By Scott Westcott, Contributing Writer
From the limited view in his cramped cubicle at a Big Pharma company a few years back, Joseph Payne envisioned launching a startup to develop innovative ribonucleic acid (RNA) pharmaceuticals and technologies. Payne was confident he and a coworker had promising ideas, the necessary entrepreneurial mindset, and solid science to lead their own successful biotech company. Yet it was the need for money, resources, and infrastructure to fund and provide ongoing support for such a venture that posed the most daunting barriers.
Still, the partners made the leap, quitting their jobs and pooling savings to launch Arcturus Therapeutics, of which Payne serves as president and CEO. “At the beginning, we were completely focused on how we were going to get funding and how we were going to get lab space,” Payne recalled. “It is just so difficult. It requires a lot of money – a lot of money fast.”