When it comes to finding solutions to problems, especially health and pharmaceutical ones, Motega is at the forefront. After years of research, Motega Health’s team of researchers, scientists and pharmaceutical experts have been searching for ways to make prescribed drug taking and targeted drug delivery methods easier for the patient. In fact, they are trying to make the impossible possible! To learn more about Motega Health, we conducted an interview with Blake Hawley, CEO of Motega Health, Inc.
1. Can you tell us more about Motega Health?
Motega Health is the culmination of nearly 30 years dedicated to helping people and pets live better. I originally approached Shear Kershman Laboratories with a formulation problem that needed solving. The innovation lab has a 41-year history of tackling the hard and impossible stuff and basically, within a month, they had solved my formulation challenge. The more I learned about the group, the more I saw an opportunity to expand their reach and efforts. A joint venture was formed, and we’ve been solving food, pharma and nutraceutical issues ever since. Our favorite thing to do is to sit down in a room and understand the challenges a company is facing with their pipeline and then brainstorm. We always come out of those sessions with so many great ideas, the hardest part is for them to pick their top 2-3. We deliver innovation more quickly, more cost-effectively, and more efficiently than any group I’ve ever seen.
2. Your scientists won the title of” Inventors of the Year”. Can you elaborate on that?
When the St Louis police force sought assistance on the growing meth issues they faced, we knew technology could provide an answer. For those who haven’t ever watched “Breaking Bad”, either ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is sourced illegally or extracted from cold and diet medicines. A chemical reaction is created by adding either anhydrous ammonia and lithium, or red phosphorous, iodine crystals, and water. Either method will create meth. A solvent is added to extract the meth from the waste. Solving this issue took longer than most projects, but the patent that resulted, and the product that was launched made it a fantastic experience. Critically important, Jeff and Al solved a significant problem with cold medicines that prevents them from being converted into a dangerous street drug. Seeing that product on shelves is a great feeling. And there’s a lot more where that came from…
3. You have an interesting motto about Motega Health stating that – they haven’t met a problem they couldn’t solve. Can you tell us more?
We approach problems through unique prisms. We all have different backgrounds and we each think differently, very non-linear, and we have a verified genius on the team, so when we are presented with a problem, a challenge, we bring these diverse, crazy scientists thinking to the table and, well, honestly, we figure things out. Sometimes, our customers can’t believe they didn’t think of the solution, maybe it was staring them in the face, maybe it was hidden right before them, but the reality is we get it done. Then we test, modify, re-formulate and make sure the product actually delivers on the need. It’s what drives us every day.
Sure, let’s talk about hormone therapy. Men and women at a certain age start to have dramatically lower hormone levels. Yet bio-identical hormone therapy (Testosterone, Estrogen and/or Progesterone) can make you feel like your younger self again. The problem is, most people hate needles, so a weekly injection in the buttocks probably isn’t anyone’s cup of “T”, so we developed a method to deliver testosterone through a nasal or oral-mucosal application. It takes seconds per day and you do it right in your own home. For post-menopausal women, estrogen or progesterone can be delivered via a vaginal application that doesn’t leak – so there are no embarrassing stains, or discharge, unlike other vaginal creams.
Another example is our Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). We solved the “satisfaction gap” that is the difference between the feeling of cigarette and chewing an NRT gum or lozenge. Those products on store shelves just don’t give you that same hit as a cigarette, but our product does – you feel it almost instantly – and it lasts 2 hours per the FDA requirements for NRT products. Both these are available for licensing.
But sometimes, our solutions are very simple – like improving a company’s existing product or developing a new-to-world product like the freezer to toaster never-burn sandwiches.
5. Who can benefit from your services?
We’ve worked with over 300 companies across the pharmaceutical space, over the counter health products, natural products, animal health, foods and fast-moving consumer goods. While one of our specialties is sustained release technologies, we have multiple platform technologies that can make products easier to take or for vets, easier to give and provide unique (and most often patentable) benefits for the end user. Really, any company that wants to create something unique in the marketplace with a drug, health product, skin treatment, food or drink, we can invent and innovate. Companies think of us as their outsourced R&D center, or an extension of their team’s innovation department.
6. How can you help patients avoid constant hospital visits and invasive therapies?
We think about the patient experience a lot. For example, we’re working on a new product for bedsores, or for chemo patients who are constantly nauseous. Think about this, if you can’t swallow, your immune system is depleted, your sick all the time form the medicine you have to take to treat your cancer, how terrible is it to develop a fungal infection in your mouth and throat that requires you to swallow a pill every two hours! So, we developed a way to deliver the drug by “painting” it on the gums – no swallowing -and it last 6-8 hrs. instead of just two. We applied similar thinking and innovation form everything from mouth ulcers to hemorrhoids – if we can deliver the medicine directly to the affected area, but so that it isn’t washed away by food, saliva or tissue, how great is that for the patient. It most cases, it means using less drug too, so there is a significant economic benefit.
7. Motega Health has several exciting products available for licensing. Can you show us some examples on those products?
We are very excited about our hormone replacement products for both men and women, and also our nicotine replacement product that overcomes the ‘satisfaction gap’ between smoking a cigarette and ordinary nicotine gums and lozenges. We have a novel treatment for oral candida infections (which cancer patients often suffer from) and dental products that keep your breath fresh for hours, or that treat mouth ulcers with a single application. We’re also extremely focused on improving women’s health and have several products in that area ready for licensing as well.
8. What problems are you looking forward to tackle in the future?
Most products for health come in the form of pills, tablets and shots. We want to change that through the use of our platform technologies. We also want to continue to innovate in the food space. There is a multitude of probiotic and enzyme products out there, but most don’t actually reach the targeted areas of the body. In fact, most probiotics are even living when they are consumed. Our technologies can solve these problems. On the animal health side, there is huge opportunity because it is so difficult to give a pet medicine. The list just keeps going.
9. Where do you see your industry in the coming 5-years?
Big pharma has a bad name right now and has low levels of trust with the public. In order to earn back that trust, they need to high the highest levels of ethics and develop lower cost products that really work well for the patient. Entrepreneurial start-ups should be their first port of call and they should never buy to bury technologies, but rather look at how to best get those new medicines and forms out to the people who can benefit from them. As populations age in industrialized countries, the need for more easily absorbed and better less harmful/toxic medicines will also rise. With the increasing number of states legalizing medical marijuana and the exploration of the benefits of CBD and companies exploring more natural ways of healing using phytonutrients, it will be interesting to see how innovation can help that sector grow. We’re looking forward to being a significant part of the industry’s innovation and pipeline for decades to come.
10. What recommendations would you like to provide those willing to enter your industry?
Be bold and be collaborative. It is expensive to develop and research new products, but breakthroughs can be delivered and delivered more quickly when the industry works together.
This interview has been sponsored by Motega Health, Inc.
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.