Week 18 – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now
ope all is going well. Hard to believe we are already mid-way through September with fall starting next Wednesday. For those of you not from the area, it is the beginning of the leaves on the trees starting to change to some of the most vibrant and beautiful colors you can imagine. You also begin to experience the feel of crisp morning temperatures (50°F/10°C) which I enjoy. It is truly one of my favorite times of the year, with the other one being spring.
One thing that has not changed, however, is how busy we’ve been at the company. It has been crazy on so many fronts, but I would much rather have that than the alternative. For those of you who are a little more “mature” like me, the title of this week’s blog should be taking you back to the 70’s and will get you thinking about an old song. Here is the link if you would like to listen to it (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgYczUH-QWQ). For those of you that don’t know the song or were unfortunate not to be around during this era, you should take a listen to it. Nothing better than a good disco song. Most commercials today use 70’s and 80’s music so it shows you how good this genre of music really was. But I digress.
This week saw a lot of customer orders head out the door. I love to see the boxes piled up on the table as they get ready to ship. First area we focused on was our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds for cell culture applications. We shipped Transwell plates with our Bio-Spun™ scaffold to the National Institutes of Health and to a new UK company looking to evaluate our scaffolds for their applications. We are also awaiting data from various companies and institutions, both within the US and overseas, related to their evaluation of our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds. Nothing is better than to have our scaffolds validated by outside groups. Along with this external work, we continue to internally develop applications for this technology. Our goal is to have ready-made procedures that any scientist can use so they can make different tissues like airway, nasal, artery, or skin in order to either screen different drugs or evaluate how different diseases progress. We are also working to move our technology onto single inserts, which would allow investigators to perform smaller batches of experiments. This will give us a broad range of products in the near future.
Along with the tissue culture business, we also sent out some Bio-Spun™ materials to a global medical device company. They are evaluating it for use on the next generation of one of their devices. I always enjoy the iterative process with the engineering team, seeing how we can apply our technology to improve an existing device. We have also been given the option to be able to incorporate drugs into our Bio-Spun™ materials, which is one of the great features of our technology. This would allow them to target different complications associated with these types of devices. Our benchtop work has shown sustained release of the drug for over 50 days in our simulated wash studies. The nice thing is the company is also conducting their own studies, which have confirmed our data. Nothing better! We are excited to move this from benchtop to preclinical evaluation in the next phase.
We are also working on applying our technology to consumer products such as cosmetics, working with a global leader in this space. We are using our Bio-Spun™ technology to apply different types of cosmetics and eventually cosmeceuticals. It is always fun to see my daily “Cosmetics and Toiletries” newsletter in my inbox (I’m sure you look at me and say he’s the cosmetics type of guy). It is amazing how innovative the cosmetics industry is compared to so many other areas that are okay with mediocre technology. The other nice thing about working in this space is that there is no FDA regulation, which allows the technology to get into the market quicker. That being said, there are companies thinking about using electrospinning for cosmeceutical delivery so our partner is at the forefront of this movement. We are glad to be working with them to bring this to reality. Our initial data looks promising, with utility of the technology being validated by the company using their processes. I really believe the sky is limit for these types of applications.
On top of working on these areas, we are continuing to develop our Bio-Spun™ cell chamber. We are designing new chambers that would be able to fit into small spaces such as the brain and spinal cord. We have begun to reach out to potential collaborators who have the ability to incorporate different cell types such as pancreatic and liver cells to address diseases such as diabetes and liver failure.
Lastly, the business front is keeping us busy. We are starting to see different companies gaining interest in electrospinning, understanding that this technology can be a game-changer. It would provide them a way to differentiate their technology from their competition. It will also give them new options for existing and new technology development. It has taken 18 years, but it seems that all of our hard work is finally starting to pay off. We will see what happens long-term, but we are very encouraged.
See you back here on October 1st.