Guadalupe Hayes-Mota of Healr Solutions
Having been unable to obtain access to treatment for haemophilia as a child, Guadalupe Hayes-Mota was determined from a young age that he would dedicate his life to finding a solution. His business, Healr Solutions, is committed to improving biopharmaceutical supply chains in a bid to increase access to life-saving treatments for all
RARE entrepreneur series: meeting the beating hearts behind the RARE brands
Healr Solutions is a company developing technology to connect biopharmaceutical supply chains to speed up the production and distribution of treatments to patients globally, specializing in treatments for rare diseases and other conditions.
What was the driving force in starting your own business in the rare disease space? Was there an unmet need you were responding to?
I was born and raised in Mexico and diagnosed with haemophilia, a rare bleeding disorder. Because of broken supply chains in Mexico, I could not receive the treatment I needed to live a sustainable life. The inability to get access to treatment jeopardised my life and resulted in me ending up in the hospital for many months. Miraculously, I survived my childhood without the treatment. I am an exception, as in developing countries, haemophiliacs who do not get treatment, on average, live until ten years old.
Because of my experience, I made it my life’s mission to make sure patients receive the treatments they need to survive and thrive, so they do not suffer like I did. I founded Healr Solutions out of a commitment to this mission. It focuses on creating better supply chains for rare disease patients and other conditions.
Why supply chains? In recent years, the COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted how the supply chains in the biopharmaceutical space are weak and can be easily disrupted by major unforeseen events. An unreliable supply chain means patients are at higher risk of not receiving the medicine their lives depend on. I created Healr Solutions in response to this problem. We are developing technology to make more robust supply chains within biopharmaceutical companies that manufacture and deliver life-saving drugs for rare disease patients. And we are speeding up the process and decreasing the time it takes to manufacture and deliver patients’ treatments.
How does your business benefit the rare disease community?
Healr Solutions works with biopharmaceuticals to create more robust supply chains. We strive to make faster and more reliable production and distribution of medical treatments. On the patient side, the impact is quite tangible: more robust supply chains translate to greater assurance for patients with rare diseases that they will get the vital treatments they need, when they need them, even when the economy is suffering severe disruptions. My hope is that others do not have to experience what I did as a child living with a rare disease in Mexico.
What advice, if any, did you get when setting up your business? Has there been anyone in particular who has been pivotal in supporting your business?
I received the best advice on how to set up my business from Professor Bill Aulet during my MBA studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He suggested that when starting your business, ensure you understand the problem you are trying to solve. Understanding all the ins and outs of the problem is essential, so that when you create a solution, it will be the most effective way to solve that problem for the customer.
My husband has been pivotal in supporting me as I launch this business and has given me great advice. I also depended on my mentors to help me think through the product solutions and the company’s creation.
How do you manage the demands of running a business with your own health needs, those of someone you care for, or those of your employees?
Finding a balance between my health needs as a rare disease patient and the demands of running a business is challenging. I have set up support systems to help me through health emergencies when they arise. My support network is composed of friends, family, and mentors. When a problem comes to the surface, I depend on my friends, family, and mentors to provide me with their time, expertise, and resources to ensure I, and my business, remain healthy.
What advice do you have for someone starting their own business?
My advice for someone starting their own business is to look carefully for a problem impacting you individually, as a member of the rare disease community, or some wider part of the community. Study it carefully, and only after you have understood the problem try to create a solution that would solve that problem. Spend most of your time understanding the problem; if you know your situation well, your solution for the patient will be much more impactful and powerful.
What are the most rewarding aspects of establishing and running your own business?
I find tremendous joy in knowing that I have an impact on the lives of those with rare diseases every day by helping them get the treatment they need to survive and lead worthwhile lives. There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing that your work is changing lives.
What would you consider to be the greatest achievements of your business thus far?
Our major success is, hands down, our ability to make sure our patients get their medication faster and that the drugs do not run out. Healr Solutions has engineered technology that has connected supply chains in manufacturing and distribution for rare disease treatments in the major pharmaceutical companies. The solutions developed by the Healr Solutions team speed up the time patients receive their medicines globally in 45 countries.
What advice would you give someone considering working in the rare disease space?
When working in the rare disease space, knowing how many disparities exist in the community is essential. There exist significant disparities in treatment and provider access. Understanding these disparities and significant obstacles rare disease patients experience navigating the healthcare system and receiving their medicines can be very helpful in thinking of new innovative solutions. Just keep in mind that at the end of the day, your work will impact the lives of rare disease patients who need your help.
What are your hopes for the future of your business?
The strategy for Healr Solutions is to continue developing new technology to accelerate the manufacturing and delivery of medicines in the rare disease space and treatments at large. We are a patient-centred company. So, while we hope to expand our capabilities and have a broader impact in the biopharmaceutical space, our ultimate aim is to help patients with a broader variety of rare diseases and other conditions than those we currently serve. We want to gradually grow our impact by continuing to expand the circle of patients whose treatment supply chains we improve.
If you hadn’t founded Healr Solutions, what was Plan B? What did your 10-year-old self want to be?
There was no plan B. Once I understood the problem rare disease patients had in accessing their care, I made it my priority to think about how to solve it from my expertise in supply chain and manufacturing. The problem we face as a community for accessing these drugs is significant, so I did not see another route to take in my life.
Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of figuring out a way to ensure people got treatments for their diseases, especially rare diseases, given my own experience as a child who did not have access to medicine. I did not know exactly what that looked like as a job, but I knew my passion was helping my rare disease community.
To find out more about the work of Healr Solutions please visit: