Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. It’s hard to believe that we are already heading into the middle of February. The holidays already seem distant, but that also means that spring is not too far away. Well, I say that as I look outside the window and see about 18 inches of snow on the ground. Regardless, we are about 2 months away from warmer weather so the optimist in me will focus on that. We are excited to announce that our next webcast entitled “The Bio-Spun™ Approach to Growing Tissue Outside the Body” will be released next Friday, February 19th. This webcast focuses on our emerging benchtop technology that uses our electrospun materials to grow different tissues from the body. Why is this important, you might ask? One of the benefits of this type of technology can be to evaluate the effect of drugs on diseases like COVID-19 or cancer. Another benefit is to evaluate what causes various types of diseases to occur. Having a way to examine these questions outside of the body can hopefully provide better treatments/understanding when it affects a patient. The structure of our Bio-Spun™ materials is similar to the scaffold that the body uses to grow cells as compared to today’s current products, which use flat plastic surfaces. We’ve brought together three key people involved with moving this technology forward so please check it out. We are already beginning planning for our next webcast and are open to ideas for future webcasts so feel free to reach out with ideas/thoughts. With all of the programs going on at BioSurfaces, we are never short on things to present. It’s one of the things I like most about our company.
You may be wondering about the title for this week’s blog. I have taken an old layman’s proverb of “measure twice and cut once” and converting it over for business and high-tech research. The meaning of the original proverb focuses on carpentry/building, where is it better to measure something twice and get it right than to rush a job and end up spending more time and money correcting an error. As I was looking at my weekly calendar, which is filled with meetings, I realized that we sort of carry out the proverb but more so on the business side. As I mentioned in previous blogs, we have a lot going on at the company. I wish more of it would move a little faster (well A LOT faster) but that is
out of my control at the moment. I can only control what I can control. This is not an easy statement to write since those of you who are entrepreneurs know that you want to be able to control everything. That being said, I am beginning ever so slightly to reside myself to this fact and I am trying to plan around the uncontrollable. We have a few new programs that we are getting underway which we are excited about. Our team is beginning to get the supplies required for these programs and is now meeting regularly to make sure we carry out the proposed objectives. We are also meeting with our partners to make sure we discuss progress as we move forward and hear their thoughts about data or possible changes to experimental design.
We are also beginning to plan our initial roll-out of the Transwell permeable support plates that contain our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds. This effort is being led by Tom Barrette, who recently agreed to join BioSurfaces as Vice President of Business Development. Tom has extensive experience planning and implementing numerous types of business transactions, particularly venture capital financings, initial public offerings and the structuring and financing of emerging technology-based companies. We have had the pleasure of working with Tom in a different capacity outside of the company for over the past 7 years so we are excited about having Tom as part of the team. We have been meeting to discuss changes to the website (projected to launch February 22nd), customer acquisition strategies, product pricing and different potential plate products, which was conducted with members of the research team. These meetings are critical to successful implementation of the plan. At this point, I’m sure you are noticing a meeting theme here.
There is some light starting to show at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic now that the holidays are over although almost 3,000 deaths per day is still way too high. It is equivalent to losing the same amount of people that died on September 11th EVERY DAY. We were outraged by these deaths yet this seems to be ok for a lot of people. For some reason, this does not seem to resonate with a lot of people. That being said, this does not mean we are done yet. I am sure many of you, like me, know close friends and relatives who have had COVID. Over six months ago, it was something that was out there and did not directly affect anyone I knew. That’s not true anymore. Likely that is the same for you. This virus is not “fake” or “the same as the flu” as some would suggest. The effects of the virus are real and can be devastating. We still do not know the long-term effects of getting COVID which is a little unsettling.
I still find it amazing that approximately 51% of people wear a mask in this country. This one simple thing and we can’t even do that right. If we did the simple things, it would make a huge difference. There is nothing better than seeing a person who is walking toward me outside put on or pull up their mask. It means that they care about me and I care about them by having my mask on. We still need to be vigilant in terms of continuing to wear masks, social distance and wash hands to keep driving the number of cases down until a majority of people get vaccinated. This means even if you are vaccinated right now, you still need to wear a mask until more than 80% of people get vaccinated. The reason for this is that you can still spread virus to non-vaccinate people even if you don’t get sick from it. If we all do our part, this should significantly diminish the virus and allow us to return to some sense of normalcy. Masks, if used correctly by everyone, do make a difference. They are still the best option we have until everyone is vaccinated.
Please also keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. More businesses are beginning to rely on curbside take-out. If you can, grab some take-out. Don’t forget to take care of the employees too. Please also consider donating to your local food pantry or to other nonprofit groups that are helping people who need it. So many people are hurting. Even something small does make a difference!
Hope you enjoy the webcast next Friday!