Dr. Mary Pat Moyer, founder and CEO of INCELL and 4RMed
spoke to UT Health Science Center graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at
February’s Spotlight on Research Integrity about how to manage integrity as a
core value in a biomedical company.
“You need to get references in business like you would for
an interview for a job,” Moyer said. “Who you choose to do business with
reflects upon your company.”
Moyer said that sometimes it’s easier to go with the cheaper
option but business owners need to keep in mind that cheaper does not always
mean quality goods.
“You could find a place that gives you something that cost
$90 for $.90 cents but it might not be USP grade so this can be a problem later
on,” she said.
When she was first starting out, Moyer explained that one of
the tricky things that she had to guess was the shelf life of her products.
“If you have a new product, you need to make your best guess
with rationale of the shelf life. You also have to be sure to label it
correctly because if your product is out of compliance, then you may have to
Moyer said that often when people start their own company,
passion can be blinding.
“People can sue you for no reason and you often don’t think
about it because you are so focused on your cool science. You need to take into
account the legal aspect along with the business and science.”
To help protect her companies, Moyer decided to set up 4RMED
to manage the clinical aspects and INCELL for the manufacturing and distribution
“We had a case of people stealing our labels and selling
media in China but we had never sold to China before and we were able to
document it based on the item number and it was a case of photoshop,” she said.
“You have to be wary of situations like this and protect yourself by having all
the proper documentation ready.”
A student in the audience asked about how companies are able
to protect themselves from intellectual property issues.
“I think patents are a huge problem because if you are
relying on patents alone, it will be hard to protect yourself. We rely on trade
secrets where everyone signs confidentiality agreements.”
As a final word of advice, Moyer told the audience that
integrity means being able to trust your products have the highest quality and could
be given to the people you care for.
“What I tell my team is that you need to feel like the
product is ok to be given to your grandma, your sister, your children or your
mom. If not, then it’s not ready to be sold.”