Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. To me, there has always been something wonderful about springtime in New England. Last year, I am not sure that I enjoyed it as much as I usually do. We were at the beginning of the pandemic, not knowing what was going on and how we were going to be able to run the business. We were worried about the safety of our team and their families as well as our own family. There were so many unknowns that we were dealing with that I feel like I sort of missed it last year. This year unlike no other, I am really enjoying all that spring offers. For those of you who are not from this area and read this blog (thank you), springtime in Massachusetts is a time of rebirth. Flowers and trees come out of their long winter hibernation and start blooming. People begin to shed their heavy winter coats and begin to enjoy the warmer (50-60°F) weather. Some of you from warmer climates may feel like this is chilly but up in Massachusetts, people will begin to walk around in t-shirts and shorts. We are a hearty bunch and appreciate all that the change of seasons brings to us. This time of the year and fall are the best times of the year in my opinion. I would really miss the seasons if I left this area. What we’ve been through over the past year makes me feel even stronger about this.
Spring also seems to bring about a change in our overall mood as well. The warmth and sunlight just tends to bring out good feelings. As we always mention, we feel like we have the best team on the planet (biased opinion). They worked tirelessly through the pandemic to work on our research programs related to COVID-19 and medical devices and continue to do so. As I sit working in my office, you can just hear the excitement of the crew that is working in the lab or a few people discussing some results in the hallway. It seems like we are all busy here at work like usual, but it just feels a little different in a good way.
We continue to make excellent progress towards fully launching our new 3D scaffold business. We have already begun to ship out free samples of our Transwell and standard cell culture plates with our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds to interested researchers looking to break away from the 2D traditional plastic surfaces. It is exciting to see a product that we’ve developed make it from the prototype stage to being distributed not just here in the US but also to other countries. This has required a full team effort, from R&D developing the scaffolds and manufacturing developing the application process to business lining up potential leads and developing a marketing/sales strategy. Over the next month or so, we should be receiving data back from these groups that will let us know how our Bio-Spun™ scaffolds are performing.
In addition to this area, we continue to work with some amazing partners that are using our Bio-Spun™ materials for their applications, some of which are medical device-based and others that are consumer-based. At some point in the near future, it would be great to share some of this data with you. Unfortunately, I cannot do that right now since these companies would like to protect what they are working on. Maybe someday, you will be using one of our products that are not device-related. Our group is very good at developing new concepts, which is why I believe we are becoming more sought after. I am starting to see a trend that more companies/researchers are seeing the benefits of our Bio-Spun™ technology. Science sometimes seems to operate in slow motion so maybe we are getting some momentum. Time will tell….
I am also amazed what a difference two weeks makes. As I mentioned in our last blog, our team members were just starting to get vaccinated since we are providing supplies to the NIH for COVID-19 research that they are conducting. I am happy to say that by next week’s blog, the entire team including Tina and me will have had at least one shot and some getting their second and final shot. Massachusetts, which had a rough start to the process, has really ramped up distribution. Registering online with the state was simple (https://vaccinesignup.mass.gov/#/) and that is how most of us were contacted. It was ironic that I received my vaccine shot at Gillette Stadium. Being a huge Patriots fan, it was nice to be able to enjoy the stadium and get my Moderna vaccine (developed here in Massachusetts). The process could not have been easier and the people could not have been friendlier. I wanted to make sure I thanked each person that helped me because even though they are getting paid to do this, they are sometimes putting in 14 hour days to help keep us safe. I am so appreciative to live in this great country!
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 may be able to spread virus to non-vaccinate people even if you don’t get sick from it. Hopefully, the data will eventually show that you can’t transmit the virus after you have been vaccinated. If we all do our part, this should significantly diminish the virus and allow us to return to some sense of normalcy by summertime. Masks, if used correctly by everyone, do make a difference. They are still the best option we have until everyone is vaccinated. Please keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many businesses are still working their way through this pandemic. Businesses continue to rely on curbside take-out, but outdoor seating here is right around the corner. If you can, grab some take-out. Don’t forget to take care of their team too. Please also consider donating to your local food pantry or to other nonprofit groups that are helping people who need it. Even something small does make a difference!
Thanks again for following this blog. I appreciate you taking time out of your day to see what we are working on. I’ll see you back here on April 23rd!