Newsmakers

San Diego Newsmakers profiles the people who helped make this region and The Daily Transcript what it is today - a Who's Who of those who have put San Diego County on the map as a thriving region.

Joshua Rychak

Co-Founder

Targeson Inc.

3550 General Atomics Ct. MS, 02-606
San DiegoCA92121

Targeson brings noninvasive approach to early-stage drug discovery research


JILL BLACKFORD, Special to the Daily Transcript


Initially founded as a repository to house patents for contrast ultrasound imaging to be used in drug discovery research, Targeson Inc. reinvented itself at the end of last year as a company to develop, manufacture and sell products based on those patents.


"Our goal is to make sick people feel better," said Joshua Rychak, Ph.D., co-founder and vice president for research and development for Targeson. "There is so much really great science that's out there. During grad school, my project was a way to use tiny contrast agents to bind to, say, cancer or heart attack cells to label them so that they're detected by ultrasound. We were working on projects where the lab developed a gas-encapsulated microbubble that when injected into the bloodstream shows up brighter than surrounding areas."


That grad school research led to the patents that are now the basis of Targeson's products. While Rychak sees big market potential for using Targeson's molecular imaging agents in drug studies, he also sees it as a little premature to push molecular imaging as a diagnostic to the clinical side. As such, Targeson's current strategy is to work on the ground floor with researchers in the nonclinical, animal model market first. The goal is to convince clients such as Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) on the drug discovery side that Targeson's contrast agent technologies, including signature product TargestarTM-P, are a cheaper, faster and better option than methods being used currently.


"We are trying to show that researchers save money because they don't have to kill the mice and it doesn't take as long. There's also no radiation, so it's the safest imaging tool," Rychak said. "Yet the idea of molecular imaging, as opposed to histology, is really a pretty radical shift. There are obvious benefits and people are excited, but there's also a lot of inertia because people are used to pathology techniques -- some of which are 100 years old. It's very entrenched. While our imaging doesn't completely replace the old methods, it can make work go a lot faster and cheaper -- and ultimately will help bring these drugs to market more efficiently."


In December of 2009, Targeson relocated from its birthplace near the University of Virginia to San Diego. Rychak reports that the company made the move to this market because of San Diego's high concentration of medical science and research. He likes that Targeson's sales team can reach hundreds of potential customers within half a day's drive and believes that sort of concentration can't really be found anywhere else.


"We are working with sites all over the world, but it seems in San Diego we get more traction -- people here are more used to new technology and are more open-minded," Rychak said. "There's also really a sense of camaraderie where people are willing to let us in the door and talk to us. I don't think any other place would get this type of response."




Blackford is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer.

Search Contacts

Profiles

Coronado agent among top under-30 Realtors in US

Coronado Island Realty agent Kate Gillingham Milke was honored by the National Association of Realtors as one of the 2015 Class of 30 Under 30 Realtors, a prestigious recognition for rising stars in the industry.

Orca Maritime produces deep-sea data, images

Orca Maritime uses innovative technology to provide its clients with underwater data and images.

GalexC founder's entrepreneurial spirit continues through acquisition

About four years ago, Doug d'Heilly made the transition from an energy-efficiency consultant with Trane Inc. to running his own consulting firm.

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

The up and down of the stock market continues. After gaining 208 points Monday, the Dow industrials fell 85 points yesterday. The focus, at least for the time being, has shifted away from global economic concerns to quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies.

Candace Friedman, Acme Safety and Supply

Whenever you drive past an orange cone or a detour sign in San Diego, they're very likely the pride and joy of Candace Friedman, who has been providing safety products from her National City company, Acme Safety and Supply, since 1999.

Patricia Trauth, AECOM

As a young girl growing up in Cincinnati, Patricia Trauth developed a deep appreciation of art from her mother, and nature from her maternal grandfather. Today, as principal landscape architect in the San Diego office of AECOM, a global interdisciplinary architecture, engineering and construction firm, she uses her artistic skills by designing public spaces with natural elements for the betterment of the public.

Sponsors

Media

Interview with Jody Watkins

Jody Watkins, president and CEO of Watkins Landmark Construction, talks about business fluctuations in the construction industry and outlines his goals for growing his firm.

Subscribe Today!