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The Journey of Mainz BioMed: From Start-up to a NASDAQ Listing



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This blog post first appeared first on old medium publication (https://medium.com/startuprad-io), and was moved to this blog with the relaunch of our website in summer 2024.

Executive Summary


In this episode of Startuprad.io, host Joe Menninger interviews Guido Baechler, CEO of Mainz BioMed, about the company’s innovative at-home colorectal cancer test kit, designed to improve early detection and survival rates. Baechler discusses the challenges and opportunities of operating in the biotech sector, including navigating U.S. and European regulations and fostering a culture of innovation within a NASDAQ-listed company. He shares insights from his background at Roche Diagnostics and emphasizes the importance of an open, trustful company culture. The episode also touches on Mainz BioMed’s expansion plans and the significance of colorectal cancer awareness.


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“Europe is an interesting market. But most, you know, for us, the driver was to get the product into the US market. Because of the massive market we have in the US it’s just generally easier to get innovation into the market in the US. Just from a reimbursement point of view.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

Introduction


Welcome to another exciting episode of Startuprad.io, where we bring you the stories of innovation and entrepreneurship directly from the heart of the startup ecosystem. I’m your host, Jörn “Joe” Menninger, and today, we’re diving into a topic of crucial importance: the fight against colorectal cancer.


In this March 2024 awareness month episode, we’re honored to welcome Guido Baechler, CEO of Mainz BioMed, a trailblazing German biotech company listed on Nasdaq. With a fascinating journey from Roche Diagnostics to the dynamic world of startups, Guido brings a wealth of knowledge on PCR technology, cutting-edge diagnostic tools, and the importance of early cancer detection.


As we explore Mainz BioMed’s innovative approach to cancer screening, including their noninvasive at-home test that’s changing the game in colorectal cancer prevention, Guido shares the company’s mission, its challenges with market trends and diverse regulatory environments, and how they maintain a culture of innovation amidst stringent healthcare regulations.


Join us as we delve into the importance of self-care, the impact of lifestyle on cancer risk, and why Guido left the security of a large firm for the risk-rich terrain of startups. Through an inspirational tale of a test that transformed one mother’s life, we’ll see the real-world impact of Mainz BioMed’s commitment to early detection. So, whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a healthcare professional, or someone passionate about making a difference, this is one episode you can’t afford to miss!

“But in in my case, it was it was clear to be able to raise the capital to, you know, really build next-generation products and getting the product broader into the market, the NASDAQ IPO was the right approach.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

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“We raised some nice capital in early February. And then, you know, the war [in Ukraine] started, and everything changed. So I think that was something that you feel much more as a public company compared to a private company because then you get exposed to, different sentiments in the market in a private background company you don’t feel.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

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“I’m a believer that if you have good clinical data, you have good performance, ultimately, the market will prevail. And I think we’re starting to see this that, the market this year is starting to get a little bit more positive towards biotechs.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

Questions Discussed in the Interview

  1. Can you explain how Mainz BioMed’s at-home colorectal cancer test works, and how it differs from traditional methods of detection?

  2. Guido Baechler mentioned the importance of innovation in the biotech industry; how does Mainz BioMed foster a culture that promotes creativity while navigating stringent regulations?

  3. Considering the growing incidence of colorectal cancer in younger populations, what strategies is Mainz BioMed employing to raise awareness and make testing more accessible to this demographic?

  4. With Mainz BioMed being based in Germany but also targeting markets like the US and Japan, what are the biggest hurdles in meeting diverse regulatory requirements, and how does the company address these challenges?

  5. Guido, having transitioned from Roche Diagnostics to the startup world, can you share insights on how risk-taking and innovation differ between large corporations and startups in the biotech field?

  6. The Nasdaq listing is a significant milestone for Mainz BioMed. How has becoming a publicly-traded company influenced the business strategy and growth prospects?

  7. As Mainz BioMed aims to become the gold standard in cancer prevention, what are some of the upcoming innovations or services that we can expect from the company in the near future?

  8. Guido spoke about the mother who benefited from early detection through Mainz BioMed’s test. Can you share more success stories that highlight the impact of your company’s work on individuals and families?

  9. What advice would Guido give to other biotech companies striving to balance rapid innovation with ensuring patient safety and adherence to the complex regulatory landscape?

  10. Finally, throwing a more personal touch into the mix, Guido, how has your background in electrical engineering and your work in different cultural settings equipped you to lead Mainz BioMed toward international success?

“There’s a specific process that you have to follow starting with very basic requirements. What is the product supposed to do till you do clinical trials with sometimes many, many hundreds or thousand patients to make sure your product is safe and works.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

The Video Podcast is set to go live on Thursday, March 21st, 2024

The podcast is available early to the members of our YouTube channel.



“… Clear understanding: When you get a product into the European market. It’s quite different than the requirements for the US market. So you wanna make sure you train them on the US market and also show them the difference, what it’s required to get it into the European market.” — Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed

The Audio Podcast is set to go live on Thursday, March 21st, 2024

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The Executive — Who Took Mainz BioMed Public


Guido Baechler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/guido-baechler/) serves as the CEO of Mainz BioMed, a figure intimately familiar with the intricate world of PCR technology long before it entered the public lexicon due to COVID-19. Growing up alongside the evolution of PCR, he understands its power as a diagnostic tool — a method so precise, that it’s likened to finding a needle in a haystack. Baechler’s extensive experience with this transformative technique was honed during his years at Roche, a global healthcare powerhouse.His journey led him from the expansive halls of large corporations to the dynamic realm of smaller companies, where he could apply his in-depth knowledge to drive innovation and lead Mainz BioMed into the future of medical diagnostics.


Polymerase Chain Reaction —PRR: With PCR being instrumental in detecting the presence of pathogens, including the novel coronavirus, Baechler’s expertise became particularly relevant.At Mainz BioMed, Baechler combines his long-standing experience with a passion for bringing cutting-edge medical solutions to the forefront. Under his leadership, the company strives to advance diagnostic technologies that can swiftly and accurately identify disease, thereby shaping a world where early detection is not just possible but the norm.


The Company

Mainz BioMed (https://mainzbiomed.com/), a revolutionary biotech company founded in Mainz, Germany, stands at the forefront of cancer diagnostic innovation, particularly in the battle against colorectal cancer. With an impressively successful round of public fundraising that culminated in their listing on Nasdaq in November 2021, the company exemplifies how strategic capital infusion is leveraged to deliver cutting-edge medical solutions to the market.


Mainz BioMed is driven by the conviction to save lives and bolster preventive care through early and accurate detection. Their pioneering work resulted in the development of an at-home colorectal cancer screening test that promises to set a new standard in noninvasive diagnostics, changing the paradigm through ease of use, ensuring higher participation rates, and potential for early detection of pre-cancerous lesions.


What uniquely delineates Mainz BioMed from its competitors is the synergy of convenience, technological advancement, and global ambition. The biotech firm not only offers a home-based testing kit that can be mailed in for analysis, paving the way for broader accessibility and compliance — but it has also been diligently active on the innovation front, with plans underway to launch a next-generation product aimed at enhancing the detection efficacy for precancerous conditions.


This positions the company not just as a provider of diagnostic tools but also as an aspirant for the gold standard in cancer prevention, heralding a significant breakthrough in the collective fight against a disease that has seen a worrying increase in younger demographics. Mainz BioMed’s unwavering commitment to high-quality standards, coupled with its strategic collaborations and expansion plans across Europe and beyond, underscores its pivotal role in reducing the prevailing healthcare burden by shifting the focus from cancer treatment to proactive prevention and early intervention.


For Investors


Mainz BioMed is listed on NASDAQ. You can learn more here:

Disclaimer:

Disclaimer:

The content provided in this interview conducted by Startuprad.io with a Nasdaq-listed company is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice.

Listeners and viewers are encouraged to conduct their own research and due diligence before making any decisions based on the information provided in this interview. Startuprad.io and its affiliates shall not be held liable for any actions taken as a result of reliance on the information presented during the interview.

It is recommended that individuals seek professional advice from qualified professionals in the relevant field before making any significant decisions.


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The Interviewer


This interview was conducted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of Startuprad.io. Reach out to him:


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Automated Transcript


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:00]:And welcome, everybody. This is Joe from StartupRadio dot io, your StartupRadio podcast and YouTube blog from Germany. We are in March 2024, and this is colorectal awareness. Hello, and welcome, everybody. This is Joe from start up great dot Joe, your Startupradio podcast and YouTube blog from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, bringing you cutting edge innovation and technologies from the DACH region. This is March 2024, and it’s colorectal cancer awareness month. Doesn’t sound very fun, but it could kill you if you don’t pay attention to it. So therefore, I would like to welcome Guido here with me today.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:41]:Hey, Guido. How you doing?

Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:00:43]:Doing good. Thanks, Joe, for having me.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:46]:Totally my pleasure. We’ll very soon get to why a Swiss guy in Silicon Valley or in the in the Greater Bay Area is tuned into our podcast because we are talking about a biotech company from Germany where you are the CEO. But before we jump into Minds Biotech, can you introduce yourself a little bit? Because I’ve seen you you you’re very interesting guy. You are actually an electrical engineer by training. And the first question I had is, do you still fix stuff around the house?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:01:22]:That’s why I had time dialing in here. Right? So no. So so, Joe, it’s, it’s really a pleasure to be on your podcast here. And, we’re looking forward to sharing a bit more about myself and the vision, of myself as well as of, MyndsBiomed. The question is how do they end up here. Right? So I am an a training electrical Menninger. I’m actually born and raised in Switzerland. I worked for Roche Diagnostics for many, many years, in Switzerland and then in California.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:01:53]:Really growing up with PCR. PCR, many of you had no idea what PCR was before COVID. And now many of you know what PCR stands for. It’s basically the technology that is enables us to find the needle in the haystack. What that means really is is a technology that enables you to find viruses like we did with COVID and a little bit of swaps. And then you were able to stick in liquid and that the technology actually found whether you had the the COVID virus or not. So I I spent many years in this technology, again, in a large organization with Roche. And afterwards, joined a small world, companies.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:02:26]:I joined a small StartupRadio the Bay Area. And, so I was really experiencing the the California hype of speeds, innovation, creating new solutions. Combining these with my upbringing of a big organization with the Swiss heritage. It was exciting. It was a very exciting time. And I came across Minds Biomed about two and a half, almost 3 years ago now. In the middle of COVID, while I was running a mega COVID lab here in the Bay Area. And I love the concept of, you know, something a colorectal cancer test, MET testing, you know, collecting your sample at home, shipping it in the mail, get the results back, talk to clinicians.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:03:08]:That whole concept was very intriguing to me. And, Joe, that’s how I ended up where I am now. I I I love the company. There you go. Exactly. Here is the


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:03:16]:Joe for all the people who are listening to this on the radio station and on the, on the audio podcast, we are holding up 2 different packages. They’re basically home tests. What’s what Minds Biomed, the biotech company from Minds, makes sense, is doing. But but before we get a little bit into this, I I have one more question because you said you’ve been with Rush Company. Makes sense. You were born and raised in Switzerland. You studied there, then you joined a Swiss company. And then at one point, they sent you over to California.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:03:49]:But where where was the break? When did you decide to really go from being, at at one time, I’ve seen you’ve been in charge of the program management at Rush. I assume that’s a situation where you don’t get a lot of sleep. When when did you decide to go from this position, very secure position, very good company, very well paid, into startups? That was something I didn’t get from your CV.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:04:17]:Yeah. That’s yeah. It’s a it’s also better explained life than putting on a CV. So, you know, when when when you were with with with Roche is is is a really wonderful company. A lot of innovation. And also, able to train their staff very well. So I I was what was unique with me too, because I went through a variety of different type of departments, which merely which really enabled me to understand every aspect of a diagnostic company. From early research to very complex, you know, regulatory studies.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:04:48]:FDA approved for CE, IBD marks, etcetera. Including the commercialization, you know, on all the regulatory requirements that Joe around. So I really had a really good and that was my last job at Roche really managing massive programs globally. Really learning and training me every aspect of running a company just at a very massive scale. So what you didn’t do is if you if you’re ready to jump, right, as we call it, and and and try to go into small organisation, you know. And not everybody is gonna like it. Because in a small organization, you never have enough money. You never have enough time.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:05:24]:You never have enough resources. You do it. You if you don’t like something, you fix it yourself. Because there’s nobody behind you who’s gonna do it. I love that concept. Right? I was kinda just doing similar stuff at Roche where he brought some new innovation there as well. So that’s why it was an easy transmission transition for me from a big to a smaller organization. Really being able to go into 10, 15, 20 people, you know, no processes in place.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:05:48]:You know, it was it was it was quite interesting to learn through that. Big learning lesson. But there’s there’s there’s some type of, you know, especially living then. I I actually moved to California in, 1994. That was, you know, many, many years ago. So I really, was exposed to innovation. And many of you live wherever you live, there’s a lot of innovation coming out of California. Because there’s an interesting combination of, intellectual thinking as well as capital to make it happen.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:06:21]:Right? I always say there’s a lot of innovation coming out here because there’s capital. How did you get capital in Europe? Because there’s just not as the risk profile of investors in Europe is different than it is here. So that all kind of compares it a little bit, you know, why there’s Joe much coming out of here. Because it needs both. Right? You need the innovation which you have in other place as well. But in other place, you don’t necessarily have the the risk, you know, open the open the the low risk investor says, okay. I’ll give it a try. Because I made a lot of money last time, I’ll give it a try.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:06:52]:And so I think that’s the combination. Jodha really, you know, got inspired. I mean, it’s was inspired, but I don’t want to try it out. And I didn’t know how it’s gonna work out, and it worked out well. I loved it. Again, I this is my 3rd StartupRadio. We had some great access with some of the other ones. We saw big big parts of it.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:07:11]:So not not everything worked perfect. To be clear, that’s not how life works. But, you know, when you when you feel some more, that’s a stepping stone, you know, for for next success. So I think you gotta you gotta be able to accept that. Right? So you’re gonna accept to make a decision that may cause something to go wrong, and that’s okay. Because if you don’t make it 3 times, it’s okay because you learn from it, you move on. That’s what I love about the start up because, you know, everything you do is different. You generally don’t do the same thing twice because you move fast, you move on.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:07:42]:You find partners, you move on. So it’s just different with the big organization where you just be put into a box and you do certain things every day, every day, every day. In a StartupRadio, that dynamic is really quite different.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:07:53]:Mhmm. I see. And and we may talk a little moment about the setup here. So, basically, Mainz Biomed is located in the city of Mainz, very famous made by being home of bio and tech. The company is, on the other hand, listed on Nasdaq, so you’re already a public company, and you as the CEO, are living in California. Joe, I think there there’s some way to discover Minds Biomed when you’re in the US right now and you if you’re interested in biotechnology. But how did you meet the company, and how did they convince you to become the CEO?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:08:38]:Yeah. So that was was interesting. I I connected to my again, through through through an investor into the mines opportunity. Again, I said it’s in I think first time I met him was in February or March or April 21, which many of you remember. You couldn’t really travel anywhere, but because I’m a Swiss citizen, I was able to get to Europe. So, I met the team, and I was very intrigued by the culture. There was a small group. At that stage, the company was called Pharma Genomics.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:09:07]:They did a rider development of different type of PCR products, but also started the development and, initial testing of the colorellar product, version that will be having the market today. And I was just intrigued by, again, me being European, having worked in Europe, having worked in US, you know, make this this it’s an interest actually of people work in US and and work with European companies to get ultimately that product into the US market. Because as as we will talk later today, Joe, I assume, but, you know, Europe is an interesting market. But most, you know, for us, the the driver was to get the product into the US market. Because the the the massive market we have in US and it’s just generally easier to get innovation into the market in US. Just from a reimbursement point of view. You can also get, you know, your reimbursement coverage in United States, which means you also you have several 100,000,000 people. Where in Europe, you have to go through reimbursement country by country by country, which takes generally a lot longer in this more in this more conference.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:10:12]:So it’s that the interest I had is, again, helping that European company Joe only to expand in Europe, but ultimately get the product also launched and commercialized in the United States where the market is really, really massive. So so that’s kinda the the way I got excited about it, Joe. Right? Knowing, again, you know, it’s easier. It it’s really easy for somebody who is, you know, has seen both markets. Right? Many people have done European market, wanna go to US, but you must understand both because they’re so different, in many way the way physicians think, the way patients think, the way the regulatory works. Joe I think that’s the it was the aspect for me that really worked in in a good partnership with with me and the original founders of Foundgenomics to really create Minds Biomed and ultimately move it into move it to NASDAQ, and then also with our next generation Menninger the product into US market.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:11:09]:I’m not sure about the timeline here, but have you been the CEO, at the Nasdaq listing?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:11:14]:Yeah. Yeah. I took the company public in, November 21.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:11:20]:Okay. Before we get to everything else, tell us a little bit how does it feel to list a company on Nasdaq? Because I do believe there are not too many people out there who could talk about something like this.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:11:32]:Well, I think there’s clearly and I was running private companies before, and the the advantage and disadvantage of being public company and the private company. But in in my case, it was it was clear to be able to raise the capital to, you know, really build next generation products and getting the product broader into the market, was, you know, get the NASDAQ launch, is I IPO was the right approach. This was really done in collaboration with the some of the former investors of the, of the company to get to do that process. So it was an interesting process for me to go through, you know, getting to know the investors and then ultimately launching the product in November. But then afterwards, clearly, then you you feel there’s there’s a you you everything you do is you’re you’re you’re really on a on a board every day. Right? Because everything you do, you you you talk to the community. It’s very we’re Menninger a lot of efforts actually working with investors that we currently have on board, you know, with public disclosures, etcetera. So it’s a it’s a quite interesting it’s a very involved process, not just to get into an IPO, but then maintain everything.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:12:51]:Right? There’s a lot of rules from SCC about what you need to do and need to follow through. So we got a lot of advice. We got a lot of advisers helping us what to say, what not to say, how to communicate, how to build the market forward. And so I think that’s clearly the the the the other side as well. You get exposed to market trends. Right? So as the market gone really sour in, February, right, we raised some nice capital in in early February. And then, you know, the the the the war started, and everything changed. Right? So I think that was something that you feel much more as a public company compared to a a private company because then you get exposed to, you know, different sentiments in the market that in a private background company you don’t feel that.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:13:34]:So I think that’s certainly an an very interesting experience for me as well to go through through that very challenging time. Right? And continue to build, continue to raise capital to continue to build the company forward. So it’s been a really, a challenging to be. It’s challenging. We’re not happy with, we’re we’re we’re the stock values of our company. We believe we have a significant higher value, but we also know how we’re gonna get back to where we need to be and where we wanna be. Joe, again, I’m I’m a believer in if you have good clinical data, you have good performance, ultimately, the market will prevail. And I think we’re starting to see this that, you know, the market this year is starting to get a little bit more positive towards biotechs.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:14:16]:There’s more biotechs. I you you you saw there were no biotechs going on. There were more biotechs coming on, now more to diagnostic companies. So it’s it’s it’s just a dynamic that you get exposed, when you’re a public company that you don’t even have an idea what it is if you’re a private company. Mhmm.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:14:34]:I see. We we just talked about biotech here, and a lot of our audience is usually listening to my interviews with software companies. So you have different regulations. We we already touched a little bit on what the SEC does for everybody who doesn’t know that. They’re basically the finance regulator, responsible for regulating entities like Nasdaq and entities listed on Nasdaq. So they basically, write the rules of what you can tell, what you can’t tell, and so on and so forth. And on the other hand, there are also the regulators for health care and the biotech sector. And what are the unique challenges and opportunities in this?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:15:19]:Yeah. So, that’s, it’s good to hear having some, listeners on the softer side. So I I’m actually quite familiar with the soft space too and being a electrical injury myself. So I think some of the main difference here is you you deal with people’s lives. Right? Joe, we’re creating results that are used to treat a patient or not treat a patient or to search or do not search. Right? So in my past, we’ve done a lot of work, with hepatitis b, HIV, for example, which you’re all familiar with. You know, testing blood donations, for example. Let me give you an example.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:15:57]:Right? So a lot of work at Roche was going into any anybody getting blood donations because of, you know, a disease or an illness or an accident. Those those those the the the the the blood that’s been donated is being thoroughly tested for pretty much any Menninger you could have. Right? HIV, ACV, all of them. Because I don’t wanna give it to an, you know, a a a blood to a patient, and then ultimately, the patient gets HIV. So that was an issue in the past. You may remember in the eighties, nineties, a lot of that was happening. So the regulations on some of our products and results we’re creating is significantly higher than anything else. Right? Joe, and so I would say significantly higher.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:16:44]:So for for for the software industry, if you look at the level of software testing you have to do, for example, goes up the hydro risk as in a in a industry airline industry, etcetera. We know, for example, that the testing is significantly higher than when you buy a radio or something like this. Right? So the same It’s true. I think it’s a fair comparison. Right? So because you wanna make sure the plane doesn’t come down or the door doesn’t fly off if you take off. Right? So, so but but in in our case, it’s similar. We have a different risk levels. Right? If you are in a category, for example, we’re in a in a highest risk category where we diagnose somebody with cancer or we tell a patient that they don’t have cancer.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:17:27]:Right? So that’s the highest risk regulatory where the agencies are looking very thoroughly on how we’re developing the product from beginning to the end. There’s a specific process that you have to follow starting with very basic requirements. What is the product supposed to do till you do clinical trials with sometimes many, many hundreds of many 1000 patients to make sure your product is safe and works. It’s not dissimilar to what pharma is doing, except it’s a different process, but the concept as well. Pharma starts, you know, dosing, therapies first and then more and more, and ultimately have the large trials. So, I think that’s the major difference that we’re dealing with is the regulatory environment, which is important. Right? Because I always think about it. Whatever you do, think about your child or somebody else wants to use it.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:18:15]:You wanna make sure it’s right. Right? Or as right as it can be. And that’s really the bigger difference. And I think that’s certainly, you know, it’s a hurdle. Because in our case, we’re looking at a a large clinical trials that has to be done for the for US. That’s a big undertaking. But once you’ve done it, that creates a competitive hurdle for somebody else to come in. They need to do the same thing.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:18:39]:So clearly, it’s not, you know, some of the I don’t wanna downplay soft the products, but sometimes you can do something and launch a product in 2 or 3 months. Right? You cannot do this in clinical diagnostics. It always takes longer because you gotta make sure, you know, the results that you put out is right every time. And also, if you didn’t develop international products, right, the guidelines in Japan might be different than the one in Europe and US. So you have to be really understanding how that is. I think that’s some of the dynamics I think we’re dealing with. You know, there’s also new there’s also always new innovation coming out in the coming back to, in our case with colorectal cancer. Right? Or all the cancers coming up.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:19:19]:There’s variations coming in. You remember all that with COVID. Right? So we had all the different types of, viruses, mutations coming up. And we had to make sure the diagnostic tests that we’re developing were actually capturing those. Right? So it’s not that it’s it’s not an easy switch. You have to make sure that the next version the next version actually covers not just the old variants of the virus, but also the new ones. So there’s a lot of work that goes in that is and then all everything has to be done in a very controlled environment and tested again with patients to make sure that works. So so, Joe, that’s some of the differences I would say that we’re seeing in in general that’s generally the health care space versus the non health care space.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:20:03]:One of the most interesting questions, by the way, everybody who sees, that I’m playing around with the softball here, it’s actually something you said with with your test package and I just discovered it. One of the most interesting questions I had when when I was thinking about the interview with you was on the one hand side, you are a NASDAQ listed company. You want to bring innovation. You want to move fast. But on the other hand, you’re as we already talked about regulated by the SEC, regulated by the health care regulators. What kind or how can you cultivate a culture of innovation there? Because you always have to make sure it works out in the end. And, also, you are the CEO that is frequently present in person, but also you do a lot of digital work. Can you tell us a little bit, Because I’m sure a lot of people would be very curious how you can maintain here a company culture because I I totally do understand moving faster break things just doesn’t work as a model for your company.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:21:10]:Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I think that that the culture is important. Right? So that’s coming back to my previous comment about when I first visited the company in Germany. You know, I I’ve been, you know unfortunately, I’m I’m not that young anymore. I’ve I’ve I’ve been over I have over 30 years experience, and I, I hired a lot of people. And I I had a good sense of somebody who’s innovative. Right? So somebody who is innovative that understands that there’s a path how you have to do the work to get to an ultimate product.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:21:46]:Right? So it’s not you can’t make shortcuts. Right? So but there’s not there’s you can have innovation and then build a creative process to get the product, you know, with the required regulations into the market quicker than somebody else. And let me give you an example. Right? When you go through when you’re trained in a large organization, you know exactly how regular the process has to be to get from point a to point b. Right? You’re the StartupRadio. And the first thing is you’re scared because they have no process. Right? So so but then what you can do is you build a you don’t have to have the rigor process of a larger organization. You can use the major points that are important and build a more dynamic process that has more flexibility, but ultimately still meets all the revelations.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:22:29]:And that’s important. And then when you have I’ve done this now multiple times. And now you combine this with the people skill set. Right? You know, you you can’t be successful in a start up when you have a can do attitude. Right? It just doesn’t work because, well, go work somewhere else. You know, it’s it’s about how can we do it. Right? The question is not, oh, this is a problem. Okay.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:22:52]:I get it. A problem is often perceived as negative, but it’s actually not. It trains you to be better. And then if you have the creative minds around it, how to address the problem and how to make a product, you know, into the market in a more dynamic, little bit flexible way. That’s the mindset I’m looking for. Right? And so when we when we go through Minds now, we have regular meetings with the team. We have regular we’re regular spend regular time in in in Germany. We have leadership team meeting.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:23:20]:We have all hands meeting all the time over there. We have incredible open discussion with the team because nothing is everybody has challenges. That’s if somebody tells you to have no challenges, they’re not telling you the truth. Everybody’s chat chat. There’s always something. But be open about it. Be open about it. And I think that creates this dynamic that, you know, and and challenge is an opportunity to how can you actually ultimately make a product better.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:23:46]:Give you a a concrete example. We’ve had, a meeting with with the, extended leadership team as we call it in mind. So this is basically the people reporting to the leadership team. And we ask them, what can we do better? You know, they had came up with 5, 6 ideas. Now this process doesn’t work well. This process doesn’t work well. And then we let them implement it. Right? So it’s this back and forth that you need to do of, you know, giving the team guidance where to go based on the experience, but then also letting the team come back and figure out how they could do it best for them in a creative way that still absolutely meets all the revelation.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:24:21]:So it’s a really interesting combination of of culture assessments, but also, you know, training the team members to how to do it right. Right? So clearly understanding when you get a product into Europe market, European market, it’s quite different than the requirements for US market. So you wanna make sure you train them on the US market and also show them the difference, what it’s required to get it into European market. And so it it’s a lot of training, that needs to be done by also experienced people who really know what to focus on. Because not not not every aspect is equally important, but you wanna make sure you hit the most important parts that ultimately get you to an approval. Sorry. Long story, but that’s how I how I look at it.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:25:03]:Don’t worry. Company culture is a very important thing, and many people, don’t know how how to really talk about it or how to touch it, but the best sentence that I ever heard about company culture is basically a company culture is established when you do something or want something, and you wanna bring it in front of your superiors, and you already know how they would react. So that that is something, I would agree to, and the oh, crap. That that so what what do you mean by company culture, but, they will ask this, they will ask this, they will be supportive and I do believe then you have established a company culture. Would you agree?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:25:48]:I I I think so. Yeah. I think everybody should, you know, have the right to ask the question to anybody. And, you know, give you an example what what we’re doing. I’m meeting every new employer. Every new employer and I’m back in Mines, and I’m there every 5 to 6 weeks for 1 or 2 weeks. I meet every new employee, and they have time to talk about it. I want I wanna know all of them, and I want them to know me.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:26:13]:And that it’s an open door policy. Right? So you have an issue, you can go to if something is not right, raise your voice. Talk about it. Be open. Be transparent. That’s the only way. You know? I’m a I’m a I do a lot of different type of sports. Soccer was one of them that I unfortunately can’t do anymore.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:26:31]:But it’s a team sport. It’s we’re we’re we’re together on the same boat here. And I think there’s no there’s no space for, you know, silos, which is harder. Right? There’s no you you gotta go across every department to be able to ask the question, and you should be listened to. If somebody makes a point about something, you should should be able to be very clear. It’s trust. Right? It’s a lot of trust. Trust is a big value for our organization.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:26:58]:Trust, integrity, transparency. Right? Customer focus. Those are cultural values that it’s really important that you give this to the company early on and keep reminding them and keep repeating talking about them because that’s really the ultimate goal because we’re all in together. If something went wrong on one side, the other side should compensate and help. Because that’s the way you ultimately can be successful. You know? It’s not easy to ink though to, implement, but I think that’s the process I believe every organization has to do. It’s the open transparency. Right? I don’t like hierarchies.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:27:36]:Right? But you gotta have certain hierarchies. But you can so in my case, I can, you know, go past hierarchies by meeting with all the people individually, having lunch together, talking to them. You get a much better feeling what’s actually going on. Because the higher up you go in an organization, the loaner it gets because people don’t tell you what’s going on. So you gotta go yourself. You gotta go down, figure out what the heck’s going on. I think that’s the that’s I think the company feels that as well as you as you have an open door and people start trusting. Right? So it’s about building trust across all functions and all and all levels of the of your organization.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:28:14]:When you talked about, being in mind so often, I’m very sure that a lot of the flight attendants already were acting nice here. But get getting from the little bit light topic here to to a little more serious topic we hear because it’s colorectal, cancer awareness month. It’s, as we already said, one of the few cancers you can test before by yourself with this practical home kit. No. This is not an endorsement contract. No. This is not sponsored content. It’s it’s very important for me because I lost, multiple family members to cancer and currently have one that is fighting cancer.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:28:51]:So this topic is very dear to me, very close to my heart. And can you tell us a little bit about, what you what you’re currently focusing on, and how do you help people fight cancer, early detection, improving their survival?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:29:08]:Right. So the the the main focus of Minds Biomed today is colorectal cancer. And, Joe, as you already said, you know, we have, the kit that you see in here. What you actually have to do is, as a as an individual, you have to collect these 2 little tubes that we ship to you. You collect very little amount of stools that you we give you a very cool little kit to do this at home. You put it back in the box, and you mail it to your local lab or to our own lab. The test then helps identifying whether you are you’re at risk of colorectal cancer. And that’s very important because, you know, general cancer in general, and I think that’s very general knowledge.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:29:52]:The earlier you identify the cancer, the higher the survival rate. Right? The moment it starts having metastases into other organs, it gets more complex, and the survival rate is low. So early detections is important. And so what that means in colorectal cancer, you know, the the gold standard today is a colonoscopy. And for those of you are younger, you’ve never done it. For those of us who are a little bit older, we’ve done it at least once or more. And so it’s not a fun procedure. That’s why a lot of people don’t wanna do it.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:30:25]:And so but you should do it. You should do some type of screening of your colon on a regular base. And that’s what we’re doing with our product. We basically offer you a noninvasive product that you can then, you know, collect at home, ship it to the lab, and you get a result back. If the result is negative, that’s good, which means we’ve didn’t find anything. If the result is positive, then we strongly recommend that you go see your your physician, which may recommend that a test during the 1st place to do a colonoscopy. Because what’s happening in many cases, colorectal cancer is is a is a disease progression. So colorectal cancer always starts with a polyp.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:31:04]:So you may have a little growth in in your in your colon that ultimately may turns into nothing, but it could turn into cancer. And so it’s very important as we have some identify those, precancerous polyps that you do your colonoscopy to make sure there’s nothing happening or they can remove it. I wanna give you a very concrete example of a mother. Her name is Lisa. She was, relatively young, way below the screening where somebody should get tested. She was a mother of 2 children, and she was pregnant with the third one. Lisa wasn’t feeling good. She wasn’t gaining as much weight with her 3rd child as with the first two.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:31:41]:She went to her, general practitioner, shared with them the experience, and the general practitioner basically felt like there’s not a problem. You you will gain weight. Not to worry about it. But Lisa did worry. She did research. She came across ColoAlert. She ordered the test, And, unfortunately, the test came back positive. She then went in with with the test results to her physician.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:32:07]:Who then immediately ordered a colonoscopy. And the colonoscopy confirmed that she was actually colorectal cancer positive. The silver lining of this story is that because of our interaction, because of her ordering the test, you know, she was still she’s still a cancer patient, but she was certainly identified earlier. And she was bay basically able to get through the treatment, and now she has a beautiful baby at Joe. She’s doing very well. So, I think, Joe, that’s a a very, heartwarming story to us. Because when you read an email from Lisa, it’s beautiful. Right? So because of our test, we not just, you know, maybe saved her life, but we saved her life as being, you know, her her family is having a mother going forward with the children.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:32:52]:So it’s that’s why it’s important to have, you know, our test or other cancer you can do. Any precancerous testing you have, I I would do it because it ultimately keeps you safe and gives you the confidence that you’re actually not cancerous. And I think COVID has shown us that. How many of many of us have done COVID tests all the time because we wanted to know. We wanted to know. We don’t want it to, you know, make our family sick. We don’t make our friends sick. And so that’s something similar to me.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:33:23]:Now do the pre do the testing as much as you can yourself because it ultimately can save your life. Mhmm.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:33:32]:One question we have a little bit circumvented is I wanna touch before we go a little bit into what you guys planning for the future is. Why is Mainz Biomed based in Mainz, the city here in Germany?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:33:50]:Because it’s a beautiful city. Now we the the the original company is actually again, as I mentioned, it was called Pharmgenomics, and the company was based in Minds already. So, you know, Minds is a is a first of all, you know, Joe joking, but I I do love Minds. And, but it’s a good it’s a good it’s a good region. Right? Because a lot of, great educated labor. Right? There’s there’s a lot of other diagnostic companies in the neighborhood. There’s a lot of pharma companies in the neighborhood. So it’s a good it’s actually a good ground to build a loan organization.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:34:23]:There’s also Biotech is in the same building. Of course, they’re, you know, way different than we are. But it was it was clearly the foundation was there. The initial research team was there, so there was no reason for us to move it anywhere else. And we left in our main mind, so we just called it Minds Biomed. So that was, that was kinda story of, how it all came together.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:34:45]:That is good. And we now know what you guys do, home testing kit. We know it’s regulated, so it’s very reliable. And we know you guys are listed on NAS Tech, which is usually which is a growth segment. So you do have future plans to grow. What would be the the people seeing in the future?


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:35:09]:So there’s there’s clearly, you know, we wanna continue to expand in in in Germany, as well as in other countries in Europe. And you’ve seen some of those. If you’re still following us, you’ll see we we do have some partnerships with other countries, with other laboratories in other countries. Continue to grow, you know, and distribute and and and and make that product available to a larger population in in, Germany and Europe. Next step really is how to get into United States. And also, there’s there’s 2 products. So we have the the product in the market today. But we’ve done over the last 2 years a lot of research and invested a lot of our capital into the next generation product, Joe.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:35:55]:That’s very important because the current product we have is is very good. But what we wanted to improve is the detection of these precancerous lesions. Because, you know, we’re very comfortable with the performance we have with our current test with identifying cancer. But as an organization, we have a vision to become a a company that can prevent colorectal cancer with a with an, you know, noninvasive simple stool test. And we’ve done research now for a little bit over 2 years, you know, looking at different type of biomarkers that we could add. And what I mean by biomarkers, there are other tests or the, you know, specific DNA, variations that we wanna identify or RNA. And so that’s what we’ve done. We’ve done the research.

Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:36:41]:We done the multiple studies to show that our next generation product is actually superior to anything else out there identifying these precancerous lesions. And that’s really a game change. Right? It’s really our goal is to become a gold standard in not just detecting cancer, but those precancerous lesions. Because if I can tell you that you have a precancerous lesions, you most probably will go into a colonoscopy, and you will not have cancer. Right? So that’s the important part. If you do this regularly, right, we we propose to do our test every 3 years, for example. If you do this regularly, there were the chance of you not having cancer is very, very high. Right? And so it’s a simple test.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:37:23]:You know, like as I said before, same concept here, that you collect concept collection process will be similar, but the the results is different that we have a more a higher sensitivity for picking up those precancerous lesions. And that’s the next generation product that we also plan to get into the US market. And then, of course, also into the European market once it’s, gone through all the regulatory authorities with Europe.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:37:49]:Mhmm. And it it it’s it’s not like a little, a little sickness that somebody can simply overcome. More than 50,000 Americans die each year on color from colorectal cancer, and I just found data from EU 27 for 2020. Almost 70,000 women and 87,000 men died in 2012, 2020 Yeah. In the European Union, EU 27 from colorectal cancer. That’s that’s quite a lot of death here.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:38:25]:Yeah. It’s one of the largest cancers, unfortunately. You know, and, you know, it’s what what’s interesting is, unfortunately, it’s growing in the younger population. And we’ve had lots of discussions. So we like the case of Lisa that we had, she wasn’t even 40. Right? Joe, I mean, this is like hitting sometimes people that are in the twenties and thirties, and that cancer is very aggressive. So the unfortunate reality is, you know, we’re starting to control it a little bit better. Like in US, you can see it controlling a bit in the people getting screened.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:38:56]:But now there’s a new group coming up that’s younger. And there’s a belief it has to do with, you know, just, sedentary behavior of people, the eating habits. I mean, I don’t need to tell all the viewers that, you know, fast foods are growing everywhere everywhere, including the places we didn’t think would happen, but it does happen. And so that’s just not the right so that that’s really causing an issue for colorectal. But for example, we also do some research in pancreatic cancer, which is is growing as well. So it’s it’s really it’s an it it’s important to to to to think about that. Right? So as we as we think about this this this next generation product that we really eliminating. Right? Not just cancer, but this pre 10 you find this precancerous lesions to reduce, you know, patients having cancer.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:39:43]:And which then ultimately creates an incredible savings in health care costs, which people always wanna understand. How can you reduce health care costs? Well, here’s an example. If I can prevent a lot of patient who have cancer because it gets really expensive once you have cancer, and you don’t wanna do it. So quality of life gets better if you don’t have cancer, and also you can save a lot of health care costs.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:40:05]:I see. Usually, best of luck for that. Actually, I usually end with 2 questions that are a little bit different here. Usually, we ask for the VC investors. Are you guys open to invest to talk to new investors, but, actually, you’re listed on NASDAQ. Yes. You are open to new investors. We link your investors relations page there.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:40:28]:And, of course, you you you’re always looking for qualified people. We will also link your careers page here in the blog. Everybody who’d like to learn more, you can go down here in the show notes. There is a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as to the investors relations page, as well as to the careers page.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:40:48]:Great.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:40:49]:Great. Even though we faced quite some technical challenges, but fortunately, I have a Swiss engineer on the other side, so we we made it work. Thank you very much, Guido. It was a pleasure having you as guest.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:41:02]:Absolutely. It was really nice. And thanks again, Joe, for having me on the show. It’s been it’s been nice to share with you a little bit more who I am and, again, the culture we have at Mindspire. And I think together I think we all agree. Right? So we we have to find and create better tools, to save lives because of those of you, any of you, or ever being touched by cancer, you know how painful it is for yourself, for the family. And so anything we can do together, that’s why the March awareness month is really, really important. Joe please go out there, you know, help us convey the message to other people.


Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:41:37]:And for yourself, right, look at take care of yourself. You know, this is important.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:41:42]:Great. Thank you very much.

Guido Baechler CEO Mainz BioMed [00:41:44]:Absolutely. Have a good one.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:41:47]:You too. Bye bye.

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