This month we put Jeppe Christian Mouritsen in the spotlight as our #REBBLofTheMonth. Jeppe is CEO of Henlez, located at DTU Skylab in Lyngby, DK.
Check out our flash Q&A session with him below…
1. You have recently quit your stable job to start your own Biotech company – why now?
With a MSc pharmaceutical sciences and Ph.D. in advanced analytical protein chemistry, I worked for Novozymes as a research scientist until august this year. I worked as an intrapreneur, but quickly grew out of my position. With my colleague Rikke, I founded the company Henlez based on our knowledge about enzymes. We closed a collaboration deal with Novozymes to be able pursue our venture in drug development with several new class of molecules. Henlez develops fundamentally new types of prophylactic and potentially curative drugs for some debilitating and poorly managed follicular skin diseases.
2. Give us a glimpse into your everyday life (last time we met you were transporting pig ears around CPH!)
When building a start-up from scratch, its not surprising that you have to do everything yourself, and I learn something new every day. For instance, no one told me how much it costs to kick off a start-up properly, or how hard it is to procure pig ears for experimentation, and on top of that… how much paperwork is required to be allowed do so!
3. Why did you join REBBLS?
I joined REBBLS to support the Danish life science start-up ecosystem that I am now part of myself. Giving back and supporting the ecosystem actively is key, because start-ups and entrepreneurs rely heavily on bootstrapping and in-kind support in the earlier stages. This is particularly true for first time entrepreneurs like myself.
4. What are you currently involved in at REBBLS?
My role in REBBLS is currently centered around cOPENLab – building one of the key infrastructures required for a life science-based start-up – the wet laboratory. This is located at Symbion and fills a huge gap in the Danish life science, start-up community today.
5. What is something about you that we can’t see on your CV?
I have a fantastic, supporting wife who I have been with since I was 16. We have two boys aged 6 and 9. We are living in a two-room apartment to basically allow me to start my start-up, which really makes me feel overwhelmingly grateful and happy.