Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Interview with Dr. Paul Scherer, Founder of Devirex AG

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Dr. Paul Scherer
Dr. Paul Scherer

1- Hello Paul, can you tell us a bit about yourself
I studied Chemistry at ETH in Switzerland. Early in my professional life, I recognized that I am an entrepreneur. I started my own business in 1990 and bootstrapped several companies before I started Devirex in 2006 for developing lipivir®.
I am a positive person who is interested in identification new business opportunities. That’s what I did again and again in my life. Some projects were successful others were not. But I learned always a lot especially from what didn’t work.
I treat other persons – business partners, employees, friends and other people – as I want to be treated. I think honesty, respect, trust, and integrity are the most important values in relationships. Looking in today’s world gives me the impression that mankind should learn to develop much more empathy. We tend to destroy nature and other people in wars instead respecting and helping them to build their own fundament for their life. We have to make it possible that all people can live with dignity.
I have four children, three daughters, and a son. They are all grown up. And I have two grandchildren. It’s great fun when we have a family meet up!

2- How would you describe “Devirex AG” in under few words?
Devirex AG is a company working on innovative consumer health solutions. We like to find simple but innovative solutions for widespread skin diseases. New solutions are in the pipeline!
We work with existing capacities to manufacture and distribute our products in the markets in order to keep our fixed costs low. In the long term Devirex AG markets its products worldwide with innovative solutions.

3- What are your focus areas and why?
We focus on skin diseases with new technologies all invented by Devirex.

4- Tell us more about Lipivir?
The lipivir®-story was my greatest challenge so far as it came out totally different from what was planned. When we started we thought that we develop a medicinal product with a pharmaceutically active ingredient. But in the clinical study, it came out that the API didn’t work, but the carrier material of the gel worked. And it worked very well! So we had to file our new technology for a patent, registered a brand and applied for an approval as a medical device. Since 2014 we market our consumer health product in several European countries. A surprise in many aspects, indeed!
lipivir® is the first generally applicable cold sore prevention product. So far only acute treatment products are available. Cold sores are a widespread disease caused by the herpes virus. 85% of the population worldwide carries the virus. 35% of the population suffers from cold sores every year, many of them regularly (every month). lipivir® can prevent cold sores from occurring if applied once or twice daily. The gel is discrete because it’s transparent and can be combined with the daily skin care routine (creams, lipstick).

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5- How Lipivir is useful in an era with everything from environment to products we use are not totally clean?
lipivir® contains only components which are used in the cosmetic and the pharmaceutical industry for many years in large quantities as ingredients. lipivir®’s ingredients are listed in the US FDA list of inactive ingredients. They are generally regarded as safe.

6- How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
The existing products against cold sores are acute treatment products. They are applied when the sores are there or when they start to evolve. These products shorten the healing time by 1 – 1.5 days which is not a great value for the patient. Lipivir® is applied preventively. Regular sufferers use it every day. Sufferers who know the trigger (stress, sunlight, menstruation, big event) will start the application before exposure to the trigger and can prevent the expected outbreak. This is of much bigger value for the concerned persons.

7- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
As CEO of the company I have a broad scope of knowledge to cover in order to decide properly and target oriented:
• Dealing with people (employees, partners)
• Sales
• Marketing (traditional and new online technologies, social media)
• Public relations
• Research and development
• Regulatory Affairs
• Finance (finance strategy, book keeping)
• Fund raising
• Investor relations
• Legal issues

8- And what were some of the biggest challenges you encountered personally?
It turned out that fund raising after the finance crisis in 2008/09 became very challenging for start-up companies. You have to find the right balance between satisfying the investors and not losing control over the company. But also, changes in the team were very challenging.

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
The uptake of our product in the first markets is very encouraging and we see that our evaluation of the lipivir® market was correct. Lipivir® faces a huge market!

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10- A last Word or final thoughts?
I want to encourage young people with innovative ideas to realize their plans and being persistent when challenges are coming up. The biggest challenges were of the greatest value for me and made me more mature.

To know more about lipivir visit and their social media pages at:

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Noelle Elia
Noelle Elia
is a Financial analyst at PSPC. Graduated from Telfer School of Management, Finance/Accounting with interest to Entrepreneurship and New Media.
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