Secondcell Bio’s vision is to contribute to the accelerating Biotechnology Sector in the UAE. Its mission is to build and operate a research and innovation engine in the UAE. The company values include creating an equitable joint venture partnership that invests in the people and nation of the UAE, to inform best practices for the growing biotech sector and to strive to build a world-class facility that will contribute to the UAE non-oil sector and knowledge-based economy.
Secondcell Bio’s Chromovert® Technology originates from a Nobel-Prize winning laboratory at The Rockefeller University. In January 2023, a novel nonaddictive painkiller discovered using Chromovert® and fast-tracked by the FDA was the subject IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to help address the opioid epidemic. The multi-use discovery technology was also used to crack the biology of human taste perception. For instance, strategic natural flavors research with The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods and Nestle resulted in new natural sweeteners and the first-known salty-taste enhancers to cut salt and sugar in the diet.
However lucrative these initial research successes may prove to become once fully commercialized, at the same time, they only scratch the surface. In the UAE, as a public-private partnership and joint venture with Emirati stakeholders, Secondcell proposes to build a factory-style scaled-up implementation of its largely automated and robotic “conveyor-belt” technology and discovery engine for “Drug Discovery at Scale™.”
The overall failure rate across research programs in the pharmaceutical industry is a staggering 98%. This points to a dire need for improvements at all stages. Mature biotechnologies such as Secondcell Bio’s Chromovert® Technology have the demonstrated potential to reinvent the pharmaceutical industry. The opportunity for improvements and gain is significant, but cost and legacy technologies remain barriers for entry. The UAE has the leadership to open new sectors and the capital to surmount these obstacles, including for pharmaceutical drug discovery and new medical IP.
Dr. Kambiz Shekdar
Rockefeller University Alumnus
Secondcell Bio CEO
Following seven trips to the UAE spending four months in the country in 2022 and 2023, Chromovert® Inventor & Secondcell CEO Dr. Kambiz Shekdar has become convinced:
“It is the combination of innovations like ours plus the leadership, vision and scale of implementation as I’ve seen mastered only in the UAE that gives our partnership the potential to leap-frog the global industry.”
The JV will create jointly owned IP with multiple opportunities for carve-off IPO’s & licensing realizing ROI for investors. In parallel, Secondcell is in talks with leadership at local universities, including UAE University and NYU Abu Dhabi, to build workforce streams and to determine how the JV can facilitate the commercialization of scientific IP that is actively being generated by UAE-based research institutions.