June 4, 2015
Congratulations to Katherine Desy, founder and CEO of RMD Biotech, for winning the May Amber Grant Award award.
RMD is a start-up biotechnology company that is working to create a patented wound dressing technology.
Continue on to learn all about her inspirational path to entrepreneurship.
WN: Share with our readers the genesis of RMD Biotech and what inspired you to enter this endeavor.
KD: This business actually kind of fell into my lap and it started with the name Silver Medical. I just graduated from Syracuse University in May and for my senior capstone project, I had to write a business plan and pitch it to a group of professors and businesspeople. After struggling for a few days to come up with a truly unique idea, I decided to browse the SU Technology Transfer website, since we had spent a lot of time talking about how research is constantly being done but no one is doing anything with it. That’s where I came across the patent for the wound dressing, and the rest is history. My team came in third place in the pitch competition and then I decided to pursue the business for real upon graduation.
WN: What makes this wound dressing unique and so effective?
KD: The components of this wound dressing are actually not so new—silver has been used in gauze for a few years and hydrogel is a common treatment for severe burns. What makes this dressing unique is the manufacturing process behind it. It is not woven but spun on a machine that takes liquid fibers and creates a solid web. While a piece of cotton gauze gets easily soaked through and can rip apart, the silver hydrogel gauze is very tough to rip and maintains its structure on a wound for up to 10 days. The 10 days piece is also important. Have you ever heard of someone keeping gauze on for that long? No, that’s dangerous. This gauze can be kept on that long because it is actively preventing the growth of bacteria all the time.
WN: Talk about the testing process.
KD: Testing was conducted a few years ago before the product was patented, but right now in Syracuse, two professors and two biomedical students are conducting additional efficacy testing. This testing will confirm the safety of the product for humans and confirm that there is no toxicity concern with the amount of silver in the dressing (which is about 1% of the make up).
WN: How will you market the business?
KD: Initially, the focus will be our business consumers like hospitals and clinics. Doctors, nurses, and medical professionals better understand the benefit of this dressing, where home consumers will take longer to educate. To reach these people, I will market the product to Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs), which are the entities who purchase for hospitals in the U.S. A second focus will be on the Department of Defense (DOD) because their focus on technology advances in medicine will benefit amputees, soldiers on the front line, and civilians too.
WN: What are your long-term goals?
KD: My long-term goal for this company is to build a group of innovative products (with much help, of course) that handle all aspects of wound care and the prevention of infection. A second goal would be to build this business internationally because infection issues are even worse in further parts of the world. This may take years, many resources, employees, and time, but I believe in the product, the potential for further products, and wanting people to live better and longer lives.
Visit www.rmdbio.com to stay up to date with what I’m doing!
And if you’d like to vote for Katherine to win the $2,000 Amber Grant, you can vote for her here.