After being invited to Biotech at the Beach for several months, my schedule finally allowed me to attend this monthly Friday gathering. I had a personal reason to hear from the keynote, as well, so I was excited to be there. Welcomed with enthusiastic smiles, a nametag, and an opportunity to network with a variety of community professionals, my experience of Biotech at the Beach was comfortable and educational. In attendance were college professors, physicians, researchers, and entrepreneurs interested in increasing awareness of biotechnology. Included in this intimate group was featured speaker Evan T. Edwards, co-founder of Intelliject®, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
Evan told his story of him and his twin brother, Eric, growing up with food allergies and anaphylaxis reactions. While it was uncommon years ago, today food allergies are increasing, and unfortunately, growing exponentially in young children. The slide deck featured pictures of children and Evan pointed out his brother’s daughter, Evan’s niece, who has a life threatening food allergy. Speaking about children and especially his niece, brought Evan to tears. One could see that the company’s commitment to treating anaphylaxis was personal, a way to save lives, not just to make a dollar. Intelliject® believes in their tagline “Developed by Patients for Patients”. In fact, employee titles on business cards state Patient, not President or VP, but Evan T. Edwards, Patient.
As a mother of a child who has a life-threatening food allergy, I am extremely excited to hear that another option for people like us should soon be available. Evan’s warm personality and passion for his company and product was refreshing. Intelliject® is a pharmaceutical company in the Commonwealth that is looking to make a difference for all of us, the patients. As well as their first product for anaphylaxis, they are also developing a number of other products in other areas which are developed based on user input and designed to be easy to use correctly when needed. This company is just one example of the businesses and products that are making strides in biotechnology for Virginia.
Biotech at the Beach is a monthly luncheon hosted in the conference room of Virginia Beach Economic Development. Virginia Biotechnology Association organizes this event with innovative programs and speakers to promote Biotechnology in the Commonwealth. For more information, please contact Sherri Halloran, 804-643-6360 or visit http://www.vabio.org/.
Author: Nicole Newsome, owner of Huddle Up Management and Founder of Food Allergy Association of Virginia Beach. She can be reached at Nicole@huddleupmanagement.com.