Medical innovator prefers blockchain and cryptocurrency to venture capital, for research funds
Dr Asher Holzer Ph.D, is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully brought numerous life-saving medical and scientific innovations to market around the world. In a career spanning four decades, he has developed numerous products including:
· Lithotripter — kidney stone smasher
· THERMEX — transurethral prostate ablation system (prostate reduction avoiding surgery)
· Carto system — a 3D imaging system to treat arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythms)
· Ultracure — hair removal
· Mgard — heart stent (holding open blocked arteries around the heart)
· TRGel — combined drug/device to treat bladder cancer
· MyoPatch — a delivery mechanism for heart-healing stem cells
Like most people, he is extremely concerned about the growing levels of chronic disease in western countries. As he says, “In the US alone, 40 million people have some form of chronic disease. That number is growing annually, with heart failure probably the largest chronic disease, but with the least options for a cure”
One of the reasons it’s so difficult for patients to get medical care is the cost of medications and medical products. The other is the time and money it takes to get innovative products fully developed so they can get to market.
It was during the early development stage of MyoPatch that Dr Holzer hit upon an idea. He was fed up with spending more than half his time chasing venture capital funding. As he says, “the number of years I have wasted in my career, trawling the streets for venture capital or angel investment to fund research for early-stage medical innovations, is a tragedy. Imagine what I could have discovered if my time had been spent doing the research and development of life-saving products?
I had been learning about emerging blockchain technologies and was speaking with business colleagues. We recognized there was an opportunity to use this new technology — including smart contracts and cryptocurrencies — to change radically the way medical start-ups are funded.
After a few long nights, we worked out a way to tokenize ownership of early-stage innovation products, as a way of raising finance. In short we created the idea behind HeartChain — the world’s first platform that allows individuals and organizations to buy cryptocurrency in the form of tokens, as part of an ICO, to fund innovation products.
The model renders much of venture capital an anachronism.”
Here’s how it works
Individuals or organisations buy HeartChain Tokens (HCT) in HeartChain’s initial ICO, and become “members” of the HeartChain community. This gives token holders privileged access to the most exciting new products in development, to decide if they wish to support each new project identified by the HeartChain team. Members can then buy Innovation Product Tokens (IPT), at a discounted rate, in an ICO to fund specific research projects of their choice.
Each ICO is explained in detail on the HeartChain platform, where sponsors can learn everything they need to know before making a sponsorship decision. The tokens represent ownership of the product being developed, at the early-stage development cost. These are only available on the HeartChain platform.
The HeartChain management team consists of veteran industry executives with deep multidisciplinary experience in business development, medicine, medical technologies, and financial services. In addition, the team has a significant track record in building new enterprises, both private and public.
HeartChain executives will perform detailed, transparent, and quality due diligence. This includes scientific, legal, intellectual property, market entry, financial analysis, and regulatory barriers so that members can make truly well-informed sponsorship decisions.
Multiple benefits for researchers and token owners
The funds go directly to the research or bio-tech organisation as non-dilutive, off balance sheet finance. So they don’t affect shareholdings or need inclusion as a liability on the balance sheet.
This makes accounting easier and provides two big benefits for the researchers:
1. They can focus 100% on doing what they do best — making vital break-through discoveries to solve chronic illnesses and other medical issues.
2. They can make discoveries sooner and get to market quicker, because they can put all their energy into developing solutions.
The sponsors who own the tokens have two options when the new product comes to market:
1. Donate the token back to the innovation company for further research
2. Redeem the token for the retail value of the product, that’s usually much higher than its manufacturing price.
Dr Holzer says, “With so many people seeking medical assistance, it is vital we develop as many solutions for them as quickly as possible. So we have designed HeartChain to offer a constant stream of innovation products to get finance from crowdfunding by individuals and organisations. The researchers don’t have to waste their time chasing funds. The public and private sector can get involved to bring life-saving products to market. This has to be good for society as a whole.