The next big medical breakthrough may start in a small business with a big idea. Recognizing the potential and promise of early-stage companies for addressing unmet medical needs, the BIO International Convention will once again host the Innovation Zone on the exhibit floor of the San Diego Convention Center, June 19-22. Eighty emerging companies will showcase biotechnology breakthroughs in drug discovery, diagnostics, and other therapeutic platform technologies.
The Innovation Zone was created through a partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the intent to group Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-funded companies together on the exhibit floor of the BIO International Convention. The SBIR program provides U.S. federal funding to small businesses engaged in research and development with demonstrated potential for commercialization. Companies are rigorously vetted through the NIH and NSF SBIR review process prior to receiving the funding.
Today we spoke with Innovation Zone exhibitor, Jonathan Coe, President and Chief Executive Officer at Prescient Surgical, a SBIR-funded company through NSF.
What is your company’s lead product or technology?
We developed the CleanCision Wound Retraction and Protection System, a remarkably simple device designed to integrate two proven strategies for the prevention of surgical site infection (SSI). CleanCision integrates conveniently into surgeons’ existing flow of care with retraction and barrier protection capabilities that are familiar to all surgeons while providing powerful sterile irrigation that may aid in the prevention of wound edge contamination. Broadly intended for the delivery of sterile irrigation solutions to the wound margins, the CleanCision is an important delivery platform for the realization of comprehensive intraoperative wound care.
How has the NSF SBIR program helped your company grow?
The NSF SBIR program has been critical to the development of the core science that helps us understand and market the benefits of our unique technology. This is particularly important in the surgical device market, where product feature rollouts and physician-preference items tend to trump objective, science and evidence-based evaluation. CleanCision’s scientific foundation and Prescient Surgical’s grasp of the pathophysiology of SSI has been a key differentiator for us in the marketplace.
What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?
We’re looking forward to launching the technology with pilot hospital partners later this year, where we hope to apply our strong scientific foundation to help our customers reduce SSI. This is a complex problem that no single product can tackle, but we’re confident that CleanCision, alongside of our collaborative approach, will help move the needle on this front. We are also excited to be presenting and publishing the results of our pre-clinical and clinical trials this year at major surgical conferences. Longer term, as we expand into the marketplace, we hope to reinvest in scientific and product development, focusing on surgical procedures outside of the abdomen.
What do you hope to gain out of your participation at the 2017 BIO International Convention?
With a first-in-class delivery platform aimed at one of the most recalcitrant problems in surgery, I’m looking forward to meeting potential partners in biotech and biopharma to understand how we can team up to eliminate SSI.
Tell us something about your company that investors might not know…
One of the insights we derived from our clinical work is a concept we call “Prescience,” which was inspired by all of the great research we’re seeing in the microbiome arena. We recognized that because most SSI are caused by endogenous (and particularly enteric) bacteria, and furthermore, because epidemiological and genetic data is available to identify “bad actors,” we’re in a unique position to tailor CleanCision therapy to individual patients. We’re still early on this front, but it’s an exciting future opportunity for the company’s growth.