Interview with Pete Kissinger of Prosolia
CQ: Tell me about Prosolia.
Pete: Prosolia is a young company with operations in Indianapolis and West Lafayette.Â Our expertise is in looking at organic and biochemical materials on surfaces.Â For example, we’ve worked with the military and on forensic challenges in explosive detection and detection of drugs of abuse.Â Counterfeit drugs is another key application.Â Determination of drugs used in combination medical device/pharmaceutical products is a good topic as well.
CQ: What do you do?
Pete: I’m a part time chemistry professor at Purdue and am Chairman and CEO of Prosolia to help guide this young company as well as another, Phlebotics, Inc.Â I enjoy watching ideas come out of research and move into commercialization where they can contribute to better health.Â My special expertise is in making chemical measurements in biological goop. This is, of course, a very large part of diagnostic medicine, pharmacology, toxicology and documenting performance for FDA submissions to establish safety and efficacy. I’ve guided many studies both in preclinical and clinical medicine.
CQ: Who makes a good customer?
Pete: The customers for both our products and services are all trying to make a chemical measurement.Â In order to know if our technology is likely to be helpful, we need to know what they want to determine in molecular terms, where it is located and how much (or little) they need to get a handle on.Â The questions are pretty much the same for an antibiotic coated on a medical implant, a pesticide on an apple, a cancer drug in a dried blood spot or a gunshot residue on a piece of clothing.
CQ: What is your biggest obstacle today?
Pete: We are in a down period for commercial funding of medical innovation.Â This is reflected in a decline in life science venture capital and the closing of many pharmaceutical R/D sites in the last several years.Â Firms like Prosolia are clearly at the bottom of the food chain, but when innovation is discouraged at the largest entities, it is felt all the way down.Â Capital expenditures for R/D equipment decrease and projects for outsourcing research also decrease as firms focus on fewer projects with the highest probability of success.Â We are in a down cycle now, but historically, these have been followed by up cycles.Â Thus guarded optimism is appropriate.
CQ: What three words describe Prosolia?
Pete: Innovative, ethical, bulldogs.