Planet Venus Women: Laura Nevola

Tune in for this week’s interview with medicinal chemist & entrepreneneur, Laura!

Who are you?

I’m Laura Nevola and I’m Italian. I studied in Rome and then I moved to the USA for a while during my PHD. After I came back I kept working in the research field. I moved to Barcelona where I was a postdoc at IRB. At that point I decided that I wanted to see an application of what I had been working on. I am a medicinal chemist and I wanted to translate what I have been learning during 14 years of research in a real drug. Moreover I wanted to manage myself as an independent worker. I wanted to become a leader! I’m still in the field of healthcar,e but in a different position. In 2015 I founded my own company with two other colleagues which is called IDP Pharma. I’m a co-founder and Chief scientific officer.

We focus on a specific new class of compound which we design and develop. It’s specifically aimed at treating cancer – we develop novel cancer treatments, but recently we are also exploring different therapeutic fields. Our company is a semi virtual company. We design the new molecules but we collaborate with other companies to fulfil the development.

This means we also need to look for funding every time because it’s a very expensive business. So I am involved in different aspects and different roles – fundraising, investments and the general management of the development of the drugs.

Describe yourself with 3 words

Enthusiastic, emphatic, stubborn.

What do you aspire to do?

I would like to see our therapies in clinics and finally on the market and have them be useful in order to cure people. Lately I am also considering to help other people pursue their own objectives & aims. Especially for women! It would be very inspiring to help other women both in my field and outside.

What have your biggest struggles been as an entrepreneur?

Looking for money. Convincing people that your idea is worth it and to ensure that these investors would also get something in return.

Generally speaking, these structures that become an obstacle to start ups have also been a big problem. And more so when you’re a woman starting a business – you are younger, not so trustworthy, new. You are already breaking a lot of rules, so it’s difficult.

How do you feel about Planet Venus?

It’s very useful! At the events I came to I met people from different fields which helped me with new ideas! All of us women there were all looking for an environment to express yourself freely and that’s what we got.

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