A note from our CEO, Dr. Shadi Farhangrazi

A Call to Action

We hope this note finds you, your family and your loved ones well during these challenging times. Just a few months ago, life seemed to be proceeding normally, with working, traveling, and family, until the world suddenly changed.

While we have been acutely aware of how difficult and unprecedented these times are, we have also been reminded of what is most important. There has been a huge amount of suffering, hurt and loss of lives.  Our hearts go out to the people who have lost loved ones.  At the same time, there is no better time for us as humans to come together while standing apart: social distancing, being careful and kind to friends, neighbors, and family, being grateful to those who have worked hard during this pandemic to care for our sick, treat those suffering from COVID-19, work to find a vaccine and therapies, deliver our food and mail and what we order online. 

For the last two decades, I’ve worked first in academia, then in management consulting, and now as CEO of an innovative biotech company, my work has taken me all over the world, exploring for health and education and facing many challenges. Whether it was working with an entrepreneur building a company or working in the midst of a clinical trial, or traveling throughout Africa visiting hospitals and clinics in countries with high rates of infectious diseases, I have always been part of great and hardworking teams. During the last few months, I have been reminded more than ever of the importance of science and teamwork. This extends to our responsibility as scientists to do our utmost to help patients suffering from devastating diseases including COVID-19.  An example of working with urgency and employing teamwork has been shown in the enormous ongoing efforts around the globe to find therapies and vaccines for COVID-19.

As always, we will continue to work hard towards developing new therapies and partnering with organizations, companies and colleagues to find the safest and most effective therapies for treating patients and doing our part in science the best way we know how. That is not just our promise. It is our commitment. We truly hope the world can come together during these difficult times and we believe that we can overcome this not simply to return to normalcy but to provide a better future for all.

In this summer newsletter, we also wanted to share with you some news. 

While working with colleagues to better understand COVID-19 and find new therapies, we have embarked on understanding how the disease impacts some people more severely. In a recent paper titled, “Elevated circulating endothelin-1 as a potential biomarker for high-risk COVID-19 severity,” published in the journal of Precision Nanomedicine, SMDG’s co-founder Professor Moghimi and I present a hypothesis for why we believe some individuals experience more severe cases of COVID-19 and propose a relevant biomarker and some genetic markers. While we acknowledge that healthcare inequities can result in some people from different ethnic backgrounds not receiving the healthcare they need, we also submit that health equity should start by better understanding our genetic differences. Understanding these differences and expanding genetic mapping can offer us better future therapies through personalized medicine.

Our newest review paper, titled “A rally for brain targeting: Advent of a new era,” was also recently published in the journal of Therapeutic Delivery. In this review, Professor Moghimi and I discuss different brain targeting strategies.

SMDG's first paper on our proprietary platform technology, NanoCarrier Ligand (NCL)TM platform technology was mentioned in significant and notable research of 2019 in an editorial titled “This was the year that was: in brain barriers and brain fluid research in 2019” published in the Journal of Fluids and Barriers of the CNS. This editorial written by the editors of the journal highlights advances in brain barrier and brain fluid research published in 2019. 

I hope you take a few minutes to read our newest papers and our news. Please stay safe and well and keep in touch.

 

Shadi

August 2020

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