MAKING IT: Medicine Man
Beech, Wendy M., Black Enterprise
Start-up thrives despite hard times in biotechnology
Biotechnology has taken a hit in recent years as investors have become reluctant to provide funding due to disappointing financial returns.
Despite this, Christopher P. Adams, 41, has developed patented medical technology that can help save millions of lives. "Hybriscan technology" is a DNA probe that detects infectious organisms in blood.
Adams and a team of scientists began developing the technology when he launched Mosaic Technologies Inc., a biotechnology firm, in 1994. Using the invention, they created a test to quickly detect bacteria in blood platelets and increase the safety of platelet transfusions.
"The current test for bacteria contaminated platelets takes two days to perform, but there's only a five-day shelf life for platelets," explains Adams, chairman of the $1 million Boston-based firm. "By using our bacterial detection test, it takes less than 30 minutes to determine if blood samples are tainted, so hospitals are able to treat transfusion patients much quicker and with less risk."
Although Adams holds a B.A. in psychology, it would seem as though medicine has always been in his blood. He worked several years as a research assistant in the cancer research department at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in molecular biology research. …