GHSU's incubator releases its first product for consumers

Companies are working out of GHSU's incubator to create new products and bring jobs to the area. (WRDW-TV / March 13, 2012)

Companies are working out of GHSU's incubator to create new products and bring jobs to the area. (WRDW-TV / March 13, 2012)

News 12 at This Morning / Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In between the lab work and filing yet another patent, Dr. Stephen Hsu is busy running a business out of his lab.

"We have our stock of dry mouth gum, we have our samples," said Hsu, who is an associate professor in the GHSU College of Dental Medicine.

Hsu started translating his research into marketable products when he found out about the business incubator.

There are currently three companies working on biomedical science research inside the Life Science Business Development Center at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Hsu's latest innovation, the green tea gum, is to treat dry mouth.

"Our research started very early on molecules and cells," Hsu recalled.

It may look like just a pack of gum, but years of research went into it. Currently, Hsu has eight patents in the works, all to develop more products.

"I was very naive in the beginning on how to do that. They helped me a lot," Hsu said.

He says ideas can always bubble up to the surface, but the paperwork to turn those ideas into a reality can be complicated.

The resources inside the incubator help cut down on the confusion by guiding companies through the process.

"They have access to university resources, such as our core facilities," said Chris McKinney, the associate VP of technology transfers. "Here you have wet lab space with various equipment and facilities that are expensive to put together yourself."

It's also an opportunity for companies to collaborate under one roof.

In Hsu's lab, the orders are in and the inventory is stocked as his green tea gum gets ready to hit the market.

"We are going to hire Georgians, we're gonna help the local people and especially the patient," he said.

As more development takes place, companies are hoping to bring their treatments, drugs and over-the-counter products from the bench to your bedside.

Hsu's company also received $150,000 in funding from the Georgia Research Alliance. The next step for Hsu is green tea shampoo, which he expects will be on the market in the next month or two.


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