Michael Gareau – Leading the Change in Cancer Treatment Innovation

Michael Gareau | Starpax Biopharma Inc: Leading the Change in Cancer Treatment | The Enterprise World

The healthcare industry in the United States is nothing short of massive, encompassing businesses that provide medical services, manufacture medical equipment or drugs, offer AI technologies, and insurance services. In 2021, the US national healthcare expenditure reached a staggering $4.3 trillion, with estimates projecting it to rise to $6.2 trillion by 2028. 

Within this power of an industry, Starpax Biopharma Inc. stands as a remarkable player, poised to address solid cancer tumors that account for 90% of cancers and a staggering 89% of cancer-related deaths. This represents a global addressable market of $901 billion annually within just five years. It is, without a doubt, a huge task.

At the helm of Starpax Biopharma Inc. is Michael Gareau, the CEO, and Founding President, whose journey into the healthcare industry has been nothing short of extraordinary. Michael Gareau shares his insights, experiences, and the groundbreaking innovations that are poised to reshape the future of cancer treatment.

From Private Equity to Healthcare Pioneer: Michael Gareau

Michael’s journey into the healthcare industry was preceded by a successful career as the Founding President and Managing Director of Ipax Capital L.L.P., a private equity firm specializing in sophisticated high-tech companies. Ipax Capital achieved remarkable success, launching the Ipax One fund. 

It was a co-investment High-tech Private Equity fund that invested in 32 startup and small to medium-sized operating companies across eight different countries earning it recognition as one of the “Best Performing Private Equity Funds” out of 20,500 PE funds globally, according to Preqin, London.

Private equity firms typically raise capital from investors, acquire companies, nurture their growth, and eventually sell them, distributing capital gains to investors. However, Michael Gareau’s journey took an unexpected turn when he stumbled upon two groundbreaking patents related to virtual monopole magnetic fields. 

This discovery left him awestruck by its potential for revolutionizing cancer treatment. Fueled by this vision, he made the bold decision to leave the private equity sector behind and acquire these patents, laying the foundational blocks for what would become Starpax Biopharma Inc.

The Inspiration Behind

In Michael’s role, he reviewed a number of potential deals, evaluating over 20,000 opportunities in his career. However, it was a serendipitous encounter with two patents related to Virtual Monopole Magnetic Fields in 2016 that sparked his passion. These two patents were the result of 17 years of research involving 118 professionals.

Recognizing the extraordinary potential of this scientific discovery, he made the decision to acquire these patents and embark on a groundbreaking journey to develop a revolutionary cancer treatment technology. This endeavor, now safeguarded by 50 patents and pending patents, required him to uproot his life, moving from Europe to Quebec, Canada. 

The profound impact of cancer, with the loss of family members and their struggles with treatments’ side effects, served as a powerful motivation. Michael Gareau is dedicated to easing cancer patients’ suffering and enhancing their well-being. His commitment to this technology comes from his belief in its ability to help many people.

Building The Company

Founding the company from scratch, Michael Gareau embarked on a journey that began with acquiring the two patents. He recalls those early days when he sat alone in a tiny office, rented from a business center, and embarked on the journey of building a company from the ground up. The subsequent step was to assemble a team that could transform his vision into a reality.

The crucial task was finding a partner with extensive experience, preferably over 15 to 20 years, to serve as a solid Chief Operating Officer (COO). Building a startup requires a COO with an entrepreneurial mindset. He needed someone who has already been through the challenges of entrepreneurship and possesses the foresight needed to navigate the uncharted territories of a startup. 

Michael Gareau found the perfect fit in Thierry Page, an entrepreneur with two decades of experience, whose company had been acquired by a major player in the chemical industry. Thierry’s subsequent roles in big institutions and corporations provided him with insights into advanced administration processes, setting him apart as the ideal candidate for the role of COO at Starpax.

Michael says, “With Thierry in place as COO, I was able to concentrate on defining the strategy, mission, and objectives of the company and take the most important first decisions that will have the best impact on the development and success of Starpax for years to come.”

The Starpax Biopharma Revolution

The company’s hallmark achievement is the development of a groundbreaking modality for cancer treatment. This revolutionary approach harnesses four scientific disciplines to create two critical components: the Magnetodrones and the PolarTrak, which work in perfect synergy.

Magnetodrones, comprise of specialized Starpax Bn1-S bacteria, are magnetically guided drug carriers. Unlike traditional drug delivery, they travel in the interstitial space of tumor tissues, minimizing systemic exposure and side effects. These Magnetodrones are directly injected into the tumor, remain confined, and naturally die within 60 minutes. The PolarTrak, on the other hand, creates a magnetic field around the tumor, locking in the Magnetodrones and force them to spread throughout the tumor volume.

Artificial intelligence, driven by MRI data, precisely control the trajectory of  the Magnetodrones within the tumor, releasing the drug as they go. Importantly, Magnetic fields produced by the PolarTrak are safe for humans, as they are 2,000 times less powerful than those of an MRI. 

“Preclinical results on human tumors grown in animals have demonstrated a remarkable 100% remission rate, with no significant side effects observed.”

In the coming clinical trials, dose calculations show 800 fewer toxic molecules in the patient’s body and a drug concentration within the tumor 50 times higher than the current systemic  chemotherapy   The technology is conceived to address solid tumors that represent approximately 90% of cancers and 89% of cancer deaths.

Leveraging Technology for Efficiency

Technology is at the core of Starpax Biopharma’s remarkable efficiency in its processes. Over 350 professionals have worked since the acquisition in 2016 of the two patents, having combined Electromagnetism Engineering, Microbiology ,Biochemistry and artificial intelligence to scale up the original concept and eventually patented an extraordinary discovery. From these foundational patents, the company’s engineers, microbiologists, biochemists and Ai programmers embarked on creating a never before seen cancer treatment technology changing the way cancer will be treated.

They had to invent the Polartrak,  a medical device in which the patient is positioned,  that  produce patented virtual monopole magnetic fields capable of precisely controlling the trajectory of organisms, a feat requiring expertise in electromagnetism engineering and microbiology. Moreover, to transport FDA-approved drugs, the company had to develop its own Magnetodrones created in laboratory and invent manufacturing equipment to produce them, as existing solutions were inadequate. 

The most complex challenge was ensuring that the Magnetodrones could navigate within the tumor, remain within it, and effectively distribute the drug throughout its entire volume without escaping into the bloodstream. Micheal adds, “So we came out with Starpax PolarTrak’s AI taking data from an MRI of the patient’s tumor and creating algorithms to do all this. As you can see, Starpax is the result of many intertwined technologies.”

The Resilience of Healthcare Companies Post-COVID-19

The global healthcare landscape underwent a seismic shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael Gareau acknowledges that the companies still standing after the crisis were inherently strong and well-prepared. Conversely, those unable to adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances faced closure.

For the healthcare companies that emerged from the crisis, the immediate focus was on financial consolidation, restoring stability, and resuming pre-COVID growth trajectories. The pandemic revealed the vulnerability of healthcare systems worldwide, and companies have since been vigilant in preparing for potential future crises. The specter of another pandemic is still at large, and the healthcare industry is actively bracing itself for the next potential challenge.

“If you haven’t learned any lesson from the crisis, it’s time to think about it before it happens again.”

From his vantage point as an industry leader, Michael Gareau emphasizes the critical need for lessons to be learned from the COVID-19 crisis. He underscores the importance of proactive measures and offers advice for staying aware and prepared for the future.

The Future of the Healthcare Industry: A Multidisciplinary Approach

The healthcare industry is on the verge of a transformative era.. This is characterized by providers offering customized multi-sciences-driven therapeutic solutions. This shift challenges the conventional methods of chemical medications as the primary treatment model for diseases.

Many pharmaceutical giants are struggling with expiring patents and limited innovation from their own labs. The oncology sector, for instance, has witnessed minimal groundbreaking advancements over the past 15 years. While incremental progress has been made with new products, true game-changers have been elusive. This has led to a trend of acquiring product candidates from other companies or buying smaller firms.

The industry has been between biochemistry and precision-target drugs over the past two decades. Differentiation between products has been marginal, with few achieving FDA approval and limited improvements in stability or efficacy. According to Michael Gareau, the industry’s current trend is like the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. It is characterized by a recent shift towards immunotherapy, with 6682 immuno-oncology clinical trials underway.

Michael says, “The instability of immunotherapy treatments, the difficulties for immune cells to reach hypoxic areas of the tumor where stem cells are located, their cost, and their narrow market restricting their access to neo-adjuvant (first line treatment) status will not make them the solution for the large part of the cancer population. So, we certainly ask where the cancer industry is leading. Certainly not toward a big shift. But at Starpax, we are convinced our technology will change the game.”

Innovations and Research 

Michael Gareau’s views are optimistic about the prospects of medical devices. He believes that diagnostic devices, powered by sophisticated algorithms and AI, will play a pivotal role in shaping the industry’s future. These devices are becoming increasingly intelligent, offering advanced diagnostic capabilities and improved patient care.

Michael also notes the emergence of AI in drug development, a trend that has the potential to significantly shorten research and development timelines. AI can rapidly analyze millions of molecular combinations, expediting the drug discovery process and reducing costs. However, he believes that AI will not replace clinical trials in the foreseeable future.

He says, “Many interesting innovations will come from small medical devices that are constantly improved due to AI. Concerning the cancer treatment itself, we see Starpax being at the forefront of the innovation with a technology that would solve what chemotherapy or immunotherapy haven’t solved for a century.”

Michael Gareau’s Leadership Philosophy

His leadership philosophy is nuanced, recognizing that individuals within a team may require different approaches. He emphasizes the importance of aligning passion within a startup team. 

“In startups, the owner, CEO, or COO are the ones who should consider this. Next, make all managers understand that bringing everyone in the same direction is not a one-size-fits-all path.”

In a startup, challenges are a constant, and team members must have the same fervor for the project to overcome obstacles. Michael Gareau fosters an environment where employees see challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable problems.

His approach to leadership varies depending on the experience and knowledge of team members. Seasoned professionals often benefit from pep talks, recognition, and rewards. Those with less experience may require more guidance and hands-on support. 

Michael Gareau emphasizes the importance of coaching and constructive feedback to help team members progress. In his leadership philosophy, communication is vital, and he actively engages with his team to maintain a sense of family within the organization.

Roadblocks and Triumphs

“Entrepreneurs or CEOs of small or big corporations all have similar challenges to rise up the ranks.”

Michael’s journey has been punctuated by significant challenges. Deaf since the age of 16, he reads on lips and not a native English speaker, he faced extraordinary obstacles in his quest to raise $70 million and establish Starpax Biopharma. Learning English and communicating effectively in a business context were formidable challenges, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic when everybody was wearing mask while remote communication through platforms like Zoom were producing lag between images and sound.

Despite these hurdles, Starpax Biopharma has made remarkable strides. The company now boasts three new laboratories dedicated to developing proprietary bacteria, a GMP manufacturing plant for Magnetodrones, and the delivery of its first PolarTrak to a top-tier hospital for clinical trials. The PolarTrak, a medical device that plays a pivotal role in the treatment process, marks a significant achievement in Starpax’s journey.

Shaping Tomorrow’s Healthcare

“The healthcare industry is like a colossal ship that will not take a turn rapidly.”

Michael Gareau believes that Starpax Biopharma is at the forefront of healthcare innovation. The company’s technology could solve cancer treatment challenges that have lasted for decades. It has created a game-changer solution.

Its multidisciplinary approach sets it apart. It shows us a peek into the future, where companies need to explore and combine different technologies to do better. The convergence of Biochemistry, Microbiology, Electromagnetism Engineering, and AI offers a glimpse into the future of healthcare, where integrated solutions supersede traditional pharmaceutical approaches.

Michael Gareau’s vision for the industry emphasizes the need for adaptability and the ability to seamlessly merge these different scientific disciplines into a single product. His journey from private equity to pioneering cancer treatment demonstrates the transformative power of innovation. 

Michael Gareau’s Message

My advice would be more directed to the leaders in my industry comprising pharma or biotech companies. For the ones that have not realized, we are entering a new era of therapeutic solutions.  Presently, many believe that chemical medicines and biologics are still the ultimate solutions to create new drugs that will solve problems they haven’t solved for decades or centuries. 

The reality is that such an approach becomes outdated. The new idea is not to develop drugs, but solutions that require multiple disciplines. As an example, at Starpax, our solution to address cancer has been developed from 4 different scientific disciplines; biochemistry, microbiology, electromagnetism engineering, and artificial intelligence all working together as a solution. 

I would even say future therapeutic solution companies will look more like one of today’s tech giants than one of today’s large pharma companies. The new generation of leaders will have to learn and adapt to multidiscipline solutions and get familiar with different scientific environments to perfectly integrate them into one product. This new vision of the future will apply to many industries. Then, the multidisciplinary leaders will survive.

Starpax is in fundraising now in order to raise money for its clinical trials on human.

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