Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Dayan Goodenowe, Founder and CEO of The Dr. Goodenowe Research Institute/Prodrome Sciences, located in Temecula, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Health Restoration. Health Optimization. Primary customers are health practitioners. Secondary customers are patients and health-conscious consumers. Our business model takes a health-centric, hands-on research approach to deliver restorative health solutions. It is based upon over 30 years of large-scale preclinical, clinical, and epidemiological research. The Dr. Goodenowe Research Institute houses the most advanced laboratory equipment in the world. We use this technology to quantitatively measure health so that we can detect deviations from health before they become diseases. We link deviations from health to future incidence of diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. These pre-disease health deviations are called “Prodromes.” We are also a fully operational cGMP manufacturing facility. We discover and develop critical biochemical intermediates as nutritional supplements specifically designed to restore prodromes back to health. For example, our omega-3 plasmalogen precursor, ProdromeNeuro, has been shown in human clinical trials to restore blood plasmalogen levels to healthy levels and improve cognition and mobility in persons diagnosed with cognitive impairment. Our omega-9 plasmalogen precursor, ProdromeGlia, is effective at improving symptoms in autism and is entering formal clinical trials this year. Finally, we educate and train healthcare practitioners on advanced laboratory test interpretation and the use of nutritional supplementation and lifestyle modifications for optimal health restoration and maintenance. Through our growing network of certified practitioners, we are building the framework of a parallel health-centric system to complement the current traditional disease-centric system, which is effective at preventing premature death from acute illness but not designed for health optimization.
Tell us about yourself
Prodrome Sciences and the Dr. Goodenowe Research Institute is the current phase of a progression of over 30 years of research and biotech business experience. I started my career focused on preclinical and clinical research, discovery, and inventorship regarding the biochemical mechanisms of health and disease with the primary objective of creating intellectual property for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. I received my undergraduate degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in medicine specializing in psychiatric disease. My pre-1995 academic and pharmaceutical industry training gave me a portfolio of advanced technical knowledge. In 1995, I left the pharmaceutical industry and created an independent consulting company to train and establish advanced laboratories in pharmaceutical, agricultural, and environmental companies. During these years (1995-2000), I was intimately involved in advanced functional genomics research and invented a technology called non-targeted metabolomics that was revolutionary in its applicability to functional genomics research and, subsequently, human health research. Using this technology, I founded a biotech company called Phenomenome Discoveries, where I served as Chairman and CEO for 16 years. This was a traditional biotech company business model where I raised money via venture capital to build and create Intellectual Property and products to be sold or licensed to international pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. This business was very successful. Over 10X in value was created such that the company value was in excess of 500M in 2016. Large-scale validation of blood tests and blood testing technology for population-wide early detection of colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Viable and validated interventions for the treatment and prevention of dementia were developed. What I was naïve about and unaware of when I founded Phenomenome, was the implementation barriers to certain types of interventions. We could build the technology with the capability of achieving full-scale population implementation, but we had no control or reasonable means of delivering this technology to or within the general population at large under the traditional pharma/biotech model. I created Prodrome Sciences to address and solve this implementation deficiency.
What motivates me is a simple expectation that should drive all persons regardless of their particular set of skills, and that is “See Something. Do Something.” It is not somebody else’s job. It is your job. There is no greater cowardice than the attempt to unsee or unknow to avoid responsibility. I have been blessed (or cursed) with the ability to make certain discoveries. Discoveries that will save lives. It is my job to find a way to make these discoveries available to those who wish to use them.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating a cohesive, high morale, high functioning team with a clear vision and purpose. The workplace is a sanctuary. It is a place where everyone should feel physically and emotionally safe. It should be an anchor and an escape from any adverse personal life situations that may afflict an employee. Employees need to be free to excel and to be invigorated by being of value and by creating value.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Protecting my dedicated and high-performing employees from underperformers and negative personalities. I view underperformance and negativity as psychological theft. It is a conscious decision of the perpetrator to burden another and, by extension, place themselves above another. High performers often get taken advantage of. If they are a high performer at work, they are probably a high performer at home, and they are probably used to carrying more than their share, so they will often take on the responsibility of others in the workplace. To be part of a high-functioning team is a privilege and an honor. It is the responsibility of the leader to be the “bad” guy when necessary. If you cannot protect your employees, then you should not be a leader.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Think of your company as an independent living thing. Do not be the company. Be the company’s best friend and closest confidant; create an objective and purpose for your company beyond yourself. Be of service. Create a core team of people that inherently already share your philosophy and trust them to perpetuate this philosophy through new hires and training and mentorship. Human resource capital is the only true value of any company. Build it. Protect it. With the right team, a company can do anything.
Where can people find you and your business?
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