Despite ongoing concerns about COVID, attendance at the Boston RESi conference, hosted by Life Science Nation (LSN), was very strong. The attendees actively engaged with each other – prepandemic style. After spending several years in my “bubble” this required readjustment. But there I was!

Life Science Nation is unusual in their engagement with early-stage biotech companies. Other organizations provide an opportunity to pitch and some also provide opportunities for one-on-one meetings. LSN also actively mentors companies that participate. As one of the presenting companies, I felt honored and positively challenged by their feedback.  BioSuperior is a stronger company because of our careful consideration of their input as we plan company growth.

For example, LSN challenged BioSuperior’s approach to program development. Our mission is to address serious respiratory disease in adults and preterm babies. So, like a therapeutic unit within large pharma our company focuses on serious respiratory disease with 2 distinct product lines. LSN strongly recommends that, like other early-stage startups, we put all of our effort into a single product candidate. The logic is entirely reasonable – resources are thin and drug development is expensive.

Our technologies include a gene-delivered biotherapeutic for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) treatment and a synthetic lung surfactant for the treatment of rare pediatric disease.  Is BioSuperior overconfident in thinking that we can develop both?  Personally, I don’t think so given that our scientists are deeply skilled, we have the support of some of the best pulmonary scientists and clinicians and we operate in a virtual model. With this configuration, we can manage benchwork performed in contract labs and academia, making us effectively much larger than our size suggests.

We have the ability to de-risk and develop each technology and are on track to continue to meet our development milestones for both. Striking the right balance between building confidence and avoiding compromising our IP is always challenging in such a forum, but I can share that we have just started shipping samples of our lung surfactant peptides to a partner lab in Canada for further testing. These peptides are very complex to develop and bring us closer to our next development milestone. I am very proud of our accomplishments to date.

I appreciate the feedback and mentorship from organizations like Life Science Nation. They challenge our assumptions and help us better articulate how to make the company vision a reality. We will be providing updates on technical and business progress moving forward. We will love to hear your feedback!