BME Seminar Series: Scott F. Rosebrough, Ph.D.
Translational Research, Academic and Industrial Experiences
President/CTO, En Route Tech, Avon, NY
A broad definition of translation research refers to the application of the results of basic biomedical research to the practice of medicine. In theory, it is a process of efficiently converting discoveries made in the laboratory into clinical interventions that provide a direct clinical benefit. For a company this is analogous with product development, a process where basic technology is brought from a stage of conception and invention, through proof-of-concept and validation, to a viable product.
In practice, this requires significant funding and resources and many years of development. For academia, it is difficult to enter into product prototyping and development due to the need for
company-type product efficacy and safety testing, regulatory and quality compliances, securing appropriate funding and accomplishing all this in a short timeline. Early companies struggle with technology development due to the difficulty in identifying product needs and specifications, developing functional prototypes and technology teams, the inherent high risk and the significant amount of funding and resources required.
The premise for translational research is that it is nicely positioned between academia and industry and will expedite the product development of both medical device and new drug products. I will summarize the various academic and company product development projects I have been involved in. Such activities include; target specific proteins for imaging thromboembolism, drug containing polymer coatings for medical devices (e.g. stents, catheters, grafts), microarray surface technology, an in vitro diagnostic product for infectious disease and an automated miniaturized allergy testing device. There are many lessons learned, but common to all is that an efficient translational process and related infrastructure (e.g. incubator or center space) to mature technology through early prototyping and verification, would prove beneficial for all parties and expedite product development.