a catalyst for our decision to participate at the 2023 RESI March virtual conference and the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge, where we took first place. Therefore, we appreciate the sponsorship and mentoring we have received through our association with CLS over the years.

CD: SiVEC Biotechnologies has attended Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Redefining Early Stage Investment (RESI) conference series in both our digital/virtual and hybrid formats. In addition, you have the unique perspective of participating in our Innovator’s Pitch Challenge both virtually and in-person. SiVEC Biotechnologies was the first-place winner at Digital RESI March, congratulations! What worked well for you in both formats.

LL: Nothing takes the place of in-person networking and face-to-face conversations, so getting back to this format at RESI JPM in 2023 was so refreshing and reenergizing in many ways. However, most of our investor meetings at RESI/JPM were all virtual. Because of the success we had with these virtual meetings, we decided to register for the RESI and IPC virtual pitch in March. Interestingly, we had greater attendance and follow-up from our virtual pitch compared to our in-person pitch. Both formats have their advantages, and we plan on participating in future RESI conferences, regardless of whether they are virtual or in-person.

CD: Where are you now and what lessons would you pass on and what advice to other startup CEOs would you give?

LL: SiVEC Biotechnologies has gone through so much growth and technology vetting, and I’m so proud of our team and what we have accomplished and continue to demonstrate. With the recognition we’ve received from BIO, RESI, WIB, CLS, NIH, and even recognition within our local biotech ecosystem through the state of Colorado and the Colorado Bioscience Association, we have so much traction going forward. We really are a top emerging biotech company and we’re leading the charge to enable the next generation of nucleic acid and gene therapies. My advice for other companies and startup CEOs is to highlight your strengths and focus on differentiating yourself from your competitors. Tell a compelling story, make it relatable, get your audience to really understand the problem you are solving and build conviction for why your team is going to get it done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: