DocWire News spoke with Jim Joyce, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Sigyn Therapeutics, a developmental technology company focused on treatments for life-threatening inflammatory conditions precipitated by the Cytokine Storm Syndrome, a dangerous immune response that can be initiated by a wide-range of infectious and non-infectious conditions, including COVID-19.
Mr. Joyce discussed the benefits of blood purification technology, and addressed the concern of sepsis, specifically in COVID patients.
DocWire News: Can you start off by telling us about yourself?
Jim Joyce: Rob, I have 20 years, actually now more than 20 plus years of public company, CEO and board leadership experience. And along that time, I’ve been an inventor of various different medical device technologies.
Talk to us about your efforts on Capitol Hill to expand the definition of treatment countermeasures in Project Bioshield legislation.
Sure. Well, Project Bio Shield, Rob, this was the legislation that launched the industry for developing countermeasures against pandemic and bio terror threats. This was actually launched in 2005 and has played a significant role in combating an increasing emergence of different threats over the years and was put in place for events like COVID-19. But when it was originally established, the legislation defined a treatment counter measure as either a drug or a vaccine. So medical devices, which is our field of interest, were precluded by definition. So we worked with a team, which included myself. I testified before Congress related to the use of medical devices to address a broad spectrum of viral pathogens, as well as devices that could address the cytokine storm, which is the resulting cause of death in many severe viral infections. And today at Sigyn Therapeutics, we’re advancing a technology that performs both of those functions.
Talk to us about Sigyn Therapeutics – why you founded it, and what’s the main challenge the company is looking to solve?
Sure. Well, the genesis of what we’re doing at Sigyn Therapeutics is based on the background of myself and my co-founder Craig Roberts, who was involved in the development of the ECMO system, but also developed a extra caporal blood purification technology that was approved in 22 countries for treating life-threatening inflammatory conditions. Myself in previous work, I oversaw the development of the Athlon hemo purifier as the CEO of the company and the founder of the company. This was a therapy that was the first technology to receive two breakthrough device designations from the FDA and was deployed as a broad spectrum countermeasure against viral threats during the Ebola outbreak, where it was utilized to save the life of an infected doctor and approved under emergency use provisions here in the US, Canada, throughout in Germany. But we’ve consolidated our knowledge base to be able to address life threatening inflammatory conditions that are associated with pathogenic infections. And this means the ability to address both the pathogen sources of inflammation, as well as the inflammatory cytokines and other components.
How big a problem is sepsis in COVID-19 patients, and how can Sigyn combat this issue?
Well, a majority of patients that succumb to COVID-19 die from sepsis, and there’s kind of this pathogenesis with COVID-19. You see the progression towards pneumonia. Community acquired pneumonia is kind of an interpretation of the condition that could evolve into ARDS, advanced respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock, but really, we think it’s important to be able to quickly intervene, have a technology that can operate on a rapid, real-time basis to reduce the circulating presence of the pathogen source of the inflammation, as well as quickly modulate down inflammatory cytokine production.
Where do you see your company in three years?
Well, in three years, I think we’re going to have a product that’s been proven to save lives and that’s our primary objective as a company, but it’s going to do this as a technology that can augment the benefit of drug therapies when they’re available. The nice thing about a blood purification technology is that it can combine with drug therapies without adding additional drug toxicity and that’s something that should be considered. But in many cases, the types of pathogens that we’re looking at, or the inflammatory conditions that we’re looking at that precipitate this cytokine storm that becomes life threatening, they’re not addressed in many cases, and that’s certainly going to be the case with, with conditions like COVID-19. It’s hard to predict what’s coming up next. So you need to have a technology that is kind of pan pathogen, it moves across the boundaries of different pathogens as our device does and addresses the inflammatory components. And I think in that regard, there are certain indications for our technology over the coming years to assist.
Any closing thoughts?
There’s a wide range of acute liver failure conditions that are associated with pathogens that lead to inflammatory response and the same thing is related to pathogens, whether they’re bacterial or viral. Many of these threats are not addressed with drugs. No. Rob, I appreciate being on today. I hope that people follow our endeavors at Sigyn Therapeutics. We’ve demonstrated what we believe to be unprecedented capabilities to address both pathogens and inflammatory factors, and now we’re working to translate that into human studies.