Your company has an interesting name and logo, is there a story behind it?
Gemelli means “twins” in Italian. While we have a pair of twins within the Gemelli family, the name also refers to a “twin purpose.” We bring healthcare tools to market, but we also strive to advance a second mission of philanthropy. We’ve started small by supporting institutions doing great work, but as we continue to grow, it is in our DNA to share our success and capabilities with those who have less than we do.
Gemelli is tackling IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which affects 25-45 million people in the US alone, what do you hope this biotech will achieve within the IBS community?
Studies show that it takes patients an average of six years from the onset of symptoms to a diagnosis. Those six years are filled with physical, emotional, social and financial pain. New science shows that this isn’t necessary. ibs-smart™ can provide a diagnosis within a week. To patients, that means saving time and money and possibly avoiding invasive procedures. To doctors, that means finally being able to rule in the disease based on positive test results, rather than relying on the ruling out of other diseases based on negative test results.
What is the best advice you’ve received so far from someone in the community?
Simplicity of process is the key to our success. Complexity of process is the largest hurdle. Process includes education, ease of ordering the test, and efficient delivery of results to the provider / patient.
Also, I don’t know if it is advice as much as it is an outlook on life. It makes all the difference in the world when you believe you can achieve something great. Ten years ago when I personally hit a level of professional stagnation, I always envisioned myself in this role. I always knew I could do more by staying true to myself, surrounding myself with great people, and being present. There are a lot of toxic people in the world, it is a choice not to be one of them.
What would you compare starting a company to?
I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandparents who were immigrants from Sicily. Their entire yard was a garden. I was always amazed by what they could grow in their yard. It was no different than their neighbor’s yard but looking back on it they had a vision, prepared the soil, plant the right seeds / plants, relentlessly attended to the garden and let the sun do the rest. What we are doing is not much different. In some ways, Gemelli Biotech is my version of their garden.
Bringing innovations to market in a fiscally responsible and socially conscious way is a large component of Gemelli, what kind of direct philanthropy effort is your company making?
Currently, we are making monetary contributions to institutions supporting microbiome-related causes like Project:Water. The science that led to ibs-smart™ is also leading to discoveries about malnutrition and infections in poorly developed countries. In the future, there is tremendous opportunity to activate these and other discoveries through philanthropic channels. Our scientific founders are focused on preventing human disease related to foodborne illnesses.
As we grow and expand our brand the goal is to prevent human disease related to human foodborne illnesses. That’s why we already have collaborations with work in gastroenteritis related growth retardation in Tanzania and participate philanthropically to local water safety based charities. Clean water means healthier living in the world.
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