Date(s) - 10/08/2018
Scientists and engineers in commercial organizations carry out a variety of scientific activities ranging from basic research to product support. Those engaged in basic research aim to push beyond the boundaries of current knowledge unbridled by specific commercial constraints. In contrast, product support activities are largely dictated by the well-defined clinical, regulatory or commercial needs of an established product or franchise. Between these two extremes lies a critically important research role: filling the gap between our current scientific understanding and our ability to translate this knowledge into commercial products. Translational biomaterials discovery exploits our ability to recognize these gaps to reveal valuable commercialization opportunities using technologies available today.
Translational biomaterials discovery will be illustrated in several case studies in which a polymer or biomaterial product was successfully developed after a relatively short period of research focused on filling a gap between existing technology and a well-articulated product need. Renagel® oral phosphate binder, Seprafilm® Surgical Adhesion barrier, Focalseal®-L lung sealant, VersaWrap® Tendon Protector, and Full Haircare Products, each offer valuable lessons for researchers seeking to focus their work on near-term commercial impact. In each case an opportunity was identified, and a technology solution was found to enable a successful commercial product.
Thomas Jozefiak is an organic chemist and seasoned R&D leader with a distinguished 25-year career in medicinal chemistry, biomaterials, drug delivery and polymer science. Dr. Jozefiak has led drug discovery teams seeking novel therapeutics for Gaucher’s disease, type-II diabetes, phosphate transport inhibition, and obesity. He has also led research efforts in resorbable biomaterials-based medical devices such as surgical adhesion barriers, surgical hemostats, sealants, and injectable biomaterials for treatment of osteoarthritis. Dr. Jozefiak’s current leadership responsibilities include: Principal at Jozefiak Biomaterials Consulting, Cofounder-CSO at Glyscend Inc., and Cofounder-CSO at Glycologix LLC. His earlier leadership roles included: VP Biomaterials Science & Engineering– Genzyme Corp, and VP Discovery – Living Proof Inc. He has also held industrial research positions at GelTex Pharmaceuticals, Eastman Kodak, and General Electric. He is an inventor or author on numerous patents and publications in diverse areas including resorbable biomaterials, therapeutic polymers, medicinal chemistry, polymer chemistry, and photographic imaging chemistry.