Week 35 – We Dreamers Have Our Ways…
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. Thanks to all of you that took the time to reach out and offer kind words of encouragement after reading the blog. I sometimes forget that this reaches a few people. As I told you when I first started this blog, I would be honest about where the company is, where it is going and how we are progressing. I have to admit last week was a tough one, but like every small business owner, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin to push forward again. I cannot take credit for the blog’s title. For those of you over 50, you might recognize it from Mr. Barry Manilow, a singer who is also a great story teller. I always enjoy a good Barry song (some people cannot admit that but I have no problem doing so – doesn’t preclude me from my disco, pop, heavy metal and rock listening either). Tina had her YouTube channel playing in our office and what should come on, but “I Made It Through the Rain.” For those of you not familiar with the song, you can listen to it by clicking on the link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfMhFnm-9S8). Here are the opening lyrics:
We dreamers have our ways Of facing rainy days And somehow we survive
Those opening lyrics can be applied to so many of us during this crazy time. Many of us are dealing with things we’ve never experience before, pushing through the best way we can and thinking about brighter days ahead. They will come. I am an eternal optimist so I cannot fathom any other options.
After the “pity party for one” ended and realizing that this gets us nowhere, I wanted to hit this week with a sense of purpose. The weekend allowed me to regroup and figure out how to best spend my time to keep all opportunities on the table and moving forward. While I really enjoy being in the lab (which I was able to do a little this week J), I know where I need to redirect most of my focus and it’s on the business aspect of the company. We are fortunate to have such a great team that can handle the research and development/manufacturing aspects of the business. I immediately dug back into all of the areas we are involved in or are awaiting next steps and began to follow up to get status updates. I would say I spend a good portion of my time doing this. I feel like a juggler at the circus. Keep the balls up in the air and do not let anything crash to the ground. I have become pretty adept at using my calendar to keep me on target with all of the ongoing discussions. Along with drumming up new business connections, we are looking to secure some business from long ongoing discussions. I feel like an episode of Seinfeld when he is discussing securing a car reservation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?=4T2GmGSNvaM). In our case, we are good at securing discussions and talking about path forward, but getting these companies to commit to executing on the discussion is something else. As a small business, having these discussions drag on without any closure is like dying by 10,000 cuts, slow and painful.
We continue to build on our technology. We are currently ramping up production of our Transwell plates that contain our various Bio-Spun™ materials. We have also begun to distribute free samples of the plates to interested customers with the goal of getting
feedback on how this tool is working for their application. We are also developing some internal cell culture applications that are making some progress although this will take some time. This overall process is requiring us to add new manufacturing tools/equipment and our group is up to the task. We are planning to have the option for a Transwell plate on our website next week. We are putting the finishing touches on the website which is taking some time. We are also moving forward with our fistula plug and cell chamber work that we began with Takeda. We are hoping to continue to advance the technology while decisions are being made at the company whether to further development. Evaluation of our drug-loaded NuSpun® Vascular Graft, which I haven’t mentioned in a little while, is still nicely progressing along. We have been generating some good data that we will use down the road.
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. It is too easy to go backwards, especially over the long weekend, if we do not all pull together. Getting back to some sort of real normal depends on it. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that masks and social distancing have a positive effect on controlling the virus. Look at the NBA and NHL for proof that these steps work. Keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many of these businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a while.