The Evolution of an SAB

As biotech companies grow and shift their goals, the type of advice they need evolves as well. Here's a look at how the scientific advisory board of Steve Roth's company, Neose Technologies, changed to keep pace.

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

From 2017 to 2022, Bob Grant was Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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A robust scientific advisory board

When Roth founded Neose in 1990, the private company was focused on carbohydrate chemistry with the end goal of developing new therapeutic proteins to treat hemophilia and other disorders. The company needed a combination of excellent technical advice and big name scientists to attract investors, says Roth. They assembled an SAB that consisted mainly of academic researchers: a virologist, two carbohydrate chemists, a National Academy of Sciences member, and even Baruch S. Blumberg, a Nobel Prize winner who had identified the hepatitis B virus.

A more clinically oriented board

In 1996, when Neose went public with two drugs for the treatment of neutropenia and hemophilia, the company's goals shifted. "Over the years, we got into the clinic and all of the sudden you don't need as much advice on chemistry anymore," Roth remembers. Now, Neose needed guidance on addressing clinical...

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