A note from our CEO, Dr. Shadi Farhangrazi

Hope

Falling leaves and bare trees awaiting much colder weather bring the news of the autumn season. At a time when every year, we look forward to the holiday season, the world is facing far more difficult and challenging weeks ahead. As the world passed grim milestones in COVID-19 mortality over and over again, the last few months we have come to look at the numbers almost numbly. To the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones, we express our condolences. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We know how hard it is to find purpose in the memory of a loved one you lost.

In such dark times it is hard to find hope. However, the promising news of the effectiveness of three COVID-19 vaccines, the BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, brings the much needed hope and light in this very difficult year. While we all wait cautiously and optimistically to see the full results of phase 3 vaccine trials and final reports, we find hope for our world.

A few years ago, a friend told me that hope is not a strategy. After the publication of our first paper last year, we heard from many families and family charities and foundations looking at our technology with new hope for several diseases, especially for those of the central nervous system. We realize that hope is not a strategy; however, working diligently and with steadfast commitment and utmost priority to make a difference in the treatment of a number of diseases which are difficult to treat, we find that hope is a part of the strategy. Today, in the global efforts of our fellow scientists and volunteers (participating in the vaccine clinical trials), we find hope.

In this autumn newsletter, we also want to share with you some recent news.

Following our earlier work in the summer to better understand how COVID-19 impacts some people more severely, we have continued to better understand the transmission of the virus SARS-CoV-2. In a hypothesis paper in Frontiers in Immunology, “Airborne Particulate Matter and SARS-CoV-2 Partnership: Virus Hitchhiking, Stabilization and Immune Cell Targeting,” the SMDG team and collaborators at Newcastle University, UK, the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy and University of Lincoln, UK, take a detailed and extensive look at airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and propose how the virus spreads and causes infection in humans.

On the topic of partnerships, SMDG is a partner in a recently EU funded project. The project, called DIRNANO, will focus on designing better nanomaterials and providing a greater understanding of how nanomaterials interact with the immune system. The project, which officially starts in January 2021, has brought together distinguished researchers from ten universities and seven SMEs from across Europe.

SMDG was also recently selected as one of a small number of companies to be awarded a patent protection grant by the North East Local Business Enterprise (UK). This award will greatly help our company to protect our newest inventions as well as further grow our intellectual property portfolio.

I hope you take a few minutes to read our newest paper and our news.

To our fellow American colleagues and friends, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Please stay safe and well and keep in touch.

Shadi

November 2020

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