Week 27 – Nice to Be Back!
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy since we last connected. I hope you had a great long weekend to celebrate the 4th! While we didn’t touch base last week, a lot has transpired over the last couple of weeks at the company. First and foremost, we are happy to announce that we are going to post our first webcast on our website next WEDNESDAY, JULY 15th. The webcast entitled “Hemodialysis Access – Efforts to Tackle A Growing Problem” brings several different stakeholders in the process, from surgeons and interventional nephrologists to researchers. We are already planning our next blog that will discuss our work with Takeda focused on complications related to gastrointestinal disease and our work to develop an electrospun perianal fistula plug. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments, from your thoughts about the content of the webcast to other suggestions for topics. Your input will help to improve all future webcasts. This will be the start of several other exciting events/announcements that will be coming over the next several weeks.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I really enjoy this time of the year. The company is even more active than usual with the interns now almost halfway through their internship. Six weeks go by so fast. It is amazing how much that they learn in such a short period of time. Our college interns Katie and Logan are well-underway with their specific projects. One thing
about working in a small company is that they get fully immersed in what we do. Their projects provide a piece of an ongoing or exploratory program. Our high school intern Ben has been learning a lot of different techniques that will serve him well in his upcoming college classes. This experience is invaluable. We enjoy seeing his smile as he works with the team members in different areas. I also enjoy listening to all of the different discussions that are constantly ongoing around the space. It just makes me happy to hear all of the activity.
The two main areas that we continue to focus on relate to our programs with Takeda and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We continue to advance our discussions with Takeda about several potential programs, from new R&D projects to continued commercial development of our Bio-Spun™ materials to treat complications associated with gastrointestinal disease such as our electrospun perianal fistula plug. Over the last two weeks, we had several meetings related to designing proposals and preparing financial projections to summarizing data for review by various stakeholders at Takeda and meeting with various potential consultants and collaborators. What I enjoy most about these conversations are all of the different options that other people are envisioning using our technology. We have more progress to make on several fronts but things are progressing which is encouraging.
We are closing in on completing our research contract for the NIH related to developing cell culture insert plates. This is a major step toward mass producing these plates for investigators at NIH and other customers that will require this diagnostic tool. We are also developing other applications for these plates that would use our other Bio-Spun™ materials. These opportunities are gleaned from our discussions with NIH investigators, who describe areas of need that this technology can be applied to provide a solution. The potential options for this technology are extensive, which is exciting to the team. Our team continues to focus on different aspects of this process, from producing various Bio-Spun™ materials and new technologies for manufacturing to new plate options. Changes will be coming soon to the website to provide these plates to customers. We will also be providing a free research sample for those interested in evaluating these plates.
On a sad note, one of our team members will be leaving us this week for a new opportunity. Beth Martino came to us a little over 2 years ago and rose up through the ranks to become a program manager. Tina and I have always been impressed by Beth’s knowledge of programming and engineering as well as her willingness to learn about areas where she did not have experience in. Beth was also an excellent mentor to the interns that came through the company. While we are losing her, we hope to continue working with her in various projects as the company moves forward. Tina and I as well as the rest of the BioSurfaces’ team want to wish Beth continued success as she moves to a new position in New York. She will be missed, but like most people who have been part of the BioSurfaces family, we will keep in touch.
Continue to stay vigilant and keep social distancing, wear a mask where social distancing is not possible to protect yourself and those around you and frequently wash your hands. Continue to support your local businesses as they continue to try to work through these challenging times.