They’ve got a prescription for success!
Brooklyn biotech firm Suneris and its prodigy founder are moving into a huge space at Industry City in Sunset Park later this year so the company can adapt a revolutionary blood-clotting gel that had veterinarians gushing last year for use in humans. Researchers’ Park Slope digs were just too small to keep up with demand for the liquid tourniquet, so the company had to move to a cutting-edge facility where it could really up its production flow, the 23-year-old founder said.
“This new building will let us build the capacity to supply the animal health market — the need was too great for what we could produce, we would have been constantly sold out,” said Joe Landolina of Brooklyn Heights, who developed the gel right here in Brooklyn as a masters student at New York University Polytechnical School of Engineering Downtown.
Suneris inked a lease for a chunk of Industry City slightly bigger than two professional basketball courts and is planning to more than double that space in the future. At the end of the day, Landolina is looking at a space 10 times the size of Suneris’ current office in Park Slope. The firm currently employs 30 people but the new space can accommodate up to 150 employees, and Landolina plans on bringing in some fresh blood, he said.
Suneris’s meteoric rise was like a rush of blood to the head, Landolina said.
“It’s an odd feeling to see it go from just a few of us working in a library into something that’s more like the pharma standard — nice facilities to put out the best-quality product,” he said.
Landolina’s product, called Vetigel, can stop traumatic bleeding in pets in under 12 seconds. It is currently only approved for use on animals, but Landolina aims to bring it into the human sphere. Facilities for people-grade Vetigel should be built out by the end of this year, and Landolina hopes to have a product approved by the Federal Drug Administration within two years, he said.
Next, the medical whiz kid will secure a new injection of cash for the company and will look to hire more biomedical talent to flesh out the team, which has Landolina more in the company of architects and lawyers rather than test tubes and syringes lately, but he’s enjoying the entrepreneurial side of things as well, he said.
“I’m enjoying building the team, it’s a lot more fun that I thought it would be,” he said.