Revolutionizing Hemorrhage Control
SelSym Biotech, Inc. is a Raleigh-based company founded in 2019 by Drs. Ashley Brown, Andrew Lyon, and Thomas Barker. The current team consists of its three co-founders and one full-time employee. Its lead product, SymClot, is an innovative synthetic platelet capable of improving hemorrhage control and addressing a range of clinical needs in bleeding management and wound healing.
The current standards for bleeding management, platelet transfusions, are often critically supply-limited due to the short shelf life of natural platelets and a dependence on donors for maintaining supply. Furthermore, platelets, like any other transplant or transfusion, require extensive blood typing and testing before use in a patient and carry risks of severe immune reactions.
SelSym’s SymClot product addresses the safety concerns, critical supply shortages, and utility limitations associated with donated platelets. Benefits of SymClot include the:
- Ease of transport and storage at room temperature for months prior to use;
- Synthetic nature reduces the risk of adverse transfusion reactions;
- Ability to recapitulate key wound targeting and biomechanical features of natural platelets allows it to alleviate the pressures of platelet shortages on surgical and emergency medicine;
- Highly wound-specific nature allows it to be used safely prior to a surgical procedure to mediate bleeding risk for patients that would otherwise be considered high risk and/or ineligible for surgery.
SelSym Biotech has received three NIH Phase I STTRs totaling over $700,000. This funding has been crucial to the translation of SymClot out of Dr. Brown’s Advanced Wound Healing Lab at North Carolina State University. STTR funds have enabled SelSym to hire a full-time employee, obtain additional funding, participate in entrepreneurship and commercialization workshops, and gain business development and regulatory support.
SBIR/STTR Lessons Learned and Advice
For those new to the SBIR/STTR process, we offer a few key tips that have helped us progress:
- As SBIR/STTR funds are primarily focused on the translation of your technology, rather than general scientific exploration, it is important to plan out how you can apply for multiple SBIR/STTR grants without detracting or distracting from the lead indication for your primary product. Rather than seeking funds for different investigational applications of your technology, as one might do in an academic environment, it can be quite helpful to seek out multiple SBIR/STTRs for advancing various phases of the translation of one product, such as regulatory development, manufacturing, toxicology, etc.
- SBIR/STTR funding is a great springboard for gaining additional funding, and there are mechanisms by which companies can relatively easily add to their available funds after receiving an SBIR/STTR. For example, SelSym Biotech applied for the One North Carolina Small Business Program’s Matching Funds after receipt of a Phase I STTR, which allowed us to gain funds specifically for working with consultants to develop a regulatory strategy for SymClot.
As an early-stage business, SelSym has benefitted greatly from several of the commercialization services that SBTDC has to offer. Our participation in SBTDC’s Graduate Technology Commercialization Summer Internship Program was instrumental in the completion of robust market research for our lead product. We have also utilized one-on-one counseling with SBTDC technology business advisors to improve our commercialization plan and learn about relevant funding and development resources at NIH as we prepare for a Phase II application.
SelSym is currently in the process of applying for Phase II STTR funding, with the goal of completing formulation and testing to support an Investigational New Drug (IND) submission to FDA in the next two years. In 2023, SelSym will also be focused on expanding our core team, raising private equity, and developing clinical and biopharma partnerships to ensure readiness for clinical trials.
Company Contact: Seema Nandi, firstname.lastname@example.org