Dayton innovators: Local man helps patients easily consume medicine

Editors note: We’re introducing you to Dayton-area innovators and patent-holders, those who roll up their sleeves and demonstrate that the region remains a cradle of creativity.

Joe D’Silva, founder of P & C Pharma in Washington Twp., has worked for large pharmaceutical companies nearly all of his career — and always in research and development.

“So it comes natural to think about new things,” D’Silva said.

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Along the way, he has noticed particular problems: How patients consume medicine — or struggle to.

“There is a group of people who can’t take tablets,” he said. “Older and elderly people, if you have Parkinson’s disease, swallowing disorders, pediatrics.”

Sometimes commercial products meet those needs. But sometimes they don’t.

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The problem fascinated D’Silva. Medicine does not benefit patients unless they can somehow take it.

He devised a way to blend medicines into a liquid blend that can be easily swallowed — and at what he calls a reasonable cost.

“I don’t want to come up with something that adds to the burden that’s already there in health care,” D’Silva said. “So in some respects, I have kind of cross-fertilized myself by looking at other industries.”

A former resident of Philadelphia, he noticed how nurses and nurse aides crush tablets. He also looked at certain industrial process, called wet-milling, steeping a material in water to soften it.

He reversed-engineered and shrunk that process to develop his own innovation. He places medicine in a bottle shaped with sharp inner ribs and filled with water. The bottle is placed in a rotary device and spun vigorously — “milling” the medicine.

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The result is a liquid blend that should be easy for patients to swallow.

D’Silva could not really get traction with his idea until he came to Dayton, after spending time in Columbus and elsewhere. Roger Edwards, entrepreneur in residence for Accelerant, a private venture capital program associated with the Dayton Development Coalition, has performed due diligence on P & C Pharma with an eye toward a possible investment.

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Whatever happens with his venture, D’Silva is adamant about one point: The Dayton area is now home.

In fact, he calls basing the company in the Dayton area “non-negotiable.”

“I think this area has something special for people like me,” he said.

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