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Biz to Bio, Eisenburger Heads for Algonomics and Best of Both Worlds

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Most MBAs wouldn’t know a peptide from a nucleotide. Not Brian Eisenburger, though. AlgoNomics’ new business development manager joined the structural bioinformatics applications provider early this year with more than 10 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and food ingredient industry.

The 37-year-old graduate took his University of Rotterdam business degree to biopharmaceutical companies such as Pharming, where he worked with a team of business developers. While Pharming had a staff of 200, AlgoNomics, a comparatively young startup, has 14 — which Eisenburger says will soon change.

Founded in 1999, the Belgian company is in for a dramatic shift in the way it conducts business. “This will be a mind switch in our business model,” said Eisenburger. “While most software companies test their applications in their customers’ labs because of limited investments, we see a need to validate our in silico models on our own first.” That includes AlgoNomics’ modeling algorithms that identify sequence signatures, predict protein behavior, and handle multiple sequence alignment.

Despite what he considers promising technology, Eisenburger isn’t running around with rose-colored glasses. “We still have to convince investors,” he says. “The first step is Europe, the second the US, and then later Japan.”

The father of a one-year-old boy indulges in sporting activities during his downtime, including taking part in sailing competitions. He’s also an antique buff and can frequently be found at bazaars seeking out knick-knacks to furnish his late 19th-century home.

And when he wants to talk shop, he can turn to his father, a mechanical engineer by training who is taking biology classes at a local university. “It’s nice to have someone in the family to talk to about biology and business,” Eisenburger says.

— Jasmin Chua

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