We talked to Patrick Anquetil of Portal Instruments about the needle-free device, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Patrick Anquetil: Doing as best as we can.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Portal Instruments.
Patrick Anquetil: I have a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, an MBA, and have always wanted to start companies. I was able to leverage my experience as a founding team member at SynapDx to start Portal Instruments with my MIT PhD advisor, Prof Ian Hunter. Our goal at Portal is to transform injections into an innocuous event with our needle-free device.
How does Portal Instruments innovate?
Patrick Anquetil: We try to push the boundaries in terms of meeting the patient needs, product capabilities, and time to market.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Patrick Anquetil: We realized early on that this would be a serious crisis and prepared ourselves to shut down the company office quickly. We sent our engineers home with what they needed and they set-up home laboratories and testing facilities. Being flexible allowed us to go 100% remote without skipping a beat.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Patrick Anquetil: Over all other priorities, we have to prioritize the health and wellness of our employees both for the short and long term. This includes mental health challenges, which have to be acknowledged and supported. The lesson here is that we are in this all together.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Portal Instruments in the future?
Patrick Anquetil: These are tough times; Portal gave everyone free access to meditation tools and we have been flexible with helping each team member get what they need for success. Portal is a flexible, nimble company and that strength of ours has helped us to make the best of the situation.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Patrick Anquetil: Our competition is indirect. We are trying to displace auto-injectors (epi-pen like automated syringes). We plan to stay in the game by providing more value to patients with our needle-free device at a lower cost per injection.
Your final thoughts?
Patrick Anquetil: Never waste a good crisis as Churchill would say. Being resilient is key to being successful in the long term.