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Entrepreneurial Science- Provita Pharmaceuticals

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Provita Pharmaceuticals strives to improve the quality of life of patients by extending the lifespan and increasing the efficacy and cost effectiveness of their medications.

Provita is a virtual, student-run, startup biotech firm with technology aimed at extending the longevity and efficacy of medication and treatments; their main goals are to research, develop, and distribute new technologies. Directed, researched, and developed by high school students at Bergen County Academies, Provita manages and develops relationships with pharmaceutical companies, businesses, and prospective investors. The company makes annual presentations to the FDA and several pharmaceutical businesses.

Provita takes place during a Wednesday project called Entrepreneurial Science and students pick a sector they are interested in. The two sectors of the company are Business and Research and Development. The Business sector focuses on how Provita can become an actual company, financial and marketing aspects while the Research and Development sector is split into four distinct groups that correspond to one of the four product lines: Flying Syringe, Coagula, VitaClick, and MeshCare. The project is led by Dr. Pergolizzi and a student executive board composed of a CEO, CSO, CFO, and CMO. Claire Whang, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), has been involved with the project for two years. Her favorite parts of Provita were “The fact that it ‘meshes’ (no pun intended) both the business and bio-science aspects of running a biomedical company. Also, it is such an incredibly individual and unique experience and opportunity! In what other high school are you given two hours every Wednesday to develop a real-world applicable biomedical product, and have the potential to back it up? It’s like a real company in many aspects, and administration is developing ways for us to patent our products.”

Provita’s four product ideas are aimed to be unique, innovative, and beneficial for consumers. Ms. Whang’s favorite product is “Meshcare! It was the product I originally started with last year, and it seems like one of the most viable products at the moment. It has great market potential because such a significant percentage of men get adhesions after a hernioplasty.” MeshCare is a coated surgical mesh product that aims to reduce post-operative adhesion scarring in the bowels of patients who have undergone an inguinal hernioplasty. Flying Syringe is a project that is currently working on finding methods to genetically engineer mosquitoes to distribute a West Nile Virus vaccine. Coagula is a drug that will treat patients with Hemophilia A, who lack Factor VIII (the clotting factor that most people have) which is essential to blood clotting. Vita-click is a more cost efficient and user-friendly alternative to EpiPens; the product aims to be reusable, smaller, and less costly.

How can people that are interested get involved?

Anybody interested in Provita can email the Provita board at [email protected] for more information. Provita would definitely be open to additional support, and would love to open this up to more people. It is a really unique opportunity! You can also help by spreading the word, and by supporting future marketing campaigns. Provita is currently considering Kickstarter for marketing, so look out for that!

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Entrepreneurial Science- Provita Pharmaceuticals