Week 24 – Wrapping Up the Year – Pun Intended
Hope all is going well. It feels like it has been forever since my last blog. It also feels like a lot has happened since then although it has only been a few weeks. As most of you already know, BioSurfaces received a strategic investment from Saint-Gobain. And if you hadn’t heard the news, have you been living under a rock 😊? Many of you may not know who Saint-Gobain is. Believe it or not, Saint-Gobain was started in 1665 (no, that is not a typo) in France, making the company a whopping 357 years old. Many of you are probably familiar or have used products that Saint-Gobain or its customers produce. For example, CertainTeed roofing shingles, vinyl siding and Norton ceramic grinding wheels are a few of the many products produced by Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain even produces all of the roof glass for Tesla cars. It would make sense that Saint-Gobain, like so many well-established companies, would expand their reach into the life sciences sector.
We were introduced to Saint-Gobain last year by one of our former college interns, who took a job there after graduation. He mentioned to his team that our technology could be used for one of their applications and that started our initial contact. We realized that there could be synergies between the two companies. At the same time, by pure coincidence, one of our business advisors was meeting with leadership at Saint-Gobain. Saint-Gobain was starting to explore the idea of bringing in innovative technologies and our advisor suggested they connect with us. These two simple independent discussions would lead us to the point where we are at now. It was not without a lot of work, answering questions and discussing potential opportunities. Throughout our many years in existence, we have come across many companies but many times, progress was not made due to not having a partner that wanted to put in the work. We are fortunate that we met a great partner to work with to get to this point. We are excited about what 2023 is going to bring for this new partnership.
As I mentioned in the title of the blog, we are working to wrap up what we have open and also get ready for the start of next year. It is always a tough part of the year since many folks are already finishing up their work prior to going on break. During this stretch, we are also trying to enjoy a little bit of the season as a team as shown by the photo from our team holiday outing. It is one of Tina and my favorite times of the year. It is nice to be able to sit down for a meal together and just appreciate how much progress we have made throughout the year. As we always say, we have the best team and are so proud of them. As we look around the table and see the team continuing to grow, it is truly humbling to think that this company started with just one person. We now have 12 people and are looking to grow this year. Would not have pictured this over 19 years ago.
While we try to enjoy the season, we continue to finalize IVRT and cell chamber orders for our customers for next year. We continue to work to finalize some ongoing discussions with potential partners. Several of these discussions will have to continue into next year. For those of you that know me, you know that this will weigh on over the break since I always like to wrap things up as quick as possible, but it is what it is. We have already started to plan for research and manufacturing programs so we’ll be able to hit the ground running in January. Personally, I look forward to getting back into the lab in January (a little anyway) since I really missed being in there over the past few months. Other duties called and I had to go where I was needed.
Finally, we would like to congratulate Dr. Min Jae Song and the team at the National Center for Advanced Translational Sciences (NCATS) for having their research accepted for publication in Nature Methods. For those of you interested in reading the paper which will be published today, the DOI number is 10.1038/s41592-022-01701-1. Once the paper has been published online, it will be available at the following URL link (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-022-01701-1). Their research involved the use of our biodegradable Bio-Spun™ scaffolds to produce their target tissue. Our work with NCATS is what stimulated our entrance into the IVRT space. Their need for an electrospun scaffold and the ability to apply the scaffold onto existing plastic housing started our work back with the investigators at NCATS over 6 years ago. This collaborative effort still continues to this date.
Beginning next year, we are going to start posting the blog and the “Monthly Spin Off” on Thursdays instead of Friday. Surprise, surprise but #FactualFriday will remain on Fridays. The schedule for posting in January will be the blog on January 6th, #FactualFriday on January 13th and our “Monthly Spin Off” segment will be on January 19th.
Thanks again for your continued support! Hope you all have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season! Looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings!