Brian & Lupe: Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.
Lupe: My name is Lupe.
Brian: And this is Brian. And today we had a guest on the show for you. His name is Leo Pranitis. And he is the General Manager at… Now I’m going to mispronounce this name. I tell you what, Leo, why don’t you pronounce the name of the company and the product we’re going to talk about tonight?
Leo: Absolutely. I’m more than happy to do that. The name of the company is Prisyna. And I don’t blame you for handing that one over to me, Brian. And um, and the name of the product that we’re going to talk about this evening is Moisyn, our new dry mouth product.
Brian: See, and I would have gotten Moisyn correct, because we’ve been talking about it for the last couple of weeks. But for some reason I looked at the company name and said, you know, I’m not even going to try.
Leo: I don’t blame you.
Brian: We actually met Leo at the Sjogren’s Walk in L.A., oh about 5-6 weeks ago now. And he and an assistant were handing out samples of Moisyn, the mouth oral rinse and a spray. And we got to talking about it because as everyone’s aware with Sjogren’s, dry mouth is an issue. And having these samples in our possession Lupe, uh, started utilizing it religiously about a week ago religiously?
Lupe: Yes, religiously yes. I’ve been using it, but not religiously until about a week ago.
Brian: Yeah. So we’ve got a good seven days of consistence. Twice a day use with the rinse and on and off throughout the day with the spray, correct?
Lupe: Correct. That’s correct.
Brian: Awesome. So we wanted to invite Leo on the show so, you know, he can pronounce the name of his company and product correctly for you, since I can’t.
Leo: I’m happy to do that.
Brian: All right. Leo, why don’t you tell us, about Moisyn.
Leo: Sure. Well, Moisyn is a very, very unique product in the marketplace. And I’m sure you hear that every day. But I’m hoping that as we talk, you’ll realize that what I’m saying is actually true. And it is quite unique. We’ve developed this product to specifically to relieve dry mouth symptoms. And we use lubricants and other items, in order to hydrate and soothe the irritated oral surfaces that come from that dry mouth – come from Xerostomia.
Leo: What makes our product a little bit more unique, in one regard, is that we believe that patients will also experience a cleaner and fresher oral environment, due to the molecule that we have integrated into our chemistry, which I’m sure that will have an opportunity to talk about that further. But the product is already clinically proven. We did a study with Dr Joel Epstein, 57 patients. And we found we were able to achieve some remarkable results. But in summary, the product will moisturize and surfaces. It will also clean the mouth and freshen the breath.
Leo: It’s a very soothing, has a mild flavor. It’s a very balanced, neutral Ph. And I think one of the other interesting aspects to it, that I hope we can talk about, is how the ingredients are naturally derived. And really free of a lot of harsh chemicals and other things that you see in many of the products on the market today. Not just in dry mouth but in oral rinses in general. And so there’s a brief overview for you with our product. And as you now, we have it available as a rinse and as a spray, as well. Which is what we are giving out at the Sjogren’s Walk when we all met.
Brian: Right. And we’ve been using both. And when I say we, I’ve actually tried the product myself. And to be completely honest, at 4:30 I used the rinse, and I am still over salivating. But I’m not the one with Sjogren’s. But it works. It is making me produce more saliva then I’m used to, which is interesting to me. I mean, proof of concept. I tried it, it is working. Um, and I have tried it about 3-4 different occasions in the last few weeks, And, I mean, it’s again making me produce saliva. So…
Leo: That’s great! I’m happy to hear that.
Lupe: So, Leo was designed to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth or was it discovered to relieve these symptoms?
Leo: Yeah, that’s a good question. We designed this product, Moisyn, specifically for this situation. To relieve dry mouth symptoms. It’s not something that, you know, if I understand the context of the question… it’s not something that we sort of came across, as we were doing something else. We actually developed this product specifically to address dry mouth. If I may, and Brian tell me if I’m off topic, but the company Prisyna is a division of another company called Synedgen. Synedgen was the originator of this core molecule, that we use in our Moisyn product. And also in our Synedgen daily oral rinses. We take this core molecule and we purpose it for a variety of aspects. And were doing it… Synedgen is doing it across a variety of other medical needs, as well.
Leo: Anywhere that we can address, either a dysfunctioning or nonfunctioning mucosal surface. And work to restore that function back with this molecule, that we’ve created. Then we believe there’s a purpose for us to develop a business around it. And Prisyna, fortunately for me, Prisyna is our oral rinse division. And that division is farther along. And so that’s why we’re at commercial level. Some of the other businesses are not quite there yet. But that’s a little bit of background for you. So, long answer to a short question, Lupe. We did develop this product, Moisyn is developed specifically for, this.
Brian: Is the mission of the company mainly focused on oral hygiene?
Leo: So, certainly Prisyna is. Prisyna is an oral health care company. We are about, all about oral wellness. And we have the daily oral rinse and then we have Moisyn. But we certainly, as you could expect, we do have other products in the pipeline slated for release over the next few years. That will also address other circumstances and other needs within oral wellness. And specifically, what I mean is products that are geared toward more extreme conditions or mucositis, things like that. And also, then, building out the product line around Moisyn and a dance in terms of other delivery options for this product.
Lupe: So, are you guys going to develop a tooth paste also?
Leo: Well, it’s certainly a very strong possibility. It’s a very, very strong possibility. I’m not trying to be glib. I’m saying it that way because I don’t have one to show you a picture of right now. But I would say, um, you know, as we build out the portfolio, we have to balance the needs of the business in terms of what we can develop. And how we can also differentiate in that space. And so if we believe that we can take this molecule and differentiate within the toothpaste space, then you could expect that we would bring one to market.
Lupe: Yeah, that would actually be awesome. What are the active ingredients in this product?
Leo: Yeah. So that’s great. I’m so glad you asked because now we can get into the nitty gritty. Right? We can talk a little bit about the molecule. This molecule that I had been talking about. That I’ve mentioned a number of times since we started talking. And um, you know, you have to be careful, right? This is recorded. We’re going to put this out and a lot of different people will hear it. And so, there are certain phrases and words and things that you can say and things you can’t say. Because, you know, Moisyn – we went through the FDA approval process. And so we have specific claims that we can make. You have to be careful about the words active ingredients.
Leo: And I think what you’re asking, correct me if I’m wrong… I think what you’re asking is what’s important about our formulation, about our chemistry that makes us unique. And, so, I’ll answer it that way. And then you can tell me….
Lupe: That’s correct! That was my question. I guess I just…
Leo: Yeah. Okay. Great. And so, our core molecule consists of two main components. The first component is our Arginine. Arginine is widely known as an amino acid – it’s found in the body. But the beauty of Arginine… the beauty of integrating Argentine into any molecular structure is twofold, primarily twofold. First of all, it has a positive charge. And mucosal surfaces have a negative charge. And the beauty of having something that as a positive charge is that, it’s inclined to attract to a negative charge. And in this case, the mucosal surface, and stick around. And, so that’s one aspect of arginine that’s really, really important. The other aspect of it is that our Arginine… it does a great job in balancing the Ph. And never is it more important to balance the Ph than it is, or I shouldn’t say never, but it’s very important to balance the Ph in the oral environment. Because once the Ph gets out of balance, then you are essentially setting up shop and inviting all sorts of other deleterious things to happen.
Leo: And so Arginine does those two things really, really well. Now, the other component, so that’s the first one. And the other main component a key component is Chitosan And when I say Chitosan you may be thinking in your head that that starts with a k and it actually starts with a ch. It’s, c h I t o s a n, Chitosan. And Chitosan in various forms has been widely researched and widely known for nearly 100 years now, for certain characteristics. And those characteristics look a little bit like… they have a capability to aggregate debris and pull it together. Chitosan in other uses has demonstrated activity in supporting wound healing. And in our case, we take Chitosan, which is derived from the shells of shrimp. And we bring it into our facility and we utilize a patented and proprietary process, that allows our Chitosan… our synthesized Chitosan to reduce the bacterial binding to tissues. And protect mucosal surfaces. And restore function, restore healthy function back to the mucosal surface.
Leo: There’s another aspect that’s really interesting about Chitosan and, and that it is, um, it is uniquely built to absorb. Or, I should say, to invite moisture. And so you’ve got this… If I put it all together, you’ve got Arginine, that as a positive charge, brings things to the mucosal surface, which is a negative charge. It also balances the Ph. And in our case it’s bringing Chitosan, which is clarifying and purifying. And it’s also attracting moisture.
Leo: And so if you can imagine in the case of either a daily oral rinse where you’ve got this clarifying purifying aspect, that is Ph balance. And then when you dial up this molecule that is attracting moisture. And also attaching itself to the mucosal surface through the positive charge. And balancing the Ph while it’s there… You can see this is a very sophisticated science that we have brought to oral wellness. Very, very sophisticated. And we’re take this same molecule at our parent company level… we take the same concept in this same molecular, innovation… Novel innovation and we apply it to other businesses. Other, I shouldn’t say well, other businesses, yes, but other industries I should say in the medical field. Such as wound care and nasal care. And lung care and GI. It can and will have purposes across all of those areas. And so you can see obviously I’m very passionate about it. You can tell that. Hopefully you can.
Lupe: I can, yes.
Leo: Yep. Um, but it’s also, it’s a great story to tell. Because this is a naturally derived story that is based on real science. And is now, in our case, is also clinically proven, as well. And so, I’ll park there. There’s probably some questions around that. But, um, that’s the core essence of this novel innovation that we’re bringing to oral health care.
Brian: Let’s see, in eighth grade biology I killed the goldfish. And I’m very happy there are smarter people than me out there working in a lab, coming up in such a cool product.
Leo: Me too.
Brian: So, I understand some of the basic science there, but I mean it’s definitely over my head. But it’s a cool product that… I mean, just the way I’ve experienced it so far. I’m like, okay, this has to help. Now, we understand that everybody’s body is different and reacts differently. And the severity of the damage to salivary glands, depending on how long you’ve had Sjogren’s and how well you’re taking care of and treating your Sjogren’s. What are some of the average responses you had during the clinical trial and then maybe with testimonials after the fact
Leo: Right. So, we’ve had a couple of interesting events that have occurred. One, is that of course with the clinical study that I had mentioned earlier, that was with 57 patients. That study has been published now in the publication, oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology or radiology, which qualifies as one of the longest names of any publication in that study. And that clinical study… patients were using. Moisyn. They were using the rinse in the mornings and then before bedtime at night. And they were using the mist – the spray, as needed as they felt they needed. But some of the, um, some of the interesting symptoms that were treated, included a reduced dry mouth, reduced mouth pain, improved ability to sleep, improved sense of taste. 84% of the users would use it again. 81% had at least 30 minutes or longer. There was also a 30% decrease in pain affecting sleep.
Leo: Another interesting data point, we had a 100% improvement in whole unstimulated, in other words, resting saliva. And so, um, you know, this, speaks to this aspect of the Argentine bringing the Chitosan to the surface. The Chitosan bringing moisture to the surface. And doing it in a very Ph balanced way. And especially when you start thinking about pain. You know, pain that occurs from dryness around sleep, you know. That can be particularly debilitating as, you know. And so we felt that was obviously… those are very… I was gonna use the word encouraging, but I think it’s more than encouraging. Right?
Leo: Those are, those are great data points. Those are really great points. Now when you get into surveying… So we have had, we did an event – attended an event in New York City. The Sjogren’s Foundation had an all-day session and we had a table there and I got a chance to speak to probably over 100 people, that were suffering from Sjogren’s. And we gave away a lot of samples that day. At that point we’d only have the missed available.
Leo: And so, we reached out to many of the people who received the midst and we were able to get 19 people that agreed, after using it for a week, to come back and give us some survey points. And we were able to get some interesting things. 79% t of the users would recommend the product. We were seeing comments that suggested relief, for some. And I, you know, it’s important to be honest, right? For some up as much as 4 hours of relief, which we know is pretty significant. And so, you know, we’ve been very encouraged and, when we get these types of things that happened and were able to speak to people that have been able to receive relief, it energizes us. It’s very energizing and gratifying to be able to do that. And so those are some data points that I think are, are important for us.
Brian: Those data points… I think I read that in the study when I was doing a little bit of research prior to this. Just the fact that, that many people would recommend the product I thought was really, you know, a cool data point. So congratulations on that one.
Leo: I’ll tell you a story, and you can take it for what it’s worth. Our stories are just that… they’re, you know, they’re anecdotes. I think it’s a good one. Um, and actually I’ve had this happen a couple of times, but when I first started with the company, which has only been since since April now. Uh, within the first week I received more than one phone call. And the phone calls and we’re very, um, they were very specific. And they were very heartfelt. And it was patients. Patients who had taken part in the study, in the Epstein study. And when they were taking part in the Epstein study, they were using moisten. And the product had not yet been cleared for use. It was all done under IRB and, and other, uh, you know, all the other legal aspects that have to be taken care of.
Leo: And so, we um, you know, we did the study and of course we didn’t launch the product until the spring. And so there was a pretty good timeframe there where patients who were in the study, tried the product, got relief and then couldn’t get it. And uh, and within my first week in the job I got more than one phone call, a couple, in fact, of people that were saying, I need this. I can’t… I’ve tried everything. I was in the study, I was so happy. And then you took it away. And I said, I’m really sorry it’s not available yet, but it will be soon. And I’ve spoken personally with those people since then and made sure that they got some product to get them started. But you know, when you hear that, you know…
Brian: Oh yeah! That’s gotta feel… that’s gotta make you feel real good. Not sure if it was on the website or in some of the materials I read… I understand that there is a sugar based carb in the product. How, if that is true? If I’m not misunderstanding the documentation, what effects does that have on the health of the teeth?
Leo: Yeah, I mean… It’s a very interesting question. You know, I can tell you that we don’t use the term sugar based carb or carbohydrates anywhere within the organization. Polysaccharide I think is really, you know, that’s the term. Because Glycol Comix, if you look at Synogen, which is our parent company, you know, they are committed to the study of glycol mix, which is the study of complex sugar structures, that exist within the body. And so, when you look at the organic compounds, right? Carbohydrate is a group of organic compounds consisting of carbon and nitrogen and oxygen and those things. But uh, and sugars are found in a variety of forms. You know, there’s the sugar, we put it in our coffee. And then there’s the complex sugar structures that are sitting on cell structure on our body in the tissue structures.
Leo: And those two are very, very different things. And so, the study and the work that we’re doing is around developing… is around studying glycol mix. Or the study of complex sugars. And then taking these uh, naturally derived, biocompatible polysaccharides that exist in nature and fine tuning them via this molecule, that I described earlier, in order to do the job that it has to do. And so, um, you know, while I think, people like myself, right, who are not – I’m not a scientist, you know, While I would hear these words like, you know, carbohydrate or sugar, I might think something that is at a macro level that you find in food, when in fact, you know, these are, these are molecular structures and are designed to do very specific things at a molecular level. Does that, does that make sense?
Brian: It does.
Leo: Good question.
Lupe: I have a questions… is this product for sale at stores yet?
Leo: We sell the product on our website and on Amazon. The product is available on Amazon, as well. Should we sell it in local stores? I think we should. Have we contemplated that? You bet we have. Has worked, been put forth in order to get us there yet? Not a lot. But I do… I do envision a day down the road where this product would be available at a retail level. Either, in a regional, a small scale or large scale, a boutique scale. Not sure yet. Um, I think it deserves that. I believe it deserves that. I believe it’s that unique. I believe at that special. I’m that confident in our intellectual property. And I think that it certainly deserves that, based on how well it can work and what we can bring to people.
Lupe: Absolutely. I was just, you know, I just asked because I’ve never seen it in stores. That’s why.
Leo: Right, right. Yeah. It’s not just not sitting next to Biotene yet,
Leo: But I can envision a day when it might be.
Brian: It’s relatively new. You guys launched September of this year, correct?
Leo: Yeah. The, the rinse was launched so that the missed the spray was launched in June and that was kind of a soft launch is sort of a limited launch because we knew that the rent’s really was the product that, that real sufferers would be using every day and the rents. You’re absolutely right. The ranch was then introduced in September. So yeah, we’re, we’re early on in this, but boy, we’ve been incredibly busy. It’s been great.
Lupe: That’s good. That’s awesome. That’s a good problem. Not a problem, but you know what I mean?
Leo: It’s a good problem to have.
Lupe: Or rheumatologist or dentists being provided with samples for patients?
Leo: Yes, we’re doing quite a bit of sampling within the dental community, right now. Um, I’ll be more specific… We’re working very closely with the hygiene community. Because the hygiene communities, you know, for obvious reasons, the hygiene community, it really owns much of the conversation with the daily patient. And they see a lot of these symptoms earlier than say the practicing dentists does. And so we’re spending a lot of time with the hygiene community in particular. And dry mouth and arginine and ph balance. All of topics are widespread and popular topics within the hygiene community and within the hygiene thought leadership. So spending a lot of time there. And we’re being pretty liberal with samples within that community. Rheumatology, in particular, is an area that we have not yet penetrated. I’m actually going to a rheumatology meeting later this week for the first time and so I’m doing some fact finding and some discovery.
Leo: We do have connections to the Rheumatology field obviously, through Sjogren’s, but also some of our board members. We have a cardiologist on our board and he has connections through it in the rheumatology field, as well. And so I do expect that we’ll be growing our presence within that space down the road, as well.
Leo: We do spend… primarily in for 2019, our focus is going to be around hygiene and certainly focusing with the Sjogren’s community. I do feel as though with Sjogren’s, if we can show some significant benefit to this group, this community in particular, then that says a lot about our capability of our product. And so you know, we’re putting our money where our mouth is, right? I guess is what they say, no pun intended there. But I think it’s, um, it’s a really important community for us, the Sjogren’s community. And we’re um, you know, as evidenced by the fact of our corporate sponsors, I met you guys at the event. And we plan on doing a lot more of those events. And so, rheumatology is going to be an important, area for us as well. Just haven’t, haven’t penetrated there yet.
Brian: I don’t know. I think my wife’s had dental freak because she’s there like every two months.
Lupe: He called me a freak earlier too.
Brian: I got to be in a lot of pain to go see a dentist for the most part.
Lupe: Preventive care.
Leo: Gotta go twice a year. Gotta go twice a year, man, at least. I go three times a year.
Lupe: See, he’s just like me.
Brian: I think I was traumatized as a child at the dentist or something. I’ve got some suppressed memories because… I mean, and I share with people. I was a Marine. I’ve spent time as a correctional officer. I’ve had no problem, you know, swinging and fighting if need be. But going to… I’m visibly shaking and just anxiety. When that topic comes up. So, I don’t know what it is.
Leo: Well, I don’t know what to say other than the research out there suggests that you should get your teeth cleaned at least a couple times a year. And when you do that, then they’ll be able to diagnose other things that may be emerging. And they can nip those in the bud long before they become a bigger problem. And I’m sure would… is appreciating everything I’m saying.
Lupe: Absolutely. PREVENTIVE CARE. I go three, sometimes four and he calls me a freak.
Brian: She’s a freak.
Lupe: That was even before I knew I had Sjogren’s.
Lupe: A clean mouth, you know, that’s the gateway to everything that’s good. That’s good, Brian.
Brian: You saw the links I provided in the that email. Are there any links you’d like me to provide that aren’t present in that document?
Leo: Well, we certainly have our website and as I mentioned, you can learn more about our company. Be advised though, for any of our listeners and for the two of you as well, that our website is about to undergo a pretty big overhaul. And I think between now and at the end of the… before the end of the year is up, you can expect to see a completely new and revised website experience, which I could not be more excited about. It’s been a lot of sleepless nights and it’s a lot of work, but I couldn’t be more excited about it. And so I would… if anybody’s listening to this and they happen to go to our website, you know, soon and they may not see the new website. So, please come back and visit us often. Um, you’ve noted that we have a Facebook presence and an Instagram presence and um, and Twitter, which feeds from those.
Leo: Um, we do have a LinkedIn page and we do post things that are new, there on LinkedIn. I typically will post those things and repost those things myself on my LinkedIn presence. And so, uh, you can catch those on either one. I would urge anybody who’s listening to jump in on those and look at the conversation that we’re trying to conduct. But I think, you know, Instagram and Facebook… we’re quite, on those and we’re going to continue to provide not just, you know… these are not just promotional vehicles. These are educational and informational vehicles. Not only about ourselves but about the world that we’re in. And so I would urge people to check them out and follow us and you have my commitment that we’re going to continue to build those and nurture those and foster those so that we have…. So we have a really good experience for everybody who visits us. And so yes, I think those links are good. Um, and you can find us there. Thank you for doing that.
Brian: You know, the whole motivation for us doing this is to bring information to people. And stay away from the negativity. And focus on the positivity. And even though you’re living with Sjogren’s, you can still live Sjogren’s Strong. So…
Leo: That’s great.
Brian: That’s what we’re all about. Well, any parting words that you’d like to leave with the listeners?
Leo: Well, I think before I talked to the listeners, Brian, I gotta just remind you… get to the dentist, man. I’ll pick you up, Lupe. Then, we’ll pick him up together. And then we’ll take in there and we’ll get this taken care of. But um, I appreciate you letting me come into your house and join you on this podcast. I commend you tremendously for doing that in a positive way. Brian, I think we’re just, we just put the finishing touches on Veteran’s Day and so thank you for that, as well.
Brian: Of course.
Leo: Yeah, you know, that’s an important consideration, as well. Because we’re talking to you today and yesterday was Veteran’s Day, And I just want everybody to know that, our organization, a Prisyna… we are dedicated to talking to people. We are dedicated to learning what people are wrestling with. And we know that if we do that, then we’re going to make a better product. We’re going to put together a better message. We’re going to be more connected to our audience. And I think that’s what it’s all about these days… is being able to have that connection and understand that everybody’s different. Everybody’s circumstances are a little bit different. But boy, I certainly hope if nothing else comes out of this, that everybody’s hurt my passion for this technology and the science and for what it is we’re trying to do. And I appreciate you very much for giving me the opportunity to do that.
Lupe: We can hear your passion. Definitely.
Leo: Good. That’s good. I’m glad to hear it.
Brian: We kinda have the same thoughts on social media, that it’s not just a vehicle for sharing my half eaten plate of food.
Leo: That’s right.
Brian: But one that can be utilized to share experiences and learn from one another. And break down some of the walls that are up. So to all of our listeners, we encourage you to at least go check out a Prisya and Moisyn. This is not a sponsored episode. Again, we met at a Sjogren’s Walk, and he was kind enough to leave some samples with us that we tried and we thought we’d share these experiences with you. So, give them a look, if you’re dealing with dry mouth or looking for a dry mouth product or maybe want to try a new dry mouth product, give it a try.
Leo: Thank you.
Leo on LinkedIn
Management of dry mouth: assessment of oral symptoms after use of a polysaccharide-based oral rinse.