Health Tech: Robert Salcedo On How OcyonBio’s Technology Can Make An Important Impact On Our Overall Wellness

Find something you love and pursue it with all your might, be prepared to stumble and let the journey be what defines success. Any financial upsides are collateral in nature and not the main objectives.

in recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course, many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact”. We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Salcedo.

Currently, Robert Salcedo is the CEO of OcyonBio a new PDMO ( Partnership Development Manufacturing Organization) based in Puerto Rico. With Over 25 years of experience in Biotechnology and Solid Dose Manufacturing experience that includes 7+ Years working closely with start-ups in Gene and Cell Therapy Companies in developing Regulatory, CMC, Clinical and Commercialization Strategies.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

My parents Luz and Andre Salcedo and my brother Miguel Salcedo and I are first generation immigrants from the Dominican Republic. I grew up in the lower east side of Manhattan and attended La Salle High School. I was a track athlete focused on 5k and up.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

My early exposure to biologics was when my Aunt as diagnosed with cancer and she died because was unable to afford her medicine, as it cost more than she was earning. This has anchored my journey to pursue the development of affordable medicines to the world. As I do not want any family to have to make these type of choices.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There are many people who have helped me achieve and get to where I’m today. First of these people are my parents and second and just as important in my wife Luz Maria Cruz Salcedo. They have supported me unconditionally, even though they thought I was crazy.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite quote is “Creativity is the process of eliminating options” — The results of most great inventions was due to a need that required solving.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

I think the easiest one comes from Benjamin Franklyn. (1) Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man, healthy, wealthy and wise. The second from Steve Jobs -Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could. And Third important trait is CAR — Cability, Ability and RESOLVE — The bigger the R the best chance of success. When I was in college I had to train to stay on track and field, it was very cold in Ithaca, NY and every morning it took all my resolve to go and run in the snow covered campus. Remembering back, those were the most enjoyable times of my life.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive impact on our wellness. To begin, which particular problems are you aiming to solve?

Ocyonbio is a partnership development management organization with a focus on developing and supporting the development of affordable medicines for all. To support that mission we have partnered with large biotechnology company in India to bring Biosimilar products to USA via Puerto Rico. We have also created an infrastructure to support R & D, Clinical and Commercial for allogeneic gene and cell therapy. The idea behind these two apparent mismatches in technology is grounded on reducing costs for biologics and gene and cell therapy products that can cost in excess of $250k per patient. With both our efforts we intend to deliver biologics at 50% of the current cost and help innovative clients in Gene and Cell Therapy space to reduce costs by more than 10X.

How do you think your technology can address this?

The combination of our location in Puerto Rico and the partnership with high science India company will allow us to develop and commercialize biosimilars with US level quality and the ability to compete with India and china on pricing.

OCYONBIO by the nature of our partnership with Gene and Cell Therapy companies will leverage our autonomous interconnected cGMP manufacturing capabilities, allowing products to be produced at a lower cost of goods and therefore support our lifelong mission to Provide Affordable Medicines to all.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

The story of my aunt as described above has the most impact. In addition, seeing my parents work day in and day out to support our education has always been a source of energy and desire to stay humble and connected to everyone.

How do you think this might change the world?

I believe with OCYONBIO we may be able to accomplish two BIG causes. Through our biosimilar effort, we will make biologics AFFORDABLE and through our partnerships, we will CURE cancer. That is a BIG dream and our company will put our RESOLVE on achieving both of these missions.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

The companies that we will be enabling could potentially extend peoples life expectancy to much further than is thought today. This could change the definition of OLD forever.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

I believe the most important thing to keep in mind in the world where we pursue life-changing therapies is that (1) Quality is number ONE (2) Failure is a given (3) Success happens as a result of relentless RESOLVE (4) The regulators are our partner in our journey (5) Patients are our ONLY customer and can not be traded for financial upsides.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Find something you love and pursue it with all your might, be prepared to stumble and let the journey be what defines success. Any financial upsides are collateral in nature and not the main objectives.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Barrack Obama and Elon Musk — Both extraordinary people who have and are changing the world as we know it. Elon for his unmeasurable ability to dream and Barrack for his eloquence and his single minded focus to make change for all people.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I’m an avid LINKED in person, you can follow me there and I will respond to comments or posts.


Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.