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Having worked in academia, big pharma and venture capital, Naia Ltd. co-founder H. Daniel Perez got to witness drug development from three different perspectives, and he came away with one conclusion: "It was very clear things were not being done efficiently," he said.

Nohla Therapeutics Inc., a 2015 spin-off of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has a simply stated yet ambitious goal to create a “truly universal, off-the-shelf” ex vivo-expanded umbilical cord blood stem cell product.

One of the most formidable challenges facing start-ups – indeed, facing the drug development community as a whole – is how to translate a promising scientific approach into a therapy that's not only safe and effective but easy to use.

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