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Jesus Purroy Avida Biotech
Jesús Purroy

Founder of Àvida Biotech

Doctor in Biology and PDD at IESE, after a few years as a researcher in molecular biology Jesús Purroy was the Scientific Director of the Parc Científic de Barcelona. Àvida Biotech is the second biotech startup he co-founds. He has been involved in other entrepreneurship projects as a mentor or consultant. He devotes part of his time to communication of science in the form of books and lectures.

Jesús Purroy: "We must attempt ambitious projects, there is always time to do small things"


Àvida Biotech develops prophylactic and therapeutic products for infectious diseases caused by some viruses. We work with a broad spectrum antiviral that can be the basis for oral, non-refrigerated vaccines. His founder, Jesús Purroy, predicts this will make the vaccines affordable, so they can be deployed quickly in markets where the price barrier prevents the introduction of existing vaccines. The company works on neglected and emerging diseases, such as Dengue or Zika, and wants to work also on other, more common diseases in our environment, such as flu or bronchiolitis.


Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?

I have always been interested in the impact of science, more than in the discoveries themselves. I left the laboratory to facilitate the transfer of the results of science to society in the form of products or services. That is what I did at the Parc Científic de Barcelona. Later, as a consultant I had the opportunity to play a part in many projects, but they were always partial contributions. Eventually I saw that the way to have a real impact was by creating a company to tackle a specific problem. At Àvida Biotech we want to change the lives of 1,000 million people. Maybe there are other ways to do it, but I have chosen to try it as an entrepreneur.


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

We are a virtual company because we do not have the resources to have our own facilities and we are not a spin-off from any research center. This has forced us to choose our suppliers and collaborators very well, to obtain the maximum return on the capital we raised in the first round.


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

I do not know yet. Many people have given me advice, I have followed some of it, and we have to see how it turns out. People who advise you never have all the information and often their advice does not really apply to the matter at hand. More than any particular piece of advice, I am inspired by an idea that I have heard from several people: we must attempt ambitious projects. There is always time to do small things.


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

We need to solve some technological issues before launching a Series A round. That is why we have opened a small round of 200K, and with the results we get with this money we hope to raise enough funds to stop being virtual. The next six months are sink or swim for us, we must squeeze results out of each euro.