In the realm of healthcare, visionary leaders and entrepreneurs play a vital role in shaping the future of patient care. Paul Edalat is the Chairman, Founder and CEO of Vivera, a pioneering biopharma and medical technology company, and is an emerging leader in the healthcare space. With a steadfast commitment to patient-centric and innovative drug delivery solutions, Mr. Edalat spearheads the development of transformative therapies designed with the patient journey and experience at the forefront.
Mr. Edalat’s commitment to putting patients first is reflected in Vivera’s mission to develop life-changing therapies that have the potential to transform prescription drug delivery. The Company has a pipeline of innovative solutions like its patented ZICOH smart medication delivery device and TABMELT, a novel, patented, and patent-pending sublingual drug delivery system.
Let’s delve into Mr. Edalat’s journey, vision, and exceptional leadership, which earned him recognition as one of the Top 5 Impactful Healthcare Leaders to Watch in 2023.
Mr. Edalat’s Journey in Brief
From a young age, Mr. Edalat had a strong interest in tennis, weightlifting, and overall health and wellness. He utilized his passions, entrepreneurial skills and experiences to make a difference in the fast-growing fitness and wellness sectors.
However, his priorities shifted when his younger brother Peter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004. As Mr. Edalat stood by his brother during his cancer battle, he observed the challenges and limitations within the healthcare system, especially regarding patient-centric care and the method of prescribing and giving medications. Peter’s doctor prescribed him high doses of opioids to alleviate his pain from chemotherapy. However, no safety protocols were in place to prevent him from exceeding the prescribed dosage. As a result, Peter became addicted to these drugs.
“It was painful to see my younger brother struggle to conquer not only his cancer but also his addiction,” admitted Mr. Edalat. “I realized we needed a more efficient way of prescribing and dispensing medications.”
His realization inspired him to sit down with his friend Mehdi Hatamian, Ph.D., whom Mr. Edalat describes as brilliant, to brainstorm solutions. Together, they invented ZICOH, a patented, smart drug delivery device for prescription medications.”
Patient Adherence and Limited Treatment Options
Mr. Edalat is aware that patients and healthcare providers face various challenges, and he strives to address them with innovative and targeted solutions.
He explained that one challenge in the healthcare industry is limited treatment options. Many patients suffer from conditions where existing treatments are insufficient or have significant side effects. Vivera aims to identify novel therapies to address these gaps.
He described that patient adherence is another challenge. “Ensuring patients follow their prescribed treatment regimens is critical for achieving optimal health outcomes. ZICOH, one of our core products, aims to address this need by changing how medications are prescribed and taken. Although we invented it to improve the opioid crisis, our vision for the device has since evolved,” he said.
The opioid crisis continues to pose a significant public health concern in the United States and other parts of the world. Despite ongoing efforts to control prescription practices and increase access to treatment, opioid overdoses cause tens of thousands of deaths each year, making it one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in the U.S. The issue is largely due to the impact opioids have on the brain’s reward system, which increases the risk for addiction.
At Vivera, Mr. Edalat and his team are committed to addressing these challenges by continuously innovating and collaborating with various stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. By maintaining a strong focus on patient needs and working closely with other leaders in the healthcare space, they aim to deliver transformative solutions that empower patients to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
The Company’s strategy involves groundbreaking research, strategic collaborations, and a solid commitment to developing patient-centric solutions. Mr. Edalat added, “Vivera’s success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and we will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in healthcare to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world.”
Enhancing Patient Care and Addressing Diverse Medical Needs
When Mr. Edalat started Vivera, he aimed to develop medication delivery solutions through the Company’s BioSciences division. Since then, Vivera has expanded into several divisions, all striving to enhance patient care and address diverse medical needs.
Vivera Technologies is dedicated to creating cutting-edge technology to revolutionize patient care. The division’s flagship product, ZICOH, dispenses precise medication doses and integrates seamlessly with its backend software system, ZICOH Connect™. Combined, the device and the cloud-based software system generate actionable prescription medication adherence, oversight and compliance insights.
Vivera BioSciences focuses on developing medications for various conditions using its patented and patent-pending TABMELT technology for sublingual drug delivery. Falling within the division, Vivera Neurosciencesis is committed to researching and developing treatments utilizing TABMELT for central nervous system conditions, such as psychiatric, fluency and neurological disorders, to improve patient lives and provide better solutions for healthcare providers.
In addition, Vivera Advanced Diagnostics provides efficient and accurate diagnostic and wellness test results for patients through its Lab Information Management System (LIMS), LabPort.
“Vivera plans to influence many processes throughout the drug delivery supply chain, from collecting and analyzing prescribing data to delivering medications,” stated Mr. Edalat.
He admitted that while the healthcare industry is adaptive, there are many barriers and, of course, like any industry, resistance to change.
“Running a business always has its obstacles, and we face significant challenges as we invent, develop, and work to commercialize our products. We focus by ignoring the noise and concentrating on our patients and end goals,” he said.
Continuous Growth and Networking
Mr. Edalat believes continuous growth and development, networking and resilience are essential to remaining effective and innovative in the ever-evolving business landscape.
“Building and maintaining strong professional relationships is excellent for growth,” he said. “Networking has allowed me to learn from other leaders, gain insights into different perspectives, and create valuable connections that have led to new opportunities.”
Mr. Edalalt also believes resilience is a quality leaders should master. “You need resilience to cope effectively with challenges and navigate uncertainty. Bouncing back from setbacks and maintaining a positive attitude is essential for long-term success,” he said.
Words of Wisdom
To the budding enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who desire to venture into the healthcare industry, Mr. Edalat advises finding a mentor.
“Having a mentor is crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs. Finding someone who has already achieved your goal and can teach you the ins and outs of the industry is invaluable,” he says.
According to Mr. Edalat, a good mentor can provide guidance, support and valuable insights to help you navigate the challenges of starting a business. They can also help you avoid common mistakes, provide practical advice and give you a fresh perspective on your ideas,” Mr. Edalat explained.
Additionally, he recommends focusing on patient outcomes for those aiming to make a difference in the healthcare industry. He said, “Keep the well-being of patients at the heart of your venture. Prioritizing solutions that improve patient experiences, outcomes, and overall quality of life can ensure that your efforts have a meaningful and lasting impact.”
Envisioning 2023 and Beyond
Mr. Edalat envisions Vivera continuing to grow and impact the healthcare industry over the next five years. “Our primary focus remains on providing top-quality care and making it accessible to patients worldwide,” he says. “We aim to improve patient experiences and potentially enhance treatment outcomes by concentrating on drug delivery.” Vivera’s long-term mission involves going through the regulatory process and collaborating closely with healthcare providers to ensure that the Company’s innovative solutions, such as TABMELT and ZICOH, become readily available to every patient who needs them.
Creating Solutions that Prioritize Patient Safety and Well-being
On a concluding note, Mr. Edalat said, “Having witnessed patient challenges when taking medications and the ease with which some can become dependent on prescription medications, I am determined to create solutions that prioritize patient safety and well-being.”
“Addiction is a widespread issue that affects individuals, families, and entire communities. Our goal is to use our groundbreaking technology, ZICOH, to prevent addictive drugs from falling into the wrong hands and ensure that patients don’t suffer the consequences of addiction when they are most vulnerable. Through continued innovation and collaboration with healthcare providers, we aim to revolutionize medication management and positively impact the lives of countless patients across the globe.”
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