By Kathryn Finegan Clark
Amy and Sanjay Batra, a couple joined by both science and marriage, clearly are as creative with their spelling as they have been in their careers in the pharmaceutical industry.
They named their company WeThrivv, and it is busily marketing two products, one involved with facial aesthetics and another meant for hair growth. Meanwhile, they are developing others.
Not only does the company follow a dual business model, it also is a family firm, with their four children working on and off with them on different projects.
Amy created Maskad Face Masks used by dermatologists to help patients feel more comfortable after certain procedures. The masks, which conform to a patient’s face, also can deliver topical ingredients such as plasma.
Sanjay’s product is REVIVV, a topical hair serum that enhances the thickness and improves the appearance of a person’s hair. It uses a formula that was originally created by others for a different purpose.
WeThrivv is one of the more than 80 companies comprising the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC), a life sciences incubator, in Buckingham Township. While most of the member companies are involved only in research and development, WeThrivv already has products on the market and has set up two-pronged marketing with one channel directed to physicians and another to consumers.
The husband-and-wife team brings complementary expertise to the joint enterprise and it works for both of them. They are happy to share both their personal and their business lives. “We love working with our kids,” Amy said. Their daughter, Jaya, for example, who wants to be a doctor, has worked in the company’s lab, she added.
Amy explained it this way: “Our skill sets really complement each other’s and we challenge ourselves to be innovative and develop brands that will stand the test of time.”
Her husband added, “I love what I do, and working with Amy creates an amazing environment to have fun and create great products for our customers.”
Both Sanjay and Amy have impressive backgrounds. He, an expert in drug development, earned his doctorate in medical physiology at the University of Ottawa and completed post-doctoral training in Japan and Switzerland. A fellow of the American College of Cardiology, he is an adjunct professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Sanjay has 25 years of global health care and entrepreneurial experience in startups, biotech and big pharma, including 10 years at Johnson & Johnson, finally as vice president of R&D Pharmaceuticals, Asia-Pacific and Japan. He has been involved in more than 80 clinical trials in all phases of development.
Amy, who worked in sales, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing with honors from Temple University. Before going into business about 10 years ago with Sanjay, she worked for 20 years for startup companies and big pharma including Bausch & Lomb, Sanofi Aventis, Merz and Johnson & Johnson. Her expertise includes aesthetics, dermatology, regenerative and functional medicine in roles ranging from sales professional to management.
VIAS Partners, WeThrivv’s sister company, came to PABC five years ago. The company focuses on regenerative medicine, particularly technologies based on platelet-rich plasma. That’s Sanjay’s core expertise, and VIAS consults with biotech companies worldwide.
Sanjay said he is currently working with Greene Street Pharmaceutical, also a PABC member, on three transdermal patches, one to deliver non-prescription products for pain relief, another for sleep aid and a third for general wellness.
Louis B. Kassa III, PABC president, said he believes Sanjay’s “sharply focused approach” to the biotech industry accounts for his success. “Sanjay is a collaborator and knows how to connect the dots. He’s very disciplined in his process and knows what it takes to get a company over the finish line. He sticks to his principles and his core values.”
In the spring, WeThrivv was one of five companies to receive a Bucks Built Startup Fund investment of $25,000 from the Bucks County Industrial Development Authority along with a year of consulting services with Startup Bucks.