Scott Lyman (Co-Founder and CEO, Belhaven Biopharm)

Scott is the CEO and a Co-Founder of Belhaven Biopharma and serves as Chairman of the Board. At Belhaven, he is helping develop Nasdepi, a needle-free alternative to the epinephrine autoinjector. Prior to founding Belhaven, he was the Chief Business Officer of Grid Therapeutics, a spinout from Duke University. Scott has previously held leadership roles at GSK, BioCryst, and Salix. His prior experience includes developing spray-dried powders, leading drug development teams, participating in FDA filings, and the licensing of multiple products. In these roles, Scott contributed to the approvals of new Enbrel dosage forms, epilepsy medicine Ezogabine, antibiotic Xifaxan, and HIV medicine Tivicay.

Image: Scott Lyman
Image: Scott Lyman

Can you explain your job to a five-year-old?

My job is to develop an alternative to the EpiPen. Our product is a dry powder nasal device. It is a small, easy-to-use device, without a needle. Delivering a small amount of powder to the inside of the nose ensures quick absorption into the patient's body. We hope these changes will allow patients to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions. 

What excites you most about your job?

I’m really excited to be developing a product that could change the lives of so many people with allergies. Patients should feel comfortable administering life-saving epinephrine in the event of an emergency. Additionally, our product does not go bad in the heat and can be used in any environment. This should allow more people globally to have access to this very important medicine. 

Which trend will change the future of medicine? 

AI has the potential to enhance and speed up drug discovery. Computers can iterate much faster than humans. The current drug discovery process is very long, costly, and labor intensive.

Looking back, which trends have you missed or underestimated? 

When I started in pharma, I always thought it was necessary to work on the most cutting-edge science. What I’ve realized over time is there are many existing products that can be improved or enhanced. To see the improvements in people's lives due to changing the way a drug is administered is very fulfilling. 

Which MedTech initiative or startup deserves more attention? 

I think medicines that can positively affect the gut microbiome have the potential to make dramatic improvements to many diseases. 

Where would you put a million dollars? 

I’m biased, but I would invest a million dollars in Belhaven to allow us to get Nasdepi on the market!

What's the best advice you've ever received? 

Don’t always play it safe. Take risks and make something great happen.

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