We talked to Dr Eric Mayes, Chief Executive Officer at Endomag, about a technology that physicians in many countries around the world use to help women with breast cancer avoid surgery when it isn’t needed and experience better outcomes when it is. This is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dr Eric Mayes: Thank you for asking. We are all well but well over the perks of lockdown and very much looking forward to the continued lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in England.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Endomag.
Dr Eric Mayes: I got into the world of technology entrepreneurship when I started my first business in 1997. Having moved to the UK in 1996 to do my PhD in Chemistry at Bath University, I founded NanoMagnetics, a little technology start-up with a big idea to disrupt the data storage industry by using protein-derived magnetic particles to help hard disk media companies increase their storage density.
I took the lessons I learned from NanoMagnetics with me and, after some time in the electronic display materials world, I joined Endomag as employee number 1 in 2010.
How does Endomag innovate?
Dr Eric Mayes: Innovation at Endomag starts with building a strong customer relationship. Only by understanding customer needs can we identify areas where our skills can help address problems or improve the experience. What helps power us through what can be a very challenging innovation process is the knowledge that the work we do is helping tens of thousands of women access more accurate and less invasive breast cancer care. Knowing that our work impacts the lives of women across the world inspires us and drives our culture of innovation and continual learning.
Our innovative Sentimag® localisation system, Magseed® marker and Magtrace® lymphatic tracer enable physicians to carry out tumour localisations and breast cancer staging with one platform.
Using our Sentimag® probe, physicians perform sentinel node biopsies with our lymphatic tracer, Magtrace®, and tumour removal procedures with our tissue marker, Magseed®.
These technologies add greater flexibility and precision to hospital schedules and remove the need for wires and radioactivity in performing certain surgeries.
Many of the world’s leading cancer centres and physicians use our technology to help women with breast cancer avoid surgery when it isn’t needed and experience better outcomes when it is.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Dr Eric Mayes: The pandemic has certainly changed how we operate, but I’m pleased to say that hospitals across the world have continued to adopt our technologies, recognising the many benefits that they provide to patients. We’ve also maintained our growth plans during the pandemic, including closing a £15 million Series D financing round back in November 2020. All of this means that we’re in a great place to continue our mission of delivering a better standard of cancer care.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Dr Eric Mayes: Fortunately, I have not been faced with any difficult human resource choices due to the pandemic. In fact, we have been actively recruiting and growing our team during this time. We’ve also invested further in R&D, and later this year, we intend to extend the capabilities of our platform with new technologies. We’re limited in what we can say now, but we are very excited about the difference the next generation of magnetic markers promises to make in surgical theatres soon.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Dr Eric Mayes: Not always being able to see our customers face to face has been difficult, and I will welcome the moment that we can be together in the same room again. During the pandemic, we had to adapt like many others and follow strict hospital protocols when supporting cases and use video conferencing technology to stay connected with our customers when not possible. What surprised us is the ease with which we have been able to communicate with our customers around the world, knowing that we can remain connected regardless of our location. Outside of the standard video conferencing platforms such as Teams and Zoom, we have also implemented our own Netflix-style video channel for customers alongside a comprehensive training platform on Teachable, all of which are inherently scalable.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Dr Eric Mayes: We did not receive any government grants during the pandemic and were still able to continue growing our business.
Your final thoughts?
Dr Eric Mayes: It is important to remain focused on the goals of the company and to be ambitious in setting them. As the CEO of a medical technology company that has already helped over 130,000 women in over 40 countries access more precise and less invasive breast cancer treatment thanks to our technologies, I am continually committed to bringing a better standard of cancer care for people all around the world.
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