Buck’s Business Development group is here to identify ways to advance scientific discovery toward translation and, ultimately, potential therapeutic inventions and consumer products to benefit the public. By partnering with companies, managing material transfer, and incubating Buck startups, it is the BD team's mission and vision to provide easy access to breakthrough technologies with the end goal of helping everyone live better longer.
- 3 consumer products on the market: MetabolicSwitch™, GLYLO™, and Rejuvant Lifetabs™
- $9M average annual revenues over the past 5 years
- 82% of our patented inventions are licensed
- More than 30 active United States patents, including:
- Zika as a cell penetrating peptide for delivery to the brain
- Inhibiting activity of senescent cells using a glucocorticoid
- Hydantoins that modulate BACE-mediated app processing
- Inhibition of proline catabolism for the treatment of cancer and other therapeutic applications
- Medium chain fatty acid esters of beta-hydroxybutyrate and butanediol and compositions and methods for using same
- 10 startups formed in the last 15 years based on Buck IP
- 20 active industry partnerships and growing
- 65% faculty engagement with industry partners so far
Remy Gross, III Vice President, Business Development and Partnering
As Vice President of Business Development at the Buck, Remy is actively engaged in new start-up formation and partnering deal flow. Remy took the Business Development office at the Buck from having no licenses/partnerships to licensing out over 80% of its patent portfolio and creating an average of two capitalized start-up companies per year from the novel science being performed at Buck. Remy brings in sponsored research for novel science in excess of 10M/year for the institute and done strategic licensing transactions with Astellas, Calico, Astera and many others. He has founded or represented parties in multiple venture and angel-backed companies. He has advised and helped create multiple new biopharmaceutical startups at Buck, such as Unity Biotechnology (UBX), Aeovian Therapeutics, BhB Therapeutics and multiple others. These and other companies have collectively raised over 300M to drive the creation of novel therapeutics and healthspan enhancers. A chemist by training, Remy was also instrumental in the building of Shearwater Corporation as its VP, Operations (sold to Inhale Therapeutic Systems, Inc. in 2001). Remy sits on the board of BhB Therapeutics, Napa Therapeutics and Selah Therapeutics. Remy acts as a strategic advisor to several therapeutic companies and sits on several boards including the gener8tor advisory board and several others. Most importantly, Remy is married with three children who are all launched and in grad school or working on the east coast. He enjoys fitness of any kind, reading and adding value wherever he can.
Ellen Kats, PhD Senior Director, Business Development
Ellen Kats joined the Buck with fifteen years of experience in business development, licensing, and alliance management. Previously, Ellen worked for UCSF’s Innovation Ventures, where she was responsible for sourcing and completing high value deals for the university’s most commercially attractive technologies, managed a large and diverse IP portfolio, advised faculty/staff on IP strategy, and negotiated intellectual property terms for large-scale strategic alliances with industry partners. Over the years, Ellen has completed a wide range of partnering deals and played critical roles in the formations of many start-ups which have gone on to have successful IPOs or acquisitions. Ellen is passionate about aiding Buck faculty and staff in realizing the fullest commercial potential in their inventions and aiding the Buck Institute to achieve its mission through strategic partnerships leading to successes in clinical and consumer product development and aging research. Ellen holds a PhD in Biomedical Science from UC San Diego, as well as a BA in Molecular and Cellular Biology with emphasis on Genetics from UC Berkeley. In her spare time, Ellen is an avid Opera fan and loves to read and write and travel the world, but especially to Italy and the Mediterranean. She also holds a black belt in Shorinji Kempo and at some point could speak and understand 4 other languages but is currently woefully out of practice.
Tanya Feldman Senior IP and Contracts Manager
Tanya Feldman brings to the Buck over twelve years of experience in patent prosecution operations, government award compliance, and procedure development. In her role as Senior IP and Contracts Manager, she oversees all aspects of maintaining Buck's IP portfolio, drafting and management of CDAs and MTAs, and various special projects. Prior to entering the field of academic tech transfer she tried her hand at a variety of opportunities in the culture and non-profit sectors, from serving as an assistant tour manager in South East Asia to helping launch a new museum in San Francisco. Regardless of the project or industry, she thrives on collaboration and believes there is always something new to be learned and shared.
Sharon Epstein, JD, PhD Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships
Sharon Epstein has been with the Buck for over 11 years now, advancing in her career from a post-doctoral research assistant to a Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships role in the Business Development group. Sharon first worked as an attorney in Brazil, her native country, before deciding that a career in science was her passion. She then earned her Master’s degree in Biology at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel before completing her PhD at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) under the mentorship of Howard Riezman. She then went on to become a post-doctoral assistant in the laboratory of Pankaj Kapahi at the Buck Institute. Sharon has performed virtually all the functions within the Business Development area at the Buck. Sharon’s role is currently focused on facilitating the operations of Buck’s large strategic partnerships. In her free time, Sharon enjoys traveling and spending time with her dog Max.
Brianna Stubbs, PhD Lead Translational Scientist
Dr. Stubbs is a world expert in exogenous ketone metabolism and its implications for performance, resilience and health-span. She completed her PhD in Metabolic Physiology at the University of Oxford, studying the metabolism and the application of exogenous ketone salts and esters. Whilst completing her studies, she competed on the British International Rowing Team, and was a two-time World Champion lightweight athlete. Brianna is currently Lead Translational Scientist in the Business Development Team at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging where she is focused on the translation of ketone body research into consumer products and drugs that target healthy aging.
Whether through licensing, sponsored research or industry collaboration, we partner with companies to create relationships that work. It’s from these relationships that we hope to see continued progress in translating Buck discoveries and inventions into potential therapeutics and consumer products. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your ideas for partnering with us.
Business Development is responsible for authorizing and approving material transfer in and out of the Buck. If you are interested in obtaining novel materials, you will need the consent of the relevant Buck principal investigator and you will have to complete our Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). Please complete our MTA intake form and e-mail it to Senior IP and Contracts Manager Tanya Feldman to work with you to complete your request in a timely manner.
We have all the necessary in-house expertise to help incubate Buck startups for our faculty and staff. Our Business Development team will work with you to make sure all your incorporation documents are in order, lead financing discussions to get your NuCo funded, ensure all the IP is properly licensed, and provide space while your NuCo is getting off the ground.
From time to time, Buck can also make lab and office space available to partners and industry. The Buck’s unparalleled cores and facilities allow for industry partners to take advantage of access to not only our campus but also our seminar series and our scientists.
The Buck fosters an ecosystem of entrepreneurship by providing our faculty, trainees and research staff with tools and resources to help build a great business plan, create a pitch deck, and acquire the funding to launch a startup, or to simply become more educated about the process while ideas percolate. To access the available materials, visit the Business Development team’s intranet page or contact Ellen Kats (firstname.lastname@example.org).
OUP Community Partnership
The Business Development team has partnered with Osage University Partners at the Community Partner level, which gives members of the Buck community free access to all of OUP’s portal resources. OUP’s academic partner portal provides access to their past and future webinars about investment basics and startup formation.
Buck Entrepreneurship for Scientific Trainees Mentorship Program
We recognize that our Buck Institute trainees have a thirst for knowledge and love to learn about industry and entrepreneurship! If you are interested in translational careers outside of academia, we have put together a list of industry mentors who have kindly volunteered their time and expertise to help you prepare for the job market and build your professional network. If you are a Buck trainee, scientist or junior faculty member interested in getting an industry mentor, please reach out to Ellen Kats (email@example.com).
More Entrepreneurship Resources
We all know that the Bay Area has a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem but seeking out resources for new entrepreneurs can be overwhelming. While our Business Development leaders will work with you directly to launch your startup, you may wish to avail yourselves of other educational opportunities in the area. Below is a list of some of our favorite programs that are available to get you, your ideas, or your NuCo on your way.
Despite women and minorities making great economic progress in recent years, it is evident that the demographics of C-level executives in tech and biopharma remain overwhelmingly lacking in diversity, even here in the Bay Area. You can read more about underrepresentation in business in this great article from our colleagues at MIT. Here at the Buck, we value diversity and inclusion and always to strive to go beyond simply paying lip service to those concepts. As we grow, we are committed to continuing to do more to bridge the inequity gap in our community. In the meantime, here are some good resources for our underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Buck Biotech Group
The Buck Biotech Group (BBG) is our local community hub comprised of post-docs, grad students and scientists, formed with the goal of providing support to their members who wish to explore biotech industry issues including biotech research, entrepreneurship, business practices, consulting, investment, and patent law. BBG aims to provide professional development, training, and the building of the BBG ecosystem to the Buck community. The Business Development team is pleased to partner with BBG to enable their programming and networking goals. For more information, please contact Kizito-Tshitoko Tshilenge, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our long-term goals include developing a Buck Entrepreneurship for Scientific Trainees (BEST) Toolkit which will include an internal Entrepreneur-In-Residence network, creating our own curriculum to foster entrepreneurship, and an internship with VC firms in the longevity space. In the meantime, whether you’re already a researcher at the Buck or are thinking about joining the Buck community, we’d love to hear your ideas for how else we can work together to commercially translate Buck’s science to help everyone Live Better Longer.
The Buck Institute encourages translational research and entrepreneurship by sharing a substantive portion of its licensing revenue with the inventors and their laboratories. The rest of the income will go into Buck’s general research fund to further our mission. The pie chart on the left shows the breakdown of net revenues after required out-of-pocket expenses and 10% for Buck’s internal administrative costs are taken out of gross revenues.
Conflict of Interest policy (COI)
The COI Policy implements and ensures compliance with specific Federal requirements set forth by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, to strengthen accountability and transparency, promote Research objectivity and integrity, and ensure prudent stewardship of public funds.
IP Policy Manual
The Buck Institute’s Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures are developed to provide incentives for its researchers while protecting the integrity of their research, to protect the rights and aspirations of the Buck Institute and its sponsors, and to foster commercial development.