A neuroscientist and some grape skins vs. the pharmaceutical industry.
Room for Improvement
In late 2017, NPR aired a two-minute segment on the science behind our new pain cream. It became such a popular segment that it left our customers hungry for more detail. So by popular demand and for the first time ever, here’s part 11 of an 11-part story on the discovery and creation of Ted’s Pain Cream. To read from the beginning, click here.
The other important finding from the surveys: not everyone was a fan of the smell of wintergreen (that’s even more true for migraine sufferers, who often have scent triggers). So they began to work on a new gel formulation, with a different active ingredient (but still, of course, containing resveratrol). It would be many months before it was ready to launch, so in the meantime, they continued to push their research, while having some fun finding new ways to reach more customers.
They debuted an Internet ad featuring Greg, in which he pretended he was harboring secret resentment over his name being left off the product. The ad was a hit, and went on to win some advertising awards (it was even written up in Adweek).
Eventually, the gel was ready. Ted and Greg settled on an active ingredient called Trolamine Salicylate, which is a similar compound to wintergreen oil, with the important distinction that it has no odor at all. When it finally debuted, the gel was met with strong sales and glowing reviews (even more glowing than the cream, it turned out.)
So what’s next?
Ted and Greg continue to study pain in the lab. After their initial work on resveratrol, they also discovered that males and females actually experience pain differently at the cellular level, a surprising but compelling finding that they continue to publish work on. And they’ve published peer-reviewed work showing certain immune cells play a really important role in promoting chronic pain in male mice and humans but that these chronic pain mechanisms appear to be completely different in females. A big area of current focus is figuring out how pain becomes chronic in females with a special attention to migraine and neuropathic pain.
They continue to take pride in their students, using revenue from Ted’s Brain Science Products to support stand-out neuroscience students. Students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to present their work at important international science conferences.
As for the company they built, the team at Ted’s Brain Science Products are hard at work trying to spread the word of this deceptively simple new solution to chronic pain. They hope to continue growing until they have enough income set aside to fund a slow, expensive clinical trial on their own. A possibility that would open the door to even more novel ways to treat previously untreatable pain.
And that’s where the story ends for now. Looking back, Ted wonders if starting this company may end up touching more lives than he ever guessed. “We get letters every day. We just got one from a cancer patient with severe neuropathy, expressing that Ted’s Pain Gel was finally the one treatment that actually gave her relief,” recounts Dr. Price. “It’s such a gratifying feeling to see your work make a real difference in people’s lives. It definitely keeps us pushing forward.”