With the rapid growth of Israel’s biotech and pharma industries in the past few years, WuXi proudly opened its Israel office in early 2015. In May, many of our colleagues came from all over the world to attend the office opening and the 2015 Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) Biomed Conference. This year’s conference attracted some 6,000 people including top healthcare industrialists from 45 countries. This week we sat down with Felix Hsu, SVP, US Business Unit to talk about his perspective on Israeli life science industry and his role at WuXi.
Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to join WuXi.
Felix: Before WuXi, I worked at Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic. At Medtronic, I held positions in sales, marketing, quality and operations. I also had an overseas expatriate assignment. All the different positions allowed me to get a full view of how a business is run. I was seeking opportunities to run and manage a business when WuXi contacted me and offered me the opportunity to run their US business unit. Although I really liked Medtronic, WuXi was an exciting company that had a strong history of growth and I felt that I could really contribute to that growth in the US, so I made the decision to join WuXi .
What are your responsibilities as Senior Vice President, US Business Unit at WuXi and what goals do you have for WuXi’s US Business Unit this year?
Felix: As SVP, US Business Unit, I lead and have general management responsibilities for the US businesses, which include the following:
- Cell Therapy Manufacturing
- Gene Therapy Manufacturing
- Medical Device Testing
- Biologics Testing
- Microbiologic Testing
Our goals for the year include maintaining our position as leaders in Testing and continuing to build out our Cell and Gene therapy businesses to eventually become the market leaders in those areas as well.
What did you think about the IATI’s BioMed Conference this year?
Felix: The IATI BioMed Conference was very productive. I had the opportunity to see many exciting companies and technologies in Medical Device and Biologics. It is clear that Israel is a strong incubator of technology for the life sciences and the technologies and companies in Israel will continue to grow at a fast pace.
You visited WuXi’s newly opened Israel offices. Where do you think WuXi fits within the Israeli biotech landscape?
Felix: WuXi’s Israel office opening coincided with our participation in the IATI BioMed Conference where we were able to meet with many Israeli companies. As we move forward, I see WuXi increasing the number of Israeli companies we work with and the number of partnerships we have with Israeli companies. WuXi is an entrepreneurial company and we appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit and “get it done” attitude in Israel. The open platforms we have for small molecules, biologics and med devices will help us partner and assist Israeli companies as they develop their products for their markets.
Did you have a chance to travel around Israel while you were here? What did you like best?
Felix: Israel is a fascinating country with delicious food! There was quite a bit to see – I visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Masada, the Bahai Gardens, and the Dead Sea. Jerusalem was definitely a highlight because of all the great history in just one city – it’s a must see!