Robbie Matthews

Class of 2022-2023

University College Cork, 2021
Applied Mathematics & Physics Majors

Why did you choose ESTEEM? 

ESTEEM presented an opportunity to broaden my perspective on many fields and explore different ventures while also building a strong network of likeminded individuals. I realized that I had an insatiable hunger to do more and dream bigger, specifically at the intersection of STEM and Business, where ESTEEM was the obvious fit.

What is your Capstone Project and why are you excited about it? 

For my Capstone Project, I am working with Ochre Bio - a genomics-led, data-driven drug discovery biotechnology startup, founded in 2019, developing novel RNAi therapies for chronic liver diseases. Ochre’s mission is to improve the lives and livers of patients with chronic liver diseases.

The goal of the project is to develop Ochre Bio’s product strategy and business case for its first therapeutic candidates for early allograft dysfunction in liver transplant, inflammation & cirrhosis, regeneration, and cancer, prior to Series B fundraise and clinical trial initiation.

Initially, the focus will be on Ochre Bio’s lead program - liver transplantation. Ochre’s first program aims to increase the supply of donor livers available for transplant and improve the health outcomes of recipients. They aim to treat livers ex vivo, kept alive on machines, with proprietary RNA drugs for healthy liver transplants. The market landscape and program fit will be defined as well as how Ochre Bio’s top targets address this landscape in terms of patient needs. The intellectual property situation of each target needs addressing and this lead program will provide a basis for Ochre Bio’s other three programs.

I am excited to explore how cutting-edge technology & innovation is applied in biotechnology - a field I am passionate about, and to make a tangible difference in Ochre Bio’s mission.

What do you hope to do after ESTEEM? 

Post-ESTEEM, I hope to either build my own company focused on doing good for the world; be it in cutting-edge cancer research or leveraging deep tech to create new revolutionary healthcare insights or join something early stage with a similar mission.

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Primarily, I am someone who loves networking, seeking out new opportunities and looking for the next big adventure. Traveling has always been something I've really enjoyed as well as running and staying active. Most importantly, I believe in surrounding myself with the right people and sharing experiences, whether that be traveling, playing sport or simply socializing.