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San Carlos Man Advances Medical Breakthrough

Richard Hular has helped develop a way to minimize the damage from the intrusion of a biopsy and give doctors better data faster.

There's a way to minimize the damage from the intrusion of a biopsy. There's a way to give doctors better data faster,

While billions are invested in research and development, funds to bring these products to market, especially products that are years away, have dried up in a tough economy.

San Carlos resident , CEO of , has raised approximately $6 million from 54 private investors to build a functional machine and a hand-held device that will be no more intrusive than a blood test. The technology exists and the prototype exists that could help up to 42 million women and 25 million men worldwide rest easier with instant detection.

"The bottom line is where is the money?" said Hular, who is not seeking handouts but investors willing to chip in up to $33 million for the latest development in detecting breast cancer.

Breast Cancer may have its own Awareness Campaign, but precious little improvement has been developed over the past 30-40 years that benefit patients.

Hular, who watched his ex-wife go through the "horrible" procedure of a standard core biopsy (used about 25 percent of the time), says that's just not acceptable with all the scientific and technological achievements that have been introduced.

"We can't afford to waste more time," he said of the BioLuminate Smart Probe. "This is the first advanced detection system in a long time."

Hular, featured on NBC Bay Area News recently, has been hoping to attract the attention of investors willing to wait a few years before hitting pay dirt. He's looking for the next Warren Buffet or Bill Gates interested in medical breakthroughs.

Hular, a former executive at Applied Immune Sciences, Syntex and Varian Associates, has been at this for 12 years and is committed to seeing it through.

"Medical advances always take years," he said. "There is a ton of money going into cancer research and there's no access. There are a lot of good things happening on the bench. There's nothing to bring to market."

Hular has received endorsements from such luminaries in the field as Dr. Ernie Bodai M.D., F.A.C.S., Director of Breast Surgical Services, Kaiser Permanente-Capital Services Area, who also appeared in the NBC Bay Area News report.

Hular loves a good challenge, especially one he gets to finish. He's reached base camp at Mount Everest and made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (elevation 19,341 feet).

Most recently Hular swam 10,000 meters, inspired by Diana Nyads, the 62-year-old woman who has attempted to complete the swim from Cuba to Key West three times without success.

In business, Hular was the program manager in the development of the Black Hawk helicopter and later, with Varian in Palo Alto, helped develop the first radiation therapy machine.

"Whenever I accomplished one thing I had to look for another one," Hular said. "I was known as a turnaround manager. It became my mantra. The more different the challenge, the better."

At BioLuminate, he's delivered the same presentation hundreds of times and he still has the same enthusiasm for it. He gets frustrated, but then he goes for a long jog or swim to remind himself of the sacrifices people like Diana Nyads have made to achieve a goal.

"I can't let go," Hular said. "It's such a major change and so many good things can come out of it. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I gave up. There are too many benefits."

He came within 10 minutes of abandoning an important patent because there was no money to pay for it. He collapsed and retched numerous times on his way to the top of Kilimanjaro. Through it all he kept remembering his mother, born in Poland, who imbued in him the idea of never giving up.

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