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Week 4 – Renewed Energy

The holiday weekend is almost upon us. Looking forward to getting some “down time” over the next few days. Unfortunately, as an entrepreneur, there is no real down time. You are always thinking about the company in terms of how we are doing in terms of program progress, what do we need to do going forward, designing program timelines, how we bring in more revenue (that one can keep you up at night), chasing promising leads (I spend a lot more time on this than I like to) and actually performing some research. I am by no means complaining. It is just a fact of life. I am so appreciative that I have a great partner in my wife Tina who has never tried to stifle this drive, which I know has driven her absolutely nuts at times (nice way to transition into wishing her a happy 28th wedding anniversary on Sunday). The nice thing about a holiday weekend is that a few of these items go on temporary hold since you don’t want to bother anyone on their break (that would be a little rude to say the least) so it narrows my list that continuously runs in my head like the credits at the end of Avengers: Endgame (great movie but man those were long). Time to get caught up on a few things and have some fun.

This time of the year really energizes me. It is the start of our summer interns. While most people may be thinking that I’ve lost it by saying this since you are dealing with added paperwork, teaching and training along with dealing with their expected learning curve, there is nothing more that I enjoy. I started my career in a teaching hospital, working with surgical residents and fellows who were interested in research. I have always enjoyed working with people and the process that is undertaken. There is no better feeling than seeing what you’ve taught someone being used and the confidence that grows in that person as they expand their skills. It also keeps you sharp in terms of your own knowledge and skills because teaching has a way of doing just that. We have tried to instill the importance of this program to the team. As usual, they have responded in such a positive way. We have a great group of interns and look forward to watching them develop their skills. Already in the first week, we are seeing great progress!

This week saw us preparing to begin growing cells at the benchtop (tissue culture) for the KidneyX program. We will be able to evaluate how drug release from our electrospun graft will affect cells within the body. This technique will also be used in our Takeda program to look at how cells interact with the different devices we are developing for them for various gastrointestinal applications. We are also looking at targeted drug delivery for some of these devices as well. We continue to prepare devices for two large preclinical studies, one that is ongoing with a Takeda device and one that will be started in less than two weeks using our hemodialysis access graft (with no drug). Seeing devices that we have developed starting with a basic concept advance into preclinical assessment is truly exciting for all of us! These studies take a lot of planning and time. Hopefully, it will all be worth it if the data looks promising. It is biology and nothing is ever a sure thing no matter how much you plan and test. We have several other preclinical studies ongoing so there is no shortage of device/material preparation going on. Plus, we continue to develop new ideas. I truly love what we do!

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Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!


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