In the latest Business of Science podcast interviewee, Tom Brennan co-founder of speciality healthcare company EirGen Pharma and most recently co-founder and director of Triviumvet chats about the key drivers and motivation behind his incredible entrepreneurial journey.
The ‘Business of Science’ podcast series
The Business of Science podcast series is hosted by the multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur and founder of Q1 Scientific, Louise Grubb. The series features interviews with some of the key people behind Ireland’s global success in pharma, life sciences, health and biomedical sectors. Louise brings her twenty years of experience within the sector to the table and her own knowledge of what is required to establish a pharma success story.
The ‘Business of Science’ interview with Tom Brennan
During the podcast interview, Tom talks about his upbringing on the family farm in County Laois with his three younger brothers where he got stuck into helping out and built a work ethic at a very young age. Tom talks about being inspired by his Uncle who founded a pharmaceutical company in the early 1980s where he worked during his summer’s off from school where his passion for science and its global impact was ignited.
Tom’s early career started at Clonmel Healthcare and he moved to work for IVAX a few years later. While working at IVAX he took the leap to begin setting up his own Pharmaceutical company as he undertook a part-time MBA with the University of Limerick. His joint co-founder of Eirgen, Patsy Carney was also undertaking the same MBA, and it turns out that the result of their Entrepreneurship project on the MBA became the business plan to start-up the hugely successful Eirgen Pharma.
One Saturday morning during our MBA programme we looked at what a company like Eirgen might look at in terms of speciality oncology products; obviously we had no idea how we would finance it but I do recall the fact that there was a spark there and we knew that there could be something more to this than a class exercise if we did it right. We got the assignment in Oct ’04 and submitted in Dec ’04 and we only got a B!
The start-up and growth of Eirgen Pharma
Tom shares the start-up and growth story of the company as Eirgen Pharma was established in 2005 with much success and it was acquired in May 2015 by NASDAQ listed OPKO Health Inc for $135 million.
The importance of taking time out
Speaking of the importance of taking time out Tom says:
“When I finished in Eirgen I took a year out, I think this was really important, it allowed me to decompress and reaccess what I wanted to do in the next phase of my life. I think life moves in 10-year blocks where a new version of you comes along every ten years or so.”
Tom shares his experience in working with other businesses, boards and the value that he places on networking and building relationships for business success along with the opportunities for business as a result of Covid.
Starting a business in the current climate
Speaking of business and business start-ups in the current climate Tom says:
“There is an analogy, where in times of a hurricane some people hide under the stairs and others build wind turbines. Flux like this and chaos like this does create many incredible opportunities for the people who have the vision to see how they can best take advantage of this be it in, the provision of services which many companies will now look to outsource, and I think that is an area which will definitely increase as it is difficult to see many 1,000’s of people working in the same building in large cities around the world; that model is going to change and from those systemic shifts there will definitely be opportunity.”
Listen to the full interview
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