This Mother Started a Biotech Company for the Most Inspiring Reason

Karen Aiach is the founder and CEO of Lysogene, a biotech company that specializes in developing gene therapy treatments for rare central nervous system diseases. 

In 2005, her daughter, Ornella, was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome A, which is a rare neurodegenerative that dramatically reduces life expectancy and currently has no cure. Although she didn't have a background in science, she was determined to start her own company in order to help her daughter, and other patients who suffer from the same disease. 

She recently spoke with Forbes on her company:

On Being Taken Seriously, Despite Lacking Certain Experiences
"I was not a scientist or a clinician or gene therapist. I was a mother taking responsibility to build a program and manage it. No one else would have done it so I wasn’t infringing on anyone else's territory, but even so my being a mother of a patient was strange for some people."

On Responding to Doubt
"Just because something has not been done doesn't mean it is a bad idea. But I was afraid too. Not being originally from the biotech field, there were rules and practices I didn’t know about. I might not have been armed enough to face the challenges I was ignorant of."

On Running A Company That Has Emotional Ties
"My daughter has been treated and benefited, and we'll see how she progresses or regresses. But the pioneering spirit to transform this investigation treatment into something accessible for other patients has become a real passion for me. That's something special and different from another company where you only want to make profit."

Continue to read the whole article here.

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Photo Credit: via Forbes