Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Dongxu Sun, the visionary CEO of TrueBinding, a company at the forefront of groundbreaking medical research and innovation. In this in-depth conversation, we delve into the fascinating world of biotechnology and medical science, exploring the incredible strides made in the quest to transform Alzheimer’s treatment.
Dongxu Sun’s journey is a testament to the power of innovation and resilience in the field of healthcare. As a scientist with extensive experience in inflammation research, he identified a novel approach to address the complexities of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
His brainchild, TB006, a monoclonal antibody drug candidate, has shown remarkable promise in reversing memory loss in AD animal models, a feat previously unattained by other treatments focusing on amyloid-targeting.
In 2021, TrueBinding initiated a groundbreaking clinical trial for patients with AD, and by November 2022, they had achieved significant success. This interview offers a unique opportunity to gain insights into this revolutionary breakthrough, discover the challenges faced, and understand Dongxu Sun’s vision for the future of Alzheimer’s care.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Dongxu Sun: It is my pleasure to introduce myself and my company. Before setting up TrueBinding in 2016, I was already a scientist with extensive research experience in inflammation, which plays an essential role in many medically important disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
After forming the company, my team developed a monoclonal antibody drug candidate named TB006 to treat many different diseases from a new angle of modulating inflammation.
Concerning AD, we found that the TB006 investigational treatment demonstrated a reversal in memory loss in AD animal model studies. This had never before been seen in other treatments for AD, like those that target amyloids.
Encouraged by this research data, we initiated a clinical trial for patients with mild, moderate to severe AD in 2021 that concluded in November 2022.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Dongxu Sun: As mentioned, in the past year the success of the AD clinical trial is our proudest and greatest achievement. We found that just one month of treatment with TB006 reversed disease progression in not only mild cases but also in moderate to severe AD patients with no obvious adverse events.
Other amyloid-targeting treatments have only been proven to slow down disease progression, and often produce unfortunate side effects like brain swelling, brain bleeds, and in severe cases, even death.
TB006 is opening a new chapter for the potential of AD treatment and brings a much-needed hope to those living with this devastating disease and their loved ones.
What advice do you wish you had received when you started your business journey and what do you intend on improving in the next quarter?
Dongxu Sun: When I started TrueBinding, I had limited business experience. I wish I would have gotten advice on how to run a company on a business level.
After almost 8 years of running the company, I have gained significant experience but there will always be more to learn, and I think that the journey would have been simpler if I had someone else’s experience to lean on in the beginning.
I have an immediate goal to learn how to quickly raise capital to support and carry out new clinical trials and other activities.
Here is a two-fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Dongxu Sun: These days, I’m reading many scientific publications but not so many books so I cannot say which book influences me the most.
In my journey as a CEO to bring a new drug from scratch to clinical trials, the valuable life lesson I have learned is that, to be successful, we must be constantly innovating to generate first-in-class drugs and survive the highly competitive field of drug development.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as THE real challenge right now?
Dongxu Sun: With the promising data the TB006 clinical trials have provided so far, we are poised to proceed to the next stage of development. However, right now the biggest obstacle in getting to that next step is obtaining adequate funds to carry out new clinical trials.
That challenge is borne from another bigger challenge: helping investors believe in what we can do. Modulating inflammation is a non-traditional and novel approach to treating AD, and our goal to not only slow down disease progression but to reverse it completely, is novel, too.
Given the current difficulties that the medical sector has in managing AD at this time, the additional promise of complete disease reversal can be difficult for investors to believe at first, so it takes a bit longer to get their commitment.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Dongxu Sun: To run a company, especially a biotechnology company, it’s important to change direction as needed with new scientific progress. This might be the most underestimated part of running a company but turned out to be essential to our success at TrueBinding.
For example, TrueBinding was set up at the beginning with an aim to develop an antibody drug candidate for cancer immunotherapy. We adjusted the course of this development according to the latest scientific discoveries and information.
We originally tested the efficacy of TB006 in cancers, fibrotic diseases, and metabolic diseases. Ultimately, we found that TB006 was most viable as a drug candidate for AD.
That flexibility, and willingness to keep changing with each new discovery is what made our startup company successful, and what led us to where we are today. No matter what kind of startup you’re running, the same principle applies.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Dongxu Sun: Generally, drug development is a high-risk, high-cost adventure, so the success of the first clinical trial means a lot to me and to our company as a startup. To me, it was a testament to my ability to bring a potentially revolutionary drug candidate from discovery to clinical trials, which is no small feat.
It also boosted my confidence to generate other novel drugs to treat more diseases. This success will enable our company to be a pioneer in bringing innovative drugs to patients, and ultimately increasing the fullness of their lives.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Dongxu Sun for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Dongxu Sun or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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