Kathleen Callender, a hands-on healthcare practitioner with 35 years of experience, was aware that the World Health Organization (“WHO”) was searching for a low-cost alternative to needle-syringe use for their UNICEF vaccine programs. Their search was driven by evidence that 40-70% of needles were being re-used in many developing world countries and the concern about the resulting 20 blood borne pathogens transmitted from person to person. (Each year unsafe injections cause 1.3 million early deaths and 26 million years loss of life).
Kathy had personally experienced needle-stick injury (a profound problem in the developed and developing world), and had worked in developing world healthcare environments where she witnessed needle re-use first-hand. Passionate about developing a technology that would eliminate needle-stick, needle-re-use, and the dirty sharps in healthcare environments, she sought to develop the technology into a business and raise capital.
Kathleen’s daughter, Heather Callender-Potters spent 20 years in Eastern Europe, primarily investing in and helping to develop early stage and start-up businesses, mostly in emerging markets. Together, Kathleen and Heather formed PharmaJet in mid-2005, based on a prototype needle-free device.