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The Briefing: THE BOSS’ MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

The Briefing: THE BOSS’ MANAGEMENT STRATEGY When Stephen McCormack went to work for AlleCure Corp. two years ago it was as the start-up’s president, CEO, board director and first employee. It was also his first job as a manager in the private sector after 18 years in medical research. While still in its early stages, the Valencia-based company (one of several started by biotech and medical device pioneer Alfred E. Mann) is well on its way to developing technologies and products that restore balance to the immune system and treat conditions such as allergies, asthmas, restenosis and other autoimmune disorders. At the same time, McCormack said, AlleCure has managed to meet its “milestones,” objectives along the way that keep companies accountable to their investors. McCormack spoke recently with Business Journal editor Michael Hart about the challenges of starting a new profession with a new company in a relatively new field. “The shift from being in research to starting a company and taking on all the hurdles is something not everybody can do. I had been working in medical research from an early age and had a good sense of the technical challenges. I had formed a not-for-profit, so I had a sense of the mechanics behind it, but any experience in initiating companies was not there. “One of the key components I’m facing is how a CEO leads in times of change. The thing that surprised me was the complexity of the human challenge and keeping everybody motivated. “The biotech industry is still in a revolutionary era. You have to consider what the marketplace timing will be and there’s a lot of fluctuations. “AlleCure’s early challenge has been building the infrastructure to build our products and hit our milestones. We had products we were able to make into other products almost immediately. That catapulted us into the marketplace and allows us to conduct all the necessary research. We’re in midstream, well into clinical trials, but we’re still building a lot of our operating capacity. “Our chairman (Alfred E. Mann) recognizes and it was his belief that I’d do anything to make this a success. The challenge now is to continue to obtain investment funds, primarily in private markets because public markets haven’t opened up yet. “We’re still looking at a two- to three-year time frame, not five to seven years. One needs to have increased awareness of where the marketplace is going. Our major objective now is to hit all our mileposts and to build an allergy and asthma franchise.”

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