Creating new medical devices is not for the faint of heart. One needs more than just a passion to prevent unnecessary deaths and improve the lives of mankind. One needs the conviction and the strength that come from a divine inspiration as well as the love and support of a large community of friends and family. Without a doubt, championing a new technology in Canada is one of the hardest ventures that anyone can choose….and yet, I know that I am privileged to be tasked with this challenge.
Some of you know that I was recently in a terrible accident. When one looks at the circumstances surrounding my miraculous saving, it can only be the result of intervention of God and the Universe. I can count at least 17 miracles that occurred simultaneously to enable my survival on that fateful day. Surviving a plane crash is highly uncommon, we all know this. But having been up in the plane, having made my peace and having sent out my goodbyes, it was a true shock that I would be spared…and the only thought that went through my mind, at the time of that ordeal and every day since then, was that I was spared because I was needed in order to continue to champion photodisinfection. I believe with every fibre in my body that what we are doing at Ondine was important enough that my life needed to spared for this purpose. This is the kind of conviction that is needed to take on the challenge of creating new life saving technologies and to overcome the constant barrage of negativity, doubt and disappointments. Just as I was beginning to lose hope and stamina, I was given a big reminder of how fortunate I am to be able to carry on this mission.
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Donald W. Black with Leanne Carlson
Ondine Biomedical Inc. wishes to congratulate Donald W. Black, a long time friend and supporter of our company. Don has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing his lifelong contributions to his peers, community and country over the past sixty years. Don is the recipient of other prestigious Canadian honours, including the Order of Canada, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.
Don was born, raised and educated in Regina, where he has spent the majority of what has been a successful, distinguished, and diverse career. Don is currently the Chair at Greystone Managed Investments and Greystone Capital Management, the investment firm whose success he is largely responsible for. Throughout his career, Don has been actively involved in the community, leading many charitable organizations including the CNIB “That All May Read” National Capital Campaign, the United Way of Regina Leadership Giving Campaign, the Tomorrow Fund, and the RCMP National Heritage Center.
Don Black is a generous man, quick to smile and never misses the opportunity to make a positive impact on the people and world around him. His friends at Ondine are very proud of this extraordinary man and wish to congratulate him on this well deserved recognition.
Ondine Biomedical Inc. is a proud supporter of the mission and goals of the PanAmerican Photodynamic Therapy Association. Launched last month, the Association’s purpose is to galvanize the basic science and expertise of photodynamic therapy in the Americas. This will help encourage the study and practice of PDT in the treatment of animal and human diseases.
Many of you may not know that photodynamic therapy has been around for centuries. In fact, the earliest recorded treatment using a photosensitizing agent and a light source occurred in ancient Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Vegetable and plant substances were used as photosensitizers and sunlight was used as the light source. Patients suffering from skin diseases such as vitiligo had the photosensitizers topically applied to the damaged area, and the resulting photochemical reaction restored their tissue to a healthier state. In some cases, it even helped repigment their skin to its normal color.
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I’ve talked before about how photodisinfection works, but I want to take a moment to clarify what I think are the three most common myths about the technology we’re working on here at Ondine.
It’s Not That New
Our products are often met with scepticism because people are unfamiliar with photodisinfection as a treatment, or even as a science. Truth be told, photodisinfection has existed for over 100 years[i], and the research behind it has a solid foundation in the literature extending back well over 20 years. Check out this short reference list if you don’t believe me. So why, with all this research, is photodisinfection only creeping into the marketplace now? The simple answer is that, until Ondine, most companies have been a little hesitant to put the work in to make it a success. Photodisinfection requires a lot from a company: an engineering team for a light source, a microbiology team for the preclinical tests, a chemistry team for the careful formulation of the photosensitizer and a regulatory team to get the product cleared for use in trials and approved clinical use. When you add in quality control, finance, administration, and sales and marketing, you can see the inherent challenges facing a company. You can trust me that the science is there (and growing), and Ondine has proven that it has what it takes to make these products a reality.
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Carolyn Cross, Chairman & CEO of Ondine Biomedical Inc, understands too well the importance of supporting women in business. This week, the Vancouver Sun Newspaper highlighted her involvement & support for this week’s Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) International Conference. This is a unique event that connects highly successful women from around the world in promoting the advancement of women across all industries. The WPO is an exclusive membership organization for women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies. Collectively, members of the WPO have 24,000 years in business, generate $14 billion in annual revenues, and employ 105,000 employees.
Carolyn Cross, Chairman & CEO of Ondine Biomedical Inc, was featured in today's Vancouver Sun Newspaper
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World Health Day is celebrated on the 7th of April every year to mark the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO). Each year, the WHO selects a key health issue and encourages people from around the world to hold events and promote actions that will improve health. It is very fitting for Ondine then that this year’s World Health Day theme is “Combating Drug Resistance.” We have spent the last 70 years using and misusing antibiotics to treat and prevent common infectious diseases. Today, we have entered an era where bacteria have developed the ability to become resistant to most antibiotics, rendering them almost useless. It is therefore imperative that non-antibiotic solutions to fight infections are developed in order to preserve the next generation of effective medicine. Read more »
“Healthcare-associated infections are one of the biggest causes of avoidable harm and unnecessary death in the developed world” – World Health Organization
Healthcare-associated infections kill more than 99,000 people every year
Over the next few blog posts, we’ll be discussing a group of infections known as healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs. In the US alone, more than 99,000 people die each year from these infections1. While this cost on human life is high, the financial toll is equally staggering . The World Health Organization has called the HAIs one of the biggest causes of avoidable harm and unnecessary deaths in the developed world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that HAIs add $35-$45 billion in costs to the US healthcare system each year2. As such, healthcare-associated infections have become a costly public health concern that demands immediate attention.
HAIs occur when a patient acquires an infection during the course of treatment at, or a visit to, a healthcare facility. After a patient acquires a HAI, the ramifications are often excessively expensive and deadly. In fact, HAIs are responsible for more deaths each year than car accidents, breast cancer, anorexia or AIDS. On average, they add 19 days to a patient’s hospital stay, and increase medical expenses by more than $45,0003. Read more »
Ten years ago when I would mention my theory in public, my esteemed colleagues would give me either a heaven-bound roll of the eye or a terse shake of the head…depending on the audience. Ten years ago, my theory was considered radical, serving only to demonstrate my lack of scientific background. Ten years later, this theory is getting some traction and I am pleased to see a number of key researchers validating my beliefs1,2,3.
My theory: The changing composition and characteristics of the bacteria with which we coexist, are causing directly or indirectly our major systemic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, arthritis, etc. To restore normal health, requires a 2 part process. First, we need to target the removal of the bad bacteria. Second, we need to replace them with the original (good) bacteria, reinstating the ‘normal’ compositions and concentrations. Widespread killing of all bacteria, therefore, as in the case of systemic antibiotics, only addresses the first element of this proposed protocol but not the second part, as antibiotic use clearly does not do much to restore the original composition of bacteria needed to promote good health. Read more »
Ondine would like to congratulate this year’s Manning Innovation Award winners. Since 1982, the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation has been honouring Canadian innovators who have successfully marketed their innovation. These prestigious awards give recognition to outstanding Canadian technologies and their innovators. Read more »
Humans are multicellular creatures each comprised of trillions of cells. Oddly enough, bacteria in our bodies outnumber our human cells by 10:1, although their size is, on average, about one tenth of a human cell. When seen in this light, humans really are part human and part bacteria. We are dependent on the maintenance of a delicate balance between human cells and bacterial cells for good health as we coexist with bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. There are estimated to be between 500-1,000 species of bacteria living in the human gut and skin. Some of our bacteria are known to perform certain tasks that are critical. Without our bacteria, for instance, we would be unable to digest and process our food intake. These commensal bacteria are widely known as our “flora”. Too many of any one kind of bacteria, and we are left in poor health. Bacteria, therefore, play a very important role in human health and human disease. Read more »