“Interdisciplinary correspondence drives innovation,” said biomedical engineer, doctoral student and business owner Tony Yuan.
“Exactly,” agreed fellow doctorate student and business owner Ramon Coronado. “It’s a synergy you don’t see very often. UTSA gave us that venue by allowing doctorate students to take business classes.”
Coronado and Yuan, UTSA biomedical engineering students, co-foundedMobile Stem Care, L.L.C., which offers on-site adipose stem cell and platelet rich plasma (PRP) isolation for veterinary use. The company debuted at the beginning of the month.
Coronado and Yuan credit UTSA for facilitating an exchange of ideas between the world of science and the world of business. “We came with the idea – the rough idea – and Cory Hallam helped us polish it and structure and organize the business,” said Coronado.
“We are scientists,” added Yuan. “The course provided the tools we needed to take our idea and turn it into a business.” The two scientists of Mobile Stem Care enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program in Technology Entrepreneurship and Management through the UTSA College of Business with their idea in mind. Dr. Cory Hallam, director of UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology, leads the program.
“It’s always about bringing what we see in the lab to the vet clinics. We are here to make the connection between the scientific world and the general public and their pets,” Coronado emphasized, referencing the company’s mobile aspect. Mobile Stem Care translates scientific advancements to affordable, accessible stem cell treatments for animals with degenerative conditions in the greater San Antonio-area and Austin.
When veterinary clinics partner with Mobile Stem Care, explained Yuan, their technical service enables veterinarians to offer pet owners affordable, personalized treatment because the clinic does not need to purchase the necessary technology and train staff members – factors that would increase veterinary overhead and treatment costs. “We want to reach as many animals as possible,” said Coronado.
Driving the cost of treatment down and offering affordable and accessible treatment are two ways that Coronado and Yuan plan to help the pets of the greater San Antonio-area.
Why stem cells?
“Stem cells are part of the most advanced treatment anyone can offer to current diseases and conditions,” Coronado claimed. Yuan agreed, adding that “rather than masking symptoms, stem cell therapy targets regeneration.”
“We are moving into a new era of personalized medicine,” continued Yuan, emphasizing the expanding role of biomedical engineering in health care. “These are your cells for you.”
“This science has been proven for mammals,” claimed Coronado. “Stem cells are part of the most advanced treatment anyone can offer to current diseases and conditions.”
Citing scientific research, Coronado and Yuan maintained that stem cell treatment touts a higher success rate and fewer side effects than alternative treatments for muscle and ligament ailments such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Additionally, using patients’ own stem cells in their treatment improves the chances for a successful recovery because of the lowered risk – and financial burden – of an immune reaction or rejection.
“We believe it works. We see the effects, and we know that is works,” said Yuan about stem cell treatments in animals.
Both Yuan and Coronado identified raising the community’s awareness to the success and availability as the immediate goal of Mobile Stem Care. “We want the San Antonio community to be aware that this is an option for their pets, changing the paradigm of how people think about stem cell treatment in animals,” said Yuan.
“That’s the hardest part,” continued Coronado. “But that’s our goal. If more people have access to this information, it will be a success for us.”
For Coronado and Yuan, Mobile Stem Careacts as a platform to assess the efficiency of human stem cell treatment. “Wherever the technology is in 5, 10, 15 years, that’s where we will be,” said Yuan, emphasizing Mobile Stem Care’s commitment to providing the stem cell advancement to customers. Eventually, we’d like to reach the human market,” said Coronado. San Antonio is becoming a center for regenerative stem cell advancements, Coronado and Yuan noted. Later this year, San Antonio will host the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit.
“We want to connect with the community, look at the scientific literature and connect the communities,” emphasized Yuan. Mobile Stem Care encourages inquiries through its Facebook page and website about treatment options for individual pets. Coronado and Yuan aim to be liaisons between the scientific community, the veterinary community and pet owners. “One of the emphases of Mobile Stem Careis to reach the UTSA community and let them know that stem cell treatment is available for their pets,” said Coronado.