Now in the final stages of finding funding and finalizing trials with a prototype in hand, last year’s Five-Minute Pitch winner Sano LLC is close to launching its chronic wound diagnostic product.
“Has it already been a year?” asked Sano’s co-founder Paul Hayre. “We are pushing to close our first round of financing within the next month.”
There is a substantial level of interest in his company, he said, because they have already conducted laboratory trials (on bovine enzymes) and a clinical trial (on actual human wound fluid), on their chronic wound diagnostic that measures wound biochemistry to help clinicians select treatments that speed healing and reduce treatment costs. The human trial, testing samples of human wound fluid from 20 patients, found their assay performed “terrifically well,” he reported. Additional trials will be conducted in collaboration with the wound clinic at UMass Medical in Worcester.
Sano has also benefited from the New Venture Competition at the M2D2 Center at UMass Lowell, where it won in-kind sponsorship from M2D2 and Smith & Nephew, a global advanced wound care company; the Mass Life Science Center internship program, where they have hired clinical and strategic interns at local universities; and MassChallenge, where Sano was a 2014 finalist and Gold Prize winner. With appropriate funding, Sano is ready to approach the FDA and manufacture a prototype for use in clinical trials, he said. The first small-scale production will begin somewhere in greater Boston. The company also has the capability to develop a global supply chain within its board of advisors.
“There’s great market interest in what we’re doing,” Paul continued. In today’s healthcare market, health providers are motivated to improve outcomes once a wound is diagnosed. Already in discussion with seven advanced wound care companies, the company is negotiating exclusive licensing agreements with two.
In the weeks leading up to the Five-Minute Pitch Contest, Paul recalls with appreciation the feedback Sano was given by advisers assigned by The Venture Forum, including two attorneys at Wolf, Greenfield and pitch delivery consultant Paul Horn, as “we are always open to input on how to do things better.” With thanks to The Venture Forum experience, he concluded, “the opportunity to pitch before a large audience and an expert judging panel prepared us for our recent investor pitches.”