Dr Steven Fang, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Invitrocue on Focusing Strategically for 2024

by Portfolio Magazine
16 Jan 2024

For most, the new year symbolizes new beginnings – it’s when ever-evolving resolutions officially start, when new habits are formed, and when we finally act on things we’ve kept putting off. But for these top executives, it’s also a period for reflection and decisive action, which will allow them to skillfully, yet cautiously, navigate the business through the most favorable path.

"Invitrocue, founded in 2012, transforms pioneering research into commercial services using proprietary 3D cell culture technology, playing a vital role in advancing cancer treatment worldwide. Our next revolutionary cancer treatment testing tool, Onco-PDO, is also set to launch in Q1 of 2024."

What were some of your professional highlights for 2023?
In 2023, my team and I achieved a significant milestone by obtaining both clinical and commercial validation for Onco-PDO. This involved garnering substantial clinical data and securing acceptance from esteemed clinical institutes to launch our service across global markets. This marks a pivotal moment for Invitrocue and solidifies our commitment to advancing precision medicine on a global scale.

How far in advance do you think about work strategies for the new year and how do you get started?
In preparing work strategies for the new year, my focus is on scaling Invitrocue globally in 2024. To achieve this, I've set two key milestones for the year ahead, and developed some concrete strategies / milestones to get there:

  • Clinical Intervention Guidelines Recognition
    To ensure that Invitrocue gains recognition for its clinical intervention guidelines, my team and I will need to develop strategic positioning of our innovations in the healthcare landscape to emphasize their clinical impact and benefits.
  • Global Expansion, Especially in the US
    By 2024, we aim to start expanding into major markets, including the United States. This means taking calculated steps to obtain recognition from the FDA, while navigating regulatory processes, establishing a strong presence in new territories, and building on the foundation we laid in Asia and Europe.
  • I also plan to participate in more medical conferences to showcase Invitrocue's advancements, learn from industry peers, and foster collaborations within the medical community to scale the company in the long-run.

    Can you give us an overview of where you think your industry is headed in the coming year? What steps are you taking to ensure a smooth and favourable journey?
    The healthcare industry is witnessing a transformative shift. The integration of AI into diagnostic tools is set to revolutionize cancer treatment with precise and personalized solutions.

    We can expect the implementation of diagnostic tools that combine AI, cellular, and genetic insights for more accurate and efficient disease detection and treatment planning.

    In addition, a crucial focus for biotech companies will be securing a balanced mix of dilutive and non-dilutive funding, ensuring financial flexibility to advance technologies like Onco-PDO on a global scale. This includes strategic planning, market assessments, regulatory considerations, and partnerships, which are key components of scaling nascent technologies globally.

    (Related: How Rami Hajjar, CEO, Signify Southeast Asia is Heading in the Right Direction for 2024)

    What is your professional New Year’s resolution?
    Our primary goal for the upcoming year is to deliver precise drug and therapy solutions to individual patients at the optimal time. This commitment to precision medicine, facilitated by advanced technologies such as Onco-PDO, reflects our dedication to providing accurate and personalized healthcare solutions. This strategic focus for the new year also aligns with industry trends, emphasizing the importance of targeted and timely interventions for optimised patient outcomes.

    And your personal?
    In the coming year, I hope to strike a better balance between my professional commitments and family life.

    Working hard or working smart – which side are you on and why?
    That’s a trick question! It’s always a bit of both for me. Working smart is the compass that guides your efforts towards what truly matters. It's about strategic decision-making, efficiency, and prioritizing tasks. On the other hand, working hard is what propels you toward your goals. It's the tenacity, grit, and dedication that ensure you not only reach your destination, but also thrive there.

    How are you preparing yourself physically and mentally for the new set of challenges the new year brings?
    For me, it is making sure that I take care of both my physical and mental well-being. I do that through running. More than just exercise, running is also a therapeutic practice that keeps me mentally rejuvenated. It also helps maintain a healthy work-life balance, which I think is key to building emotional resilience. Family holds a special place in my heart, and this year, I hope to invest more time with them.