Recursion enzyme company raises $23M, launched in 2013 now 40 people with drugs ready for market with CEO Christopher Gibson

Christopher Gibson

In Episode #632, Nathan interviews Christopher Gibson. He’s co-founder and CEO of Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company leveraging the latest automation, computation and biological tools to perform drug discovery at scale. Chris holds a BS in bio-engineering and a BA in managerial studies and bio-engineering PhD from the University of Utah.


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Famous Five:

  • Favorite book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Perry Fell
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— 5.3 – 5.4
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Chris wished he knew where he was going to so he could have gone where he is now, faster

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Chris to the show
  • 02:12 – Recursion shortcuts the long arguist path of drug discovery into the market
    • 02:24 – Recursion combines the best elements of biology, automation and computation
  • 02:34 – Recursion partners with large pharmaceutical companies
  • 02:45 – Recursion partnered with Sanofi Genzyme
    • 02:51 – Sanofi had drugs that didn’t end to the market
  • 03:10 – The challenges in the target based on the drugs discovery
    • 03:34 – Sometimes the target wouldn’t what you hoped it to be in terms of the disease
    • 03:40 – Maybe the target is important in the different disease
  • 04:00 – Recursion earns from partnerships and royalties
    • 04:20 – Recursion also has an internal pipeline for the drugs they develop themselves
    • 04:43 – Recursion doesn’t earn yet from the internal pipeline
  • 05:51 – Recursion look at upfront from their partners
    • 06:28 – There are partnerships with little upfront
    • 06:34 – There are partnerships that are 8 figures upfront
    • 06:46 – The number of scientists who will work on the drug is also considered
    • 07:22 – If Recursion got successful on the deals, they get royalties
    • 08:38 – The royalties’ lifeline
  • 08:56 – Recursion has 40 people upstart
  • 09:25 – Recursion was launched in 2013
    • 09:34 – They sat in the office in January 2014
  • 10:01 – Chris was part of a program where he was paid a stipend so he broke even
  • 10:20 – Chris’ parents were excited about his PhD
  • 10:37 – Recursion has raised $ 19M in equity and $ 5M non-diluted from grants and private foundations
  • 11:28 – Recursion’s valuation as a platform company
    • 12:14 – If Recursion will be successful, they will be impactful in the society
    • 12:41 – It is vision-based
  • 12:54 – First-year revenue was 6 figures
  • 13:12 – “Our deals have been strategic in terms of the way we put them together”
  • 13:45 – 2017 target
  • 16:10 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Different sources of revenue benefit a company.
  2. The valuation will depend on how your company does and will do in the industry.
  3. First-year revenue isn’t always a zero.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives