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Week 6 – Not Enough Time in the Week

I want to start off by thanking everyone who has been following our blog. We have been getting some positive feedback from many folks who have been following us. We are appreciative that you are taking the time to read about what we are working on. If you would like to learn about a specific area or have additional questions about what we’ve talked about in our blog, please let me know. You can send questions/comments to any of our social media sites or directly on the website ( This request comes directly to me and I would love to hear from you! We are also working on revising the web site to include some additional features (nice to put my recent Marketing major graduate to work). I started this blog to give you some insights into how we think and operate. This is really YOUR blog! As a heads up, we are going to try publishing the blog starting on Thursday evenings to give people enough time to read it prior to the weekend starting. I was trying to do that this week, but the title of this blog says it all.

This week was one of the more challenging weeks (not that they all are not busy when you run a small business) in terms of time spent in so many different areas. Getting pulled in what feels like 100 different directions can sometimes overwhelm you. I get this powerful feeling a few times over the year and while things went very well, it does make you think it would be better to be working for someone else so you wouldn’t have all of this responsibility (thank you for allowing me to sit on the therapy couch). Then after feeling sorry for myself for about 5 minutes, you pick yourself back up because you LOVE what you do and focus on what we want to accomplish – to help people who have some very tough diseases. This is what drives me (it sure isn’t about the money).

The week really started last weekend by putting together our annual research report for our Takeda project. The report, which ended up being 28 pages, reminded me how hard our team works during the year. We could not be prouder of them! We also are so appreciative of our partners at Takeda. They are such a great group of people that working with them is so seamless. Anyone that works in a team environment knows why this is important. We have 3 ongoing development programs focused on gastrointestinal disease devices that focus in 3 areas: treating complications related to gastrointestinal disease, to be able to locally deliver a drug to a diseased intestine and to be able to use the body as a biofactory to deliver drugs (cannot get any more specific than this). During the past year, we were able to begin preclinical assessment in all 3 areas., meaning we are seeing how these devices may work when put into the body. Accomplishing this says a lot about the team we have. This week saw us evaluating two devices (our access graft and devices we have developed for Takeda) in different preclinical models. These tests, if successful, bring us one step closer toward bringing these technologies to people. Make no mistake, we have a lot to do before we get there, but things are progressing. I have so much respect and admiration for the surgeons and support staff that conduct these studies. They are such professionals and bring so much to the table that I cannot do them justice by what I am writing. If we are successful, they will be a BIG part of it. We also received some positive news from outside groups that are using our technologies for applications in retinal and cardiac disease. Nothing better than having outside groups letting you know that they are getting good results with our materials. Last, but certainly not least, we also continue to make such progress with finalizing our manufacturing electrospinning unit. This will be critical as we look to manufacture our devices in the future. This is also no small undertaking and to see where it has come is truly awesome. As I said, we have a great team!

On the business side, we had some great discussions with three potential strategic partners and a venture capital group that is focused in the medical device space. These discussions are so important because we cannot move anything forward without funding. This is the reason that most biotech companies go out of business within the first 5 years. We have been fortunate to be in business over 16 years. This comes from being fiscally responsible with the funds we have raised, never taking these for granted. If you think about it, our business is not like any other business in that we cannot go out right away and sell a product. It takes years to bring a device through commercialization. If you remember in my earlier blogs, we have been able to bring in revenue by also trying to work with partners that apply our technology to their needs. We are in the process of growing this area, which will help us bring in revenue that can be used in devices that will require more time. That being said, A LOT of money is required (millions of dollars) to move a device forward (many tests are required) so acquiring a strategic partner or venture capital backing for a small company can be extremely beneficial.

Have a great weekend everyone! Continue to spread the word about the blog!


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