Five years ago, the co-founders of biotech start-up
"Although we believed it had all the makings of a successful project, until you prove it, you don't know if you really have something," said
Today, Dr. Guillem and co-founder
In June, the company successfully debuted on
In a world where it can take decades to move a drug from bench to bedside, this biotech tale is being told in warp speed. And
"Early on, having offices, access to conference rooms, a lab and even an address where we could receive mail made it possible for us to do all of our work," he said. "The University's Acceleration Lab Program made a significant difference that in retrospect may have been a step among many, but an important step nonetheless."
Firms get a boost from the UNTHSC Accelerator Lab Program along with the Executives-in-Residence, who act as mentors and offer advice from their years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Taking research to the marketplace can be an arduous process, said Lawrence "Joe" Allred, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at UNTHSC.
"Commercialization is the fulfillment of the research promise," he said. "Whether you're talking about a molecule or a medical device it has to go through a rigorous process before entering the economy."
That process was made easier for
"This is something that will address a public health need," Dr. Keyser said. "Really there's nothing quite like it."
The drug is well-tolerated and has been shown to safely remove potassium from the blood.
"Our medicine is very efficacious and unique in its ability to target potassium," Dr. Keyser said. "It's very precise in that we know exactly how much potassium to take out."
Playing a part in getting this drug on the path to patients has been rewarding for everyone involved, Dr. Allred said.
"This is going to be a real advancement in the ability to treat people with this very dangerous condition," he said. "We are proud that the UNTHSC Acceleration Lab Program has been able to assist in
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