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Start-up generation

hugo Peris
Hugo Peris

CEO and Co-Founder, Loop Therapeutics

After years of working in the pharmaceutical industry in countries like New Zealand and China, Hugo Peris –member of the 4th generation of Laboratorios Salvat– threw himself into entrepreneurship in 2015 and moved to San Francisco to devote himself fully to his company Loop Therapeutics. He also recently founded Spiral Therapeutics, which develops products to prevent deafness. 

Hugo Peris: "Finish what you start, and fight to the end"


Loop Therapeutics was set up in 2014 as a spin-out of the Catalan pharmaceutical company Laboratorios Salvat and is currently based in San Francisco, California. Hugo Peris founded Loop Therapeutics with the aim of making it the leading pharmaceutical company in developing products to treat ophthalmological conditions.

Loop Therapeutics’ projects, most in the preclinical phase, are based on two new chemical compounds that can prevent cell apoptosis (cell death). 


Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?

More than a desire to be an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for new challenges through which to learn and set myself apart. At home, my family encouraged me to forge my own path, which in the end runs more or less parallel to that of the family business. Being close to Salvat has given me opportunities that I could otherwise never have imagined, and I've tried not to let them get away.


What is the most important strategic decision you’ve made so far?

The most important, and most difficult, decision I’ve made was to leave Luqa Pharmaceuticals in China in 2015, just after closing our $15-millions round of funding. Having been at the company from the start and put a lot of effort into it, the project had finally come together and the opportunities were endless. However, I felt the need to go to the United States and commit to a new project: Loop Therapeutics. I still have ties to Luqa, on the board of directors, and I'm learning a lot from the excellent management of Robert Braithwaite, but now my contribution to Luqa is only from a strategic standpoint.


What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I think I've ever been given was to finish what you start, and to fight to the end. That was my dad’s advice. Being far from home and working in start-ups, you can get discouraged and sometimes you feel the temptation to throw in the towel. It’s important to set goals and not give up until you’ve achieved them.


And now what? What milestones do you want to achieve in the short term?

At Loop Therapeutics we’re working to launch our first product in the United States next year. It’s a solution to preserve corneas between harvest and transplant. Our product improves the quality and time they can be preserved compared to the options currently available. The goal is for Loop Therapeutics to generate revenue as soon as possible, which will help us reinvest in other projects that need more resources and will take longer to reach the market.