TruBios, LLC Creates a New Company, CERCA Solutions, to Help Save Women’s Lives
What if you had the power to save a life? What would you do with it? How would you share it?
J. Roberto Trujillo, President & CEO, TruBios, LLC, which is located on the university’s Montgomery County Campus, is workingdiligently to answer these tough questions as he sets a lofty goal for his company
and its affiliates and subsidiaries: to eradicate all viral diseases in the Americas within the next 38 years. He and his colleagues call this goal Project 2050. One of the first diseases they’re targeting is cervical cancer.
According to Trujillo, 80% of cervical cancer cases can be found in developing countries where the resources needed to treat these kinds of diseases are scarce.
“How can you diagnose someone and then not treat them?” Trujillo asked. “Why even diagnose them in the first place?”
In collaboration with Dr. Vanderlei Bagnato from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, TruBios plans to solve this problem through the creation of a new company called CERCA Solutions (“CERCA”). The start-up company, in which TruBios Ventures (the venture capital affiliate of TruBios, LLC) has a significant equity stake, is devoted to diagnosing and treating cervical cancer through a technology called Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). This technology already is being used to treat esophageal, colon, and skin cancers. By the summer of 2013, CERCA plans to have its device approved in Latin America and Europe.
“In Latin and South America, you have to bring solutions, not just diagnostics,” Trujillo explained. “And the solutions have to be affordable and practical.”
TruBios and CERCA currently are testing this solution in Mexico and Brazil through clinical trials that ultimately will involve hundreds of women. Why Brazil and Mexico? Next to breast cancer, cervical cancer is the leading cause of death among Brazilian and Mexican women, and many of these women are less than 50 years old.
While the goal is to eradicate cervical cancer in all the Americas within 40 years, Trujillo recognizes that even with effective and affordable technology, this is easier said than done. “If you want to help the world, you can’t help in the same way you would in the U.S.,” he explained. “You have to adapt to the cultures of the countries.”
And for many of the women in these countries, visits with specialists are not common. In fact, only 20% of women diagnosed will see a specialist. CERCA‘s solution is to make its Photodynamic Treatment so simple, portable, and affordable that it can be used in a regular doctor’s office or clinic as part of a woman’s routine checkup.
TruBios’ next step is to work with CERCA Solutions to get the device approval and start curing as many women as possible. Screening women who otherwise would not be screened, and then treating them, is the driving force behind this project. As Trujillo said, “We have the power to save lives.”