Hi-Tech, Humblebrags, and Hype Unraveled
Last newsletter of the year. You know what that means. Time for a little self-reflection. Now cue up Ten Thousand Hours by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and read on.
2021 was a big year for Proxima.
We debuted Proxi— our CRO superhero who embodies the superhuman effort put out by our employees as well as the companies we work with— and mini-Proxi (pictured above), her alter ego who drops knowledge on LinkedIn and other social media feeds.
We drew some fire from some of our critics, but all we did was win two gold Marcom awards and an honorable mention for creative design and social media, respectively.
How do you like us now?
We’ve experienced triple digit growth in sales, social media followers, website growth, and employee count… AND we’re still hiring.
However, those are vanity metrics.
If 2021’s theme was growth, 2022 will be execution!
More on execution, we recently announced our sponsorship of the M1 MedTech accelerator— looking forward to connecting inventors with investors and adding to the thriving MedTech scene here in Houston.
But hey, we’re not done yet. More big news coming soon. Stay tuned...
So, we got a hard time from one of the CB Insights employees because we quoted Pitchbook last edition. All you had to do is ask.
The folks over at CB Insights released a report on Big Tech’s role in Pharma.
Few things to note:
- Big Tech’s made $22B worth of pharma-related acquisitions since 2020
- Pharma’s R&D returns have plummeted by 65% in the last 6 years
- AI drug discovery is HOT. $1.3B in 2020 and $2.6B so far this year
Check out the rest of report to get some more info on this trend.
CB Insights never disappoints. Looking forward to hopping on their next healthcare conference panel. :)
Little Blue Pill... For Alzheimer’s?
Researchers are constantly working towards breakthroughs to address the needs in patient care.
But sometimes the solution to a problem might already be available…
News out of the Cleveland Clinic has us thinking about the possibilities of repurposing drugs— in this case the drug sildenafil, which has been approved to treat erectile dysfunction (Viagra) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (Revatio).
What else is this magical drug capable of?
Well, sildenafil has shown promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Researchers found that sildenafil use showed a 69% reduction in developing Alzheimer’s Disease, as reported in the journal Nature.
This opens the door not only for Alzheimer’s, but other diseases as well:
“Because our findings only establish an association between sildenafil use and reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, we are now planning a mechanistic trial and a phase II randomized clinical trial to test causality and confirm sildenafil’s clinical benefits for Alzheimer’s patients… We also foresee our approach being applied to other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, to accelerate the drug discovery process,” said research team lead, Dr. Feixiong Cheng, Ph.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute.
And no, you aren’t experiencing frequency illusion, we covered some potential advancements in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease in our last newsletter.
Tech in the Time of Corona
Nature recently published an interesting article on the role of digital technologies in the detection, treatment, and mitigation of Covid-19.
Some key takeaways:
- Devices and instruments related to the Internet of Things (IoT) have aided countries all around the world in tracking and connecting the Covid-dots in real time. The “Worldometer” offers real time updates on new cases, countries most affected, severity, etc.
- Big data is used to model and forecast Covid-19 activity. Self-reporting tools, Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index, and other reports have aided countries in preparing and battling against the spread of Covid.
- Thermal imaging-enabled facial recognition is used to detect high body temperatures associated with Covid.
- AI is assisting in the discovery of new drugs that can treat Covid. The use of telemedicine, through chatbots, is assisting in identifying symptoms, which helps limit in-hospital visits and the further spread of the virus. These functions combined with much allows the collecting and archiving of data to be used in enhancing the detection and diagnosis of Covid.
Market Access Missteps
In the US, the topic of life and death is political and controversial; however, over in Switzerland a 3-D printed “suicide capsule” is creating a lot of buzz but looks like the euthanasia pod is marred in its own controversy.
Originally when we found the story on this assisted-suicide MedTech device, we were interested:
It’s 3-D printed, looks like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it’s cleared for use in Switzerland.
However, a recent update with fact checking done by the AP, highlights how the device is just a prototype and never received regulatory clearance.
It’s a little wishy-washy on how SwissInfo, a division of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, got it so wrong— they’ve since updated their article owning up to the error.
When pressed, the creator said he never went after legal approval because he didn’t think he needed to under current guidelines.
🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩 🚩
(Should have talked to us.)
Regardless of this weird scenario, there’s a lesson in here for EVERY product company. At the end of the day, you MUST ensure that your product can reach the market and be adopted. Don’t assume that it will, and certainly don’t rely on the press to create buzz or adoption. This is no different. Whether he misled people, hoping to stir up some exciting press releases, we’ll leave that up to you to decide, but one thing’s for sure:
Omitting the truth can be the same thing as lying.
Which reminds me. The jury is deliberating in the Elizabeth Holmes trial...
By the way that’s a streak of 4, count ‘em, 4 3D printing articles in a row for us. See the others here.
Thanks for all your support. We appreciate you subscribing, reading and all your comments. Keep them coming as we will forward them up to the home office. Anyone remember the TV personality who used to say that?
Speaking of reading, this was the most read article of 2021: 5 Phases of Design Controls You Need to Know.
Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or a great holiday (whatever fits).
Happy New Year. Stay safe. Get vaccinated and stay inside.
Leave the partying to the amateurs.
Very truly yours,
Interested in learning more about eStar? The FDA released an updated guidance about this interactive pdf that can assist in the submission of a 510(k).
Check it out here.