Q&A with Vivione Biosciences Inc. (V.VBI), CEO Kevin Kuykendall
Kevin, can you tell me about Vivione Biosciences?
Vivione Biosciences, LLC
, Stock Forum
) is a life sciences diagnostic company who collaborated with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) over six years to develop the RAPID-B system. RAPID-B detects bacterial pathogens and has diverse applicability from food safety to clinical diagnostics. Our business is centered on the commercialization of the new ultra-high performance RAPID-B.
In April, Vivione merged with PACEpartners Inc. What was the significance of this merger for Vivione?
The merger provided two primary benefits, the first being financing of $6 million, which will be utilized to commercialize the RAPID-B system. The second benefit is becoming a publicly traded entity, which gives Vivione the ability to provide transparency and comfort to potential customers regarding the company’s financial stability. RAPID-B is a paradigm shift in the way manufacturers will be able to obtain diagnostic test results. When making a new platform decision, customers will want to ensure they’re dealing with a financially viable entity. The transparency of a public company versus a privately held company provides this capability.
What is the RAPID-B System and how is it disruptive in the food safety market?
RAPID-B is an integrated diagnostic system consisting of hardware, software and wetware that tests bacteria in key environments and provides test results in seven hours or less, including sample preparation. Current competitor diagnostic platforms range from 24 hours to five days.
The RAPID-B system is easy to operate by lab personnel and does not require frequent calibration, making the RAPID-B system more capable of use in real manufacturing environments. Bacteria detection, data collection, and analysis are seamless. Obtaining test results faster will enable food manufacturers to reduce their chemical costs, reduce inventory hold times, and ultimately mitigate their potential recall risks.
What are 2 potential applications of your RAPID-B technology?
The RAPID-B system has broad applicability across many different markets. In food manufacturing, RAPID-B can be utilized to test for E. coli 0157 and Salmonella and provide test results in less than seven hours, including sample preparation time. In clinical applications, RAPID-B can test for the presence of tuberculosis in sputum providing results in less than one hour.
What do you think you could do with the RAPID-B system over time? What would the goals for it be?
We are confident the RAPID-B system will revolutionize the way food manufacturers look at diagnostics. For the first time, food manufacturers will be able to obtain near real time diagnostic results which will enable them to better manage their production processes, inventory and reduce their anti-microbial and other chemical costs. In the clinical diagnostics markets, being able to obtain tuberculosis and other disease test results rapidly will enable faster treatments which will ultimately save lives.
Where are you at with commercialization?
We currently have several reagent products (E. coli 0157, STECs, Salmonella, Vibrio, and TPC (Total Plate Count) available in food safety. We will undertake AOAC and FSIS certifications in 3Q2013 for E. coli 0157 and STECs, with AOAC certification beginning for Salmonella in first quarter 2014.
We also have several sterility and an agriculture product for tomatoes available for immediate use. In the clinical markets, we have completed proof of concepts for tuberculosis diagnosis and are in the process of organizing additional clinical trials which we hope to undertake in the fourth quarter 2014.
What milestones are you hoping to achieve for the next 6 months?
Three key goals for the next six months include AOAC submission for E. coli 0157, STECs, and Salmonella, signing key collaboration agreements with academic institutions and vendors that enable Vivione to develop and prove new assays on the RAPID-B platform, and beginning to drive revenue through commercial sales.
What are 3 things that an Investor needs to know about Vivione?
First, it’s important to understand that the technological risk in the RAPID-B system has been mitigated because Vivione has spent six years in development with the FDA on the technology with hundreds of thousands of tests completed comparing the RAPID-B system to other available technologies.
Second, in third quarter 2013 we began the certification process which will broaden RAPID-B’s applicability in the food safety market and begin driving commercial revenues. We look forward to communicating positive results on this front in early 2014.
Third, the company is adequately funded to maintain its current operations and development schedules through 2014 without the addition of any revenue.
Vivione Biosciences is a Stockhouse client.
Kevin Kuykendall - CEO and Director, Vivione Biosciences
Founding Member and CEO of White Energy (Ethanol Producer) and Health2O (Nutraceuticals)
Raised $500MM in White Energy and developed $750MM in Revenue within 36 months
Experienced in both early stage and start-up fund raising for various ventures