Focusing on a specific niche market can often be the best business strategy to better establish a brand and “know your customers.” With decades of entrepreneurial experience, Yaron Rappaport believes the secret sauce of his business success is in identifying the “riches in niches.” This helped him in understanding thoroughly the market needs, knowing the competitors, learning what service providers want, and on the whole, gaining a decent perspective of the industry.
“I’ve found that unless you are a ‘super-manager’ (I’m not), you’d better gain domain expertise in the narrowest field you plan to work in,” says Yaron, CEO and Founder of Bone Sci. Bio Ltd. Having built four successful ventures in different fields, Yaron has in fact cultivated a remarkable ability to overlook a project strategically to understand the “big picture” and make decisions in real time. “Once I identify a core factor that is key to success at a certain point, I’d spend much of my time and resources to become as much as an expert in it as I could be.”
Being an avid learner by nature, Yaron first made it a point to explore the life science market before founding Bone Sci. Bio Ltd—an Israeli biomed company that develops novel bone therapy solutions for unmet needs in dentistry, orthopedics, osteoporosis and oncology. “I was relatively a ‘new comer’ to the life science sector. However, once the basics seem to be clear enough, I found advantages in not being captured to conceptions which often could be wrong or at least inaccurate.”
Meeting the Unmet
Exploring the niche field of bone health, Yaron and his team identified a serious challenge faced by patients undergoing dental implants. Evidently, one-third of such patients develop peri-implantitis, a destructive inflammatory process affecting the hard tissues surrounding dental implants. Bone Sci’s flagship product, PeptOss is a drug-device combination that offers two major benefits in a single easy-to-use solution: on one hand, PeptOss is a superior bone regeneration facilitator and, concurrently, it delivers a high dose drug directly to a bone defect, over a few weeks. Following a thorough assessment of potential indications, we have been convinced to begin with peri-implantitis, the unmet need which many experts identify as ‘a time bomb in today’s dentistry’,” says Yaron.
PeptOss, invented by Prof. Hanna Rapaport, the Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, comprises a short, proprietary peptide, PFD5 that mimics certain proteins of the bone extracellular matrix. PFD5 self-assembles as a hydrogel and together with calcium phosphate particles, induces biomineralization of hydroxyapatite, an essential ingredient that gives bones their rigidity. “PeptOss represents a paradigm shift in the treatment of a variety of localized medical conditions in the skeleton system, including infection, pain, inflammation, compromised bone quality and cancer.”
A Holistic Approach
Not familiar with shortcuts to success, Yaron and his team look at a medical need as a whole and try to figure out the best rational solution. “We realized that often, the solution to a certain need should be multi-disciplinary, involving a medical device, a drug and even biologics. Meanwhile, regulatory-wise, such complicated solution could be extremely challenging. But, combination products will be more popular in the future, as new conceptual technologies become available,” he opines. To be more specific, for Yaron, there is almost no “impossible”. Instead, he looks at every challenge as rationally as possible, trying to stay away from myths of any kind. With a bold and holistic approach, Yaron is determined to make a difference in bone therapy in the coming years.