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Week 3 – Rebranding BioSurfaces

Hope everyone had a productive week. We are very happy to announce that the website relaunch at the beginning of the week was a complete success (minus a few glitches that we have since repaired), with over 60 people visiting the site in the first day alone. Not too bad for a small company that does not advertise or have an extensive marketing campaign! Thanks to all of you who took time to visit and provide feedback through our social media sites. It took several months of thinking about what message we wanted to relay and making sure to portray this message in a user-friendly format. Some major highlights include adding more visuals like the animation video related to our NuSpun™ Vascular Graft under the Advanced Technology section. We also incorporated an interactive graphic in the same section where you can select different areas on the body that show the devices that BioSurfaces is developing for the specific need. Even for the blog, you can now sign up to receive an email when a new blog or breaking news about the company is posted. I am including a clip from the electrospinning background tab about how electrospinning works. If you have only visited the home page, you are missing some cool stuff. We hope to add some video clips in the near future about specific areas we are working on or about technology breakthroughs we’ve achieved. Stay tuned!

Rebranding does not just occur at the marketing level. It also occurs at the business operations level as well. As you know throughout my various blogs, I am constantly assessing the potential business opportunities and determining which pathways to bring the company down. It is a big decision that can make or break the company. This responsibility requires me to undertake intensive self-reflection because as a scientist, you are deeply and madly in love with what you have been working on, especially if that area is something you feel passionate about, strongly believe it can help people and have been plugging away at a solution for over 30 years. Sometimes “your love” can blind you and not allow you to see/pursue other opportunities that are directly in front of you. My “love” (besides my wife obviously) is the NuSpun™ Vascular Graft. I have been involved in this area of research for a long time. How many people can say they have been trying to tackle one major problem for over half their life? Not many.

I believe we are developing a great device that could help people one day. In an ideal world (Disneyworld), this would be enough. In the real world, there are other factors that can really stymie progress like how many people does the device help, how much money will the company and/or investors make if the device is successful and how does it get approved for use in people. Sadly, the first two questions carry a lot of weight, even more so than the device itself. If it doesn’t help a fair number of people and does not make a lot of money, the odds of an investor and/or company stepping up to commercialize the device are small (will never say never). Based on these parameters, you may be wondering how small groups of people who suffer from rare diseases get treatments since there is not a large enough group to generate a big market. These treatments only come to fruition because companies and/or investors entering this space know they can charge an obscene amount of money for the treatment (for certain therapies, cost per treatment per patient are projected to range from $500,000 - $2,000,000). Even with a small number of patients (say 2,000 people worldwide), a multi-billion-dollar market is possible. Devices like an access graft do not carry that cache (much bigger patient population but devices generating around $2,500 - $3,000 per device) so getting people engaged into investing into this important area is a trial in patience. Sadly, business trumps the science since not many people understand science but can understand numbers. I am in business to make money (otherwise it’s a hobby) so there is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, but the question is how much is enough.

Regardless of this crazy philosophy, bringing a new alternative to hemodialysis patients and to patients with peripheral arterial disease is still important to me. It may mean that we have to take a different, creative pathway that allows us to pursue immediate opportunities that will provide resources to tackle this critical problem. It may take more work and a longer time frame to bring the access graft to fruition but I/we are up for the challenge. We have a lot of great people, both inside and outside the company, supporting us and wanting us to succeed. What more could I ask for? If we are not successful, it will not be due to a lack of effort or desire.

Next week, we will dive into some of the products we are developing.

Have a great weekend!


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