Entrepreneur Spotlight: Richard Paxman

From Loss to Family Legacy

May 29, 2023

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Richard Paxman

From Loss to Family Legacy

May 29, 2023

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Transforming Cancer Care with Scalp Cooling Innovation

Meet Richard Paxman, the visionary CEO of Paxman. As a family business, Paxman is revolutionizing the landscape of cancer care by addressing one of the most dreaded side effects of chemotherapy—hair loss. Richard joined Paxman in 2009, stepped up as Operations Director in 2012, and took over the reins from his father, Glenn Founder of Paxman, in 2016. Since then, Richard has been at the forefront, propelling the company forward with his unwavering passion and dedication…

The inspiration behind Paxman's scalp cooling technology stems from Richard's mother, Sue, who bravely battled breast cancer. Witnessing the devastating impact of hair loss during her chemotherapy treatment, Sue became the driving force behind the Paxman family's mission to develop a solution. Drawing on Glenn's family expertise in the refrigeration industry, the Paxman Scalp Cooling System emerged.

As Richard explains, "Paxman addresses one of the most feared side effects of cancer treatment which is hair loss. We have developed a technology that prevents or reduces Chemotherapy-induced alopecia."

Describing the Paxman Scalp Cooling System, Richard highlights its components: "It consists of a stand-alone, mobile electric cooling unit paired with a silicone hat that cools down the patient's scalp through a liquid-based cooling system." This innovative approach empowers patients to preserve their hair while undergoing chemotherapy.

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Navigating obstacles: The unmet need

When Richard joined Paxman in 2009, the company had already overcome significant domestic challenges. However, they faced a major obstacle in gaining acceptance for the unmet need—specifically, the importance of scalp cooling technology in addressing the side effects of chemotherapy. Richard reflects, "I still believe today the biggest challenge across the world is changing the supportive care landscape, establishing scalp cooling as a standard of care. Medical professionals must see hair loss prevention as a vital aspect of managing side effects."

To overcome this challenge, Paxman embarked on an extensive journey that continues to this day. This journey involves substantial investment in large-scale clinical trials, the adoption of clinical guidelines, advocacy efforts, and the cultivation of relationships with key opinion leaders. Through these initiatives, Paxman has made significant progress in reshaping the supportive care landscape, leading to the accessibility of scalp cooling in renowned cancer centers across approximately 60 markets worldwide.

However, Richard acknowledges that there is still work to be done to ensure widespread recognition and adoption of scalp cooling as an integral part of cancer care. He emphasizes, "Our ongoing efforts continue to focus on driving change and educating medical professionals about the importance of hair loss prevention and its impact on patients' overall well-being."

In particular, Paxman has made substantial investments in the US market. This includes conducting clinical trials and deploying scalp cooling equipment in around 500 cancer centers across 41 states. Richard highlights, "This was a highly capital-intensive process, and market access has been our biggest challenge. While we have met regulatory requirements, obtaining reimbursement in the US private healthcare market is critical for patient access and success. It has been a significant hurdle, but we are making fantastic headway, with scalp cooling now being reimbursed. However, there is still progress to be made."

To sustain their positive trajectory, Paxman remains committed to clinical work, advocacy, guideline adoption, and securing support from key opinion leaders. Collaboration with organizations such as the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), and other payer and coding entities is vital to their ongoing efforts.

From Risk to Reward - The Daunting Decision

When asked about the craziest decision that he made, which ultimately became a game-changer for the business, Richard reflects on the journey and considers the decision to enter the US market as both daring and transformative. He humorously admits, "I laugh at this, but probably entering the US market was the craziest decision. If we had truly understood the required investment and time it would take, we might have delayed, but we didn't. We overcame the challenges and now have a successful and incredibly exciting US business."

Words of Wisdom: Passion, Persistency, and Patience

Richard stresses the vital importance of being fully invested in your venture, going above and beyond in your dedication. "You must be 110% invested in what you do, you must live and breathe it," he affirms. Understanding the core purpose and vision of your business is equally crucial, as Richard emphasizes, "you must really understand your why and your vision."

Furthermore, Richard underscores the significance of building strong relationships within your organization. Treating the people in your business with respect and care is instrumental in achieving success. Richard expresses his gratitude for the exceptional individuals driving Paxman, stating, "I am so fortunate to have the most wonderful people working with me and driving this business."

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