Chemistry is an enchanting world of elements, compounds, and reactions. It sparks curiosity and ignites the ﬂames of discovery. From the intricate dance of molecules to the explosive reactions that shape our world, chemistry captivates the minds of those who explore it.
Arshad Siddiqui, a passionate chemist who embarked on a journey from India to Canada, has made remarkable contributions to the field of pharmaceutical research. His relentless pursuit of discovering new molecules with the potential to revolutionize medicine has earned him accolades and established him as a trailblazer in the industry.
Arshad’s quest for scientific excellence began during his studies in Canada. With an M.Sc. in Chemistry from Lakehead University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the prestigious University of Waterloo, his foundation in chemical sciences provided him with the tools to explore groundbreaking possibilities. Intrigued by the potential of discovering molecules that could transform into effective medicines, Arshad’s passion led him to join BioChem Pharma in Montreal in 1990.
As a member of BioChem Pharma’s lead drug discovery team in the field of virology, Arshad dedicated 11 years of his career to groundbreaking research. His contribution played a vital role in the discovery of several molecules with tremendous potential in combatting HIV, HBV, and HCV.
Among these breakthroughs, two molecules successfully advanced to clinical development, including the renowned drug Epivir, also known as Lamivudine, used in the treatment of HIV-AIDS.
His exceptional work as part of the Epivir discovery team did not go unnoticed. In 1996, he was honored with the prestigious Prix-Galien, Canada, a recognition of his invaluable contributions to the pharmaceutical field. This esteemed award served as a testament to his unwavering commitment to scientific innovation and his ability to make a tangible impact on patients’ lives.
Armed with his wealth of experience and a burning desire to push boundaries, Arshad Siddiqui took the helm as President and CEO at Paraza Pharma Inc. Under his visionary leadership, Paraza Pharma continues to push the boundaries of drug discovery, with a strong focus on developing innovative treatments for unmet medical needs.
Join us as we delve into the extraordinary journey of Arshad Siddiqui, a true pioneer in the world of pharmaceutical research!
Transforming the Pharmaceutical Landscape
Paraza Pharma Inc. was established on February 7th, 2011, in an incubator located in Laval, Quebec. It began with a small 500 sq. ft. space and two scientists who previously worked at Merck in Montreal. The objective was to create a fully integrated, scientifically focused drug discovery organization that could address the unmet medical needs of their client-partners. After twelve years of dedicated work, Paraza Pharma is proud to have made significant contributions to the field. They have successfully contributed to the development of 13 drug molecules that are currently undergoing clinical trials, co-filed over 50 patents, and published 20 research articles in reputable journals. Paraza Pharma now boasts a team of 270 committed individuals, including 220 scientists, 175 of whom hold Ph.D. degrees. The success of Paraza Pharma is greatly attributed to its exceptional team, comprised of not only highly creative scientists but also individuals with remarkable personal qualities. With a passion for science and over 30 years of experience in the field, the founder and entrepreneur have carefully selected and assembled this outstanding team, all of whom have played a significant role in establishing Paraza Pharma as a world-class drug discovery organization.
Secrets of Success
- Eleven years at BioChem Pharma (1990-2001), Associate Director, Chemistry (Montreal, QC, Canada)
- Ten years at Neogenesis Pharmaceutical, Schering- Plough Corp, and Merck & Co (2001-2011), Director, Medicinal Chemistry (Cambridge, MA)
- Led multiple research teams and was responsible for advancing innovative drug molecules to clinical development, including a marketed drug. Filed/published 81 patents and 76 research papers.
With more than 21 years of extensive scientific experience in drug design and development, Arshad is a seasoned professional in the biotech/pharma industry. His expertise spans diverse therapeutic domains, including oncology, virology, inflammation, cardiovascular, and metabolic disorders. Having worked in four different companies across two countries, Arshad has collaborated with professionals at every level, gaining invaluable insights and knowledge. This wealth of experience has uniquely positioned him to establish Paraza, leveraging his profound expertise to drive innovation and success in drug development.
Paraza is a preclinical drug discovery company that specializes in the development of drug candidates for its client partners. With a wide range of expertise, Paraza conducts research in various therapeutic areas such as oncology, neurology, inflammation, infection, and more. The company’s mission is to efficiently identify and deliver effective drugs to meet the needs of its clients.
Inside the Entrepreneurial Journey
As an entrepreneur, one encounters numerous challenges that must be converted into opportunities. Throughout each phase of a company’s growth, these challenges remain fairly consistent, although their significance may vary. In this particular case, the challenges included establishing new business relationships, recruiting top professionals, accommodating the company’s expansion with adequate space, and ensuring continuous business growth.
- Sustained growth of > 20% over 12 years
- The high retention rate of employees (< 5%)
- Purchase of a headquarter building in 2015 at 2525 Avenue Marie-Curie, Montreal, Quebec
An Inventor’s Insight
With eighty-one patents under his belt and seventy-six research papers co-authored, Arshad emphasized the significance of innovation in the realm of drug discovery. He articulated, “The biotech and pharma industry’s cornerstone lies in its dedication to innovation and creativity. To achieve this goal, organizations must cultivate an environment that inspires highly motivated researchers to explore unconventional solutions and transform fresh ideas into reality.”
Arshad, in his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasized the importance of focus, hard work, and optimism. He encouraged them to maintain a positive mindset and believe in their ability to achieve their goals. Arshad stressed the significance of viewing the mission as the main objective rather than prioritizing money. According to him, money is a byproduct of the mission, not the other way around.
Charting the Path to Exponential Growth
Arshad expressed his intention to pursue his future plans by maintaining a consistent annual business growth rate of 20%.
Unparalleled Success and Acclaim
Arshad has received numerous testimonials and awards from client partners, although he is unable to disclose them. The recognition of Paraza as a top-tier company in its peer group can be observed through confidential reports from various financial firms in the marketplace.
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