Week 38 – Running a Nonstop Marathon
Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. Before I start to give you the weekly update, I want to say a word of thanks to the folks that are loyal readers to the blog. You are the reason that I keep writing it. You have been kind about sharing your thoughts. There are some weeks that I don’t have the drive to write, but I keep hearing your thoughts in the back of my mind and that pushes me forward. Some people have said that while they are not a scientist, they enjoy learning about the science we are conducting (shout out to Marlo). There is no better complement. My goal for this blog is to fill you in on the workings of a small business, giving you a real inside view for good or bad. No science knowledge should be necessary. If you have anything that you would like to learn about, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). When we look at the website analytics to see who is visiting, we see that we are getting views from around the world. We would love to hear from you those of you outside the US too.
Another week has quickly flown by. Hard to believe we have officially entered the fall season although here in Massachusetts, we are getting some extended warmth so we’ll take it. For me, fall is the time to get organized for the remainder of the year. It means getting the lab in order (from general housekeeping to getting rid of older items), planning for upcoming work and preparing for potential future programs. While these just sound like three simple areas, there is a lot of work that goes into each one. It also requires the entire team to be engaged in the process. Success is only possible if every person does their job (likely sounds very familiar to Patriots fans). We are fortunate to have a great group of people who believe in the vision of what we are trying to accomplish. Makes our job a little easier.
I was speaking with Vincent Ling from Takeda this week about different areas we have worked on and potential programs on the horizon. Vincent mentioned to me that sometimes it feels like he is running a nonstop marathon. He
sent me this GIF (https://gph.is/g/4bem8xL) which I got a good chuckle out of and figured I would share it since many of us feel the same way. We joked that as he’s running his marathon, I’ll be there handing out the Gatorade and he agreed to return the favor. It is always great to have someone to chat with about different issues that you are going through. I believe that the relationship we developed over the past 3 years working together made for a successful outcome for our R&D program. We could talk openly about all aspects of our work, which in turn made the process more productive. I am proud of what our team accomplished in terms of the prototype devices we developed. Based on this positive outcome, Vincent continues to run his marathon as we are working to advance all of the hard work we put into this program into other areas in Takeda. I am holding the Gatorade as he continues the race.
It also feels like I am beginning to start my marathon. We have several discussions with different companies that are ongoing. I always wish THESE discussions would go faster (like time does), but I need to have some patience (just like being a scientist waiting for a result). Unfortunately, some of these discussions I cannot disclose, not because I do not want to, but rather due to signing a nondisclosure agreement. This type of agreement allows a company privacy so that their competitors do not know what they are working on. I understand this rationale since they may be looking to get a leg up on the competition and timing is everything. We have also begun to seek partners for our drug-eluting technology. We are in the early stages of this process and hope this will generate future opportunities. Some of the seeds we planted earlier in the year are finally starting to sprout. We are also planning our next webcast and continue to move our plate technology through manufacturing development. A lot of good stuff going on!
Please 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. Sadly, it seems we slipped over the Labor Day weekend on these fronts as cases have started to trend upwards over the past week. Some people don’t see a change right after a holiday and assume (falsely) that this pandemic is not real. It takes about 14 days to start seeing an effect, just like what happened around Memorial Day and July 4th. It is too easy to go backwards and I would prefer not to go there again, for both personal (my daughter not seeing COVID patients) and business perspectives. Doing the simple things gets us back to some sense of normal. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that masks and social distancing have a positive effect on controlling the virus. I am proud when I visit my son in Boston and see a majority of people wearing masks. It means that there is hope that we still care about each other, despite all of the issues we see each day.
Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. With fall and winter coming, we need to continue to help them push through this tough time, especially businesses that rely on people being inside them like restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters. We continue to see many businesses that have been open for a long time now closing which really hits home. My heart really feels for these folks. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. If you can, grab some take-out or visit their outdoor seating for restaurants or get an online membership for a local gym. Every little bit helps! Americans are a tough, innovative bunch and we will get through this together!