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Meet BJ Retuya of Brexo Bio in UTC

Today we’d like to introduce you to BJ Retuya.

Thanks for sharing your story with us BJ. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I’ll start by saying that I never planned on getting into sales as a career or going into business when I was younger. When I started at SDSU back in 2001, I actually planned on getting into a post-graduate Physical Therapy program. I was even working as a Physical Therapy Aide at Sharp Hospital while in college to get exposure to the industry. Like many people in college, I ended up changing my path and started taking the classes needed to enroll into a Physician Assistant program instead. Then in my last year, I changed my mind again and decided that I wanted to get into medical school. I ended up graduating in 2004 with my Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness Nutrition and Health but still needed several bio and chem courses to meet the requirements to apply to med school. I kept working full time as a PT Aide while attending Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier to take accelerated courses.

One day while working in the therapy clinic, a medical device sales rep that I would work with in the clinic often suggested that I apply to an open position with her company to do what she did and felt that I would be a good fit. I was very reluctant at first because I was comfortable with all that I was doing and didn’t think I should go into sales but the idea of it, the company itself and the compensation were very intriguing, so I ended up applying. Within a few weeks, I was in Maryland training to be an outside medical device sales rep and was running my own territory in Pomona and the Inland Empire soon after.

This is where the real story began. Medical device sales ended up being my niche. It was the perfect platform to combine my strong entrepreneurial drive, educational background, a knack for science, and passion for helping people see results. I excelled in my role as a sales rep, and after just one year, at 25 years old, I was promoted to Western Division Regional Sales Manager for the company. Over the next several years, I ended up working with a few other companies in the medical device and service industries. I continued to grow into my role as a sales and business leader.

In 2012, I ended up starting my own medical device company, Balehr Medical. It wasn’t my first start-up over the years, but it was by far my most challenging, yet most successful endeavor. In 2016 I was awarded Most Admired CEO Finalist by the San Diego Business Journal and also the CA Senate Award for Business Achievement. These accolades opened up many opportunities and doors for me. I was approached by several organizations as a result of the SDBJ article. I explored a National Director position with a business financing company, and after a year, I was recruited as a Director for one of the leading regenerative medicine companies in the US. The recent closure of the company left a void in the market place that needed to be filled. This is where we came in, the birth of Brexo Bio.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, but ups and downs are expected in business and especially in this industry. I knew what I was walking into before I started and was prepared to go the distance. All the lessons learned from my successes and failures over the last 15 years in medical sales and business have set me up for victory with this newest venture.

I believe resilience is one of the strongest traits you can have as an entrepreneur. The quote, “Business is a combination of war and sport.” couldn’t hold more true. You must be able to weather the storms both mentally and financially and trust me; there will be plenty of storms to knock you down. Resilience is what gets you back up with each fall and keeps you pushing forward to the finish line.

Another important thing that I feel helped me through my struggles is having support and accountability in addition to holding yourself accountable. Running a start-up is very taxing, I’m not talking about IRS or FTB taxing either. It drains your time, energy, motivation, and your bank account. I’ve been blessed to have a wife that has always believed in the vision and continues to hold me accountable and provides the emotional support and motivation through all of the challenges with this company and in my past endeavors. I couldn’t imagine raising a family of 5 while taking on this new business without her support.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Brexo Bio – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Brexo Bio is a stem cell resource and global provider network. We specialize in supporting patients and facilitating the treatment process to help patients undergo various stem cell therapies to treat their diseases when they’ve exhausted all other treatments within conventional medicine. We don’t promote a cure, and there are no guarantees with us or our providers, but this is the same as most other treatments and surgeries. Most commonly treated conditions would be auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. We also support treatments for traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and spinal cord injuries and have seen amazing progress with our patients that have undergone these stem cell therapies with our providers.

I strongly believe that great businesses start and thrive by offering a viable solution to a problem in the marketplace. My first major venture, which I mentioned earlier, Balehr Medical provided rehabilitative solutions to patients that were initially being denied coverage by their insurance carrier or simply didn’t have access to the resources to get the medical devices their physician ordered to help support their treatment plan.

This newest venture, Brexo Bio, is no different in which it evolved out of a serious need to solve a growing problem in the stem cell and regenerative medicine marketplace in the US. I was previously working as a Director for one of the nation’s leading providers in the regenerative medicine space for two years, and although we’ve helped thousands of patients obtain success by harnessing the power of their own stem cells to treat and manage their disease, it all came to a screeching halt. This is a highly evolving and controversial industry, as many of you may know from what you see in the media. There were many challenges outside of our control that contributed to the company having to shut its doors, including new regulations and other organization’s agendas that caused even our biggest competitors to fold as well. Regardless of these challenges and the closure of clinics across the US, there is one major problem that still stands out, and that is patients still need this type of advanced  treatment. They continue to suffer from chronic diseases, auto-immune diseases, and other injuries even after exhausting all their options with conventional medicine. I’ve seen too many patients regain their lives after a successful treatment for me to just sit on the sidelines and wait for things to change locally and nationally.

The business model, although unique, is somewhat simple. We tear down all obstacles that prevent a patient from undergoing the treatment they deserve for themselves and their families. Most lack the knowledge of what this type of out of the box therapy can do so we provide resources and tools to help prospective patients make the right decision on moving forward with treatment or not, even if it isn’t through our organization. Other barriers are the cost of treatment, distance to a clinic, or the type of therapy offered locally may not be best suited for their condition. Well, there are hundreds of clinics and providers across the world that provide effective treatments, and we are strategically contracted with dozens of them through our global provider network, which is continuing to grow. Patients are no longer limited in their choices. They can choose to go where they can get results, and not just settle for what they can afford or what is close to them. Most stand-alone clinics provide one type of service, for example, bone marrow derived stem cells, and they may box all patients into that treatment regardless of the diagnosis or medical profile. Conversely, we custom tailor the treatment to ensure the best possible results while making it affordable and convenient for our patients at the same time. Although we are not a clinic or surgical center, our organization provides a superlative patient experience. We facilitate the process to make it stress-free for the patient and the provider, allowing them to focus on achieving positive clinical results. All of our medical providers practice under their country’s legal limits and regulatory framework and specialize in these types of therapies so that our patients are confident in knowing they are getting a safe and effective treatment, wherever they go within our network.

We are in a very exciting place in this evolving industry and in medicine. There is so much more growth to come, and we are so excited to be able to share with you where we are headed.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the future, we hope to have one treatment provider in each major country that supports and approves these types of advanced cell therapies. Once we’ve started approaching this huge milestone, we will work on establishing our own facility in each of these locations which will allow us to completely control treatment costs and ultimately make these therapies even more affordable and accessible to patients across the world. I also envision formulating a line of nutraceuticals that help protect our cells from aging as well as support the stem cell treatment process, which will help our patients and providers experience even better results.

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