As part of our feature series on the LaunchPad Presenting Companies of the Aesthetics Technology Summit, we recently talked to co-founder and CEO of TeVido, Laura Bosworth. Continue reading to learn more about TeVido's innovations in restoring lost skin color, and their plans for the future at ATS 2020.What does TeVido BioDevices do?
TeVido is making life changing pigment cell transplants, to restore lost skin color to normal, available to doctors and their patients who need them.
TeVido, a commercial stage company, makes an underutilized procedure, to restore lost skin color, available to physicians and their patients. Loss of skin color is difficult to treat and no solutions have been proven clinically effective. It is caused by scarring and skin diseases, like vitiligo. Skin cell transplants have been used globally for over 25 years to treat stable vitiligo. But due to the cost, complexity and regulatory burdens of preparing the cells for transplant, it is not practical in a clinical setting. This is where TeVido comes in. Using proprietary techniques, TeVido prepares a patient's own epidermal cells for use in a transplant procedure. The prepared cells, called TruPigment™ are from the patient and for that patient only.
How did you start and what drove you to create TeVido?
I grew up in the desert Southwest, at a time when tanning and sunburns where just a way of life and no one thought about sunscreen. In fact, we used baby oil with a bit of iodine to help with our tans. Yikes. As an adult, I was keenly aware of how risky that had been and had seen its impact on friends and family. Later, I accepted a position on the Engineering Advisory Board at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). I became fascinated with a technology to bioprint skin cells that one of the professors was researching. After 20 years in high tech, the idea of working in a field that can improve hundreds of thousands of lives was a big draw. Shortly after that, I was diagnosed with early stage melanoma. I had been mentoring entrepreneurs at the time and felt fate had brought these 3 experiences together for me. It was time for me to jump in the waters as an entrepreneur. I’ve never looked back.
How do you see your company being part of the medical aesthetics industry in the future?
The future is now. TeVido’s centralized processing facility uses the same techniques to process the non-cultured epidermal-cell suspensions (NCES) as the researchers have used over the last two decades. Our process validation studies have shown that TruPigment™ is equivalent. Our facility is an FDA registered Tissue Establishment. We are currently working with early adopters to refine our training materials and ensure TeVido’s processes for ordering and delivering TruPigment™ are as streamlined and simple for clinics as possible. Repigmentation typically takes 6-9 months. Results, from the first few patients that are now at 1-2 months post-transplant, are promising.
How did you get involved with LaunchPad and OCTANe?
We have participated in a number of accelerators. In the early stage of the company, they were quite helpful. But at some point you don’t need general business advice or even general healthcare market advice. We are not selling an app into a hospital system, we need expertise that is very narrow and specific to our target. We had just launched availability of TruPigment™ when I was contacted by the OCTANe team, when I heard they had expertise in the aesthetic space – my jaw dropped! I couldn’t believe my good fortune to have been contacted by them.
What opportunities excite you the most about presenting at ATS 2020?
For TeVido, this is a perfect fit. “Medtech” conferences may have investors, industry partners and clinicians but they will cover a wide range of medical indications and treatments from Alzheimer’s to the Zika Virus. I have attended many of these where I could not find anyone familiar with the aesthetic market. I have had investors walk away because they don’t understand the cash pay market and felt uncomfortable that we do not have a reimbursable product as our initial target. I can’t wait to talk to and learn from all the attendees. The chance to develop the network is the prize and getting to pitch is the icing on the cake.
Laura Bosworth will be presenting TeVido at ATS 2020