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Week 8 – Bottoming Out?

Week 8 – Bottoming Out?

Hope all is going well. The summer continues to fly by. As I thought in the previous blog, the summer months are always a challenge to get momentum. Between vacations, company reorganizations (not ours) and other unpredictable events, we have had to work much harder to advance our overall game plan. We were hoping to have another announcement this month but delays outside of our control are likely going to extend this into August. So frustrating! We have had some wins over the past month although I would have liked to be further ahead in several target areas. I would likely not be satisfied even if that was the case. As an entrepreneur, you don’t tend to be satisfied. You always want to be one more step ahead and you typically don’t get to enjoy the successes for long. You always hear athletes who win say they’ll savor the win and then move onto the next game. For the average joe, it is hard to enjoy them when you never get to leave the game and the action is still going on around you. That being said, we have always been appreciative of what we have and never take it for granted. I do try to take a few minutes to enjoy a win for the company. For example, we were excited to be awarded our most recent small business grant. We took a little time to enjoy it and then got to work. We are making some progress already and look forward to the research ahead. We will have our share of setbacks (it is research after all) but we will adapt and overcome any obstacle.

The topic for today’s blog is related to challenges that are facing our industry in general. As I mentioned earlier, I have been seeing more and more news (and hearing it first-hand from some partners as well as customers) about company reorganizations and restructurings. These are typically code words for significant layoffs. One of the large companies that we have worked with for many years seems to undergo this ritual every 2-3 years. Mostly recently, it underwent a significant restructuring which resulted in many people being let go and others sent fleeing. I am not sure why leadership at this company and others cannot have vision longer than a few years. Every time this company underwent a restructuring, it paralyzed the company for almost a year. First, there was the rumor period that this was going to occur, which froze people. Then it was the restructure period and everything stopped. There is then several months of getting familiar with the new plan, which people are unclear of the actual plan. For a partner like us, it also provides some unknown as we didn’t know where things were going to shake out. During the most recent restructure, the company voided all contracts with different outside companies. Many of these were small companies like us which completely turned their world upside down. We were fortunate to have completed our program with them so we were not one of the unlucky ones.

You would think that with the current economy, we would not be hearing all of this news related to restructuring and layoffs in the life science field. After all, it was not too long ago that COVID ravaged the world. Various life science companies worked at light speed to help save the world. I know this sounds dramatic but it is a fact. Where would we be without the vaccines and treatments that were produced during this time along with the support areas such as test kits. Recently, the New York Times did a story on simple analysis of death rate. What the normal death rate would be in any given year due to natural occurrences as well as unnatural events and compared that to COVID years. It showed that deaths during COVID were up 30%, which is huge. We are now back to the normal death rate. Sadly, many life science companies outside this area were pretty damaged and only now it is being seen. This is even happening with other types of businesses. For biotech, the public, which was so reliant on these companies to save the day, are less interested now since life has returned to normal. Add this to most life science companies not generating revenue for a long period of time (which is typical) and investors wanting to put their money on areas that bring a faster and larger return on investment, and you have the perfect storm.

Are we bottoming out of this cycle or are we still in for some more headwinds before a tailwind forms? Not sure. If you read the biotech business articles, there are signs that things are improving. Still, what we are seeing and hearing leads me to believe that we still have some additional pain ahead. This will surely have an effect on us but as someone pointed out to me on LinkedIn when we celebrated our 20th anniversary in April, we have weathered 2 significant market crashes as well as a world pandemic, yet we are still hear. As I mentioned, we are always in the trenches so maybe that could be a good thing so we have some blinders on. Things do not always work as quickly as you want, but we are still here and moving forward. I think I need to stop and take stock in that. Well, for at least a few minutes anyway.

We will be releasing a webcast next week on July 29th focused on our IVRT business. We will continue to bring you new content over the upcoming months to keep you informed about different business happenings. Thanks always for your interest in BioSurfaces.



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