Mr. Farmer is a serial entrepreneur in life sciences and a founder of the Ulysses Group. He has formed and managed companies in the US, the UK, Australasia and Russia in a career spanning more than 30 years. Companies he has formed include Pacific Edge Ltd., a cancer diagnostics company in Dunedin, NZ, now the largest health care company in the country. He is also a founder of Cellular Technologies Ltd, the world leader in analytics for cellular immunology, and MSM Protein Technologies, a drug discovery company with novel methods for generating functional human antibodies to membrane proteins. He is currently forming a company in the US and Buenos Aires to commercialize novel technology for making existing drugs less toxic and more specific to target tissues.
He has substantial expertise in academic technology transfer, having transacted licensing deals with Harvard Medical School, the MRC and the University of Otago among others. He played a key role in establishing the licensing function for the University of Massachusetts Medical School, now one of the most prolific in the US. He has executed numerous biotech and pharmaceutical company licensing deals, particularly cross border, valued at several hundreds of millions of dollars in the aggregate. His company introduced Cambridge Antibody Technology to the US and represented the MRC Collaborative Centre in a number of transactions in the US and Europe. It was in this context that Mr. Farmer began his 20 year friendship with Dr. Hentschel.
With his long-time business partner, Mr. Balter, Mr. Farmer designed and wrote the white paper to the MRC that ultimately resulted in the creation of their dedicated seed fund, MVM. The fund was raised with an initial tranche of 46 million pounds. On the heels of MVM, Mr. Farmer and Mr. Balter designed and formed the New Zealand Seed Fund, the first venture fund of any kind in the country. Both funds were formed to address the specific needs of the life sciences community, to address development gap funding issues and to provide the type of expertise required to help build a science-based cluster. Both were designed based upon experience from other similar efforts in the US, Israel and elsewhere but with the specific needs of the local environment in mind. Both have succeeded in their initial goals.
In addition to his commercial ventures, Mr. Farmer has served as board chair of several not-for-profit institutions. These include alumni groups, a local community center and his town soccer club. He was a founding board member of the NH Biomedical Association and currently serves on the board of the NH World Affairs Council. He is the Commercial Consul from New Hampshire to Australia and New Zealand.
He holds a business degree from the University of Vermont and is based in Boston.