NOVATO -- Remy Gross is currently the vice president of business development and technology advancement at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. His duties at the Buck include the increase of deal flow through global corporate collaborations and new company formation.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Gross was the vice president of business development and corporate business planning for Nektar Therapeutics - Huntsville Division, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. based in San Carlos, the heart of Silicon Valley. He has been a principal, executive officer and key member in the development of technology, development and licensing for Nektar’s poly(ethylene glycol) technology as well as the Huntsville organization’s infrastructure. 

Q.The Life sciences and biotech industries seem to be on an upswing in Marin County, with numerous companies expanding in and even locating to Marin. What makes Marin and the general region an attractive place for this industry?

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A.  Marin has a good, but relatively small life science presence next to San Francisco and the surrounding communities. The North Bay has a wonderful quality of life and universities that add to its attractiveness. Marin also has a history of entrepreneurship, which can been seen in the start-ups here.

Q. How can Marin remain a competitive destination for this sector?

A. Life sciences exist in any geography in several different formats: manufacturing/product creation, research and development, new company formation. Many enterprises exist by excelling in one or more of these areas. BioMarin has both competencies in manufacturing drugs for neglected diseases and also research and development. Buck performs novel R&D on the most pressing chronic diseases facing mankind. New company formations, like Raptor Pharmaceutical and Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals, are great stories of promising new companies that have great promise. Marin needs to look to foster and build all three of these areas in order to have a stable, growing life science sector that can build upon itself.  

Q. How vital would you say the industry is to job growth in Marin County?

A.  While I am not an expert on the economic status of Marin County, I would say it is quite critical. The economic prosperity of the Bay Area requires advancement in the innovative sectors of the economy. This is what provides clean, high paying jobs, generates wealth for its people and revenues for its government. Life sciences and the biopharmaceutical sector are key companies that any area should want to best diversify and grow its economic base.

Q. What role do you see The Buck Institute playing in the region’s growth?

A. I hope the Buck will continue to benefit Marin and the North Bay through our own growth and also through the new companies being seeded by Buck research.  I would like to think in 10 years Buck will have seeded at least four or five new going concerns that have stable operations in the North Bay.