Traverse Biosciences Accepted into NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP)

Traverse Biosciences, lead by CFB BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence (B-EIR) Joseph Scaduto, has announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has accepted the company into its competitive Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP).

Hosted in partnership with the Larta Institute, NIH CAP is a 9-month program that is well-regarded for its combination of deep domain expertise and access to industry connections, which have resulted in measurable gains and accomplishments by participating companies. It is open only to NIH SBIR/STTR Phase II awardees, with only 80 slots available each year. The program enables participants to establish market and customer relevance, build commercial relationships, and focus on revenue opportunities available to them.

Last year, Traverse Biosciences announced that it had received a $1.3M Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award in partnership with the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University. Read the full Traverse Biosciences announcement here.

Long Island Bioscience Hub Announces Latest Funded Projects

Innovative phase-0 proof-of-concept center continues advancement
of commercially promising biomedical innovations.

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH), announced the recipients of the fourth round of funded projects under the Hub’s technology development and commercialization initiative. Funding for five projects totaling $400,000 has been awarded to applicants from the Hub’s partner institutions. Partner institutions include Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Over the last two years, more than $2.5M has been awarded to further the development of commercially promising technologies.

There are two categories of awards under the LIBH funding initiative – Feasibility and Proof-of-Concept. “Feasibility awards” are funded at up to $50,000 and designed to rapidly test the feasibility of new ideas in a “fail-fast-or-proceed” format, or to add value to existing intellectual property leading to new market applications. Proof-of-Concept awards provide up to $100,000 for targeted, milestone driven support for further development, testing, and analysis of existing intellectual property.

In this cycle, two feasibility awards have been given to Stony Brook University researchers exploring technologies that include a novel anti-fungal for life threatening blood infections and a new computational method for macrocyclic drug discovery. Proof-of-Concept projects this cycle include a drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB combination therapy, a novel therapeutic for the treatment of colorectal cancer, and a next-generation medical imaging tool with applications in mammography.

“While the Long Island Bioscience Hub is only two‐years in existence, it has already had major impacts including the establishment of four companies.” said Clinton T. Rubin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director, Center for Biotechnology. “Additionally, this round of funding further enhances the LIBH-REACH pipeline that already has resulted in eight patent applications, five options/licenses and more than forty SBIR/STTR applications related to REACH technologies and small business clients.”

“I applaud the efforts of the Long Island Bioscience Hub as they continue to draw out the cutting edge biomedical innovations that exist within our research labs and their work with faculty innovators and the local bioscience community to accelerate commercial development.” said Dr. Richard Reeder, Vice President for Research at Stony Brook University. “Stony Brook University is deeply committed to the translation of basic research and the Hub’s successes demonstrate that we need to continue to foster the activities of the Hub.”

The technology development awards made available by the LIBH are specifically aimed at growing a pipeline of commercially promising biomedical technologies that can be out-licensed for further development or serve as the foundation for new company formations in the region. The main goal of the LIBH is to foster the development of therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, devices and research tools emerging from LIBH partner institutions that address diseases within the NIH’s mission.

Funded Projects –May 2017 Awards

“A Small Molecule Drug for the Treatment of Systemic Candidiasis” Nicolas Carpino, PhD and Jarrod French, Stony Brook University – Feasibility Award

“BRIKARD, a Program for Macrocyclic Drug Discovery” Evangelos Coutsias, PhD, Stony Brook University – Feasibility Award

“Selenium multi-Well Avalanche Detectors for Medical Imaging Applications” Amirhossein Goldan, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

“Developing Novel miR-129 Mimic Based Therapeutics for Colorectal Cancer” Jingfang Ju, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

“Azasteroid for Combination anti-TB Therapy” Nicole Sampson, PhD, Stony Brook University – Proof of Concept Award

Download a PDF of the press release here.

Center For Biotechnology Awarded $500k U.S. Department of Commerce Grant

The i6 Challenge award sets aim on enhancing Long Island Bioscience Ecosystem

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University has announced that is has received a three-year, $500,000 U.S. Department of Commerce i6 Challenge Investment. The award will support the Center for Biotechnology’s (CFB) efforts to bolster the regional bioscience ecosystem by supporting a formal mentorship program, as well as a critical NIH-focused SBIR/STTR training and application development program which will assist in capital formation and launching new companies.

The Center for Biotechnology is among 35 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 19 states that will receive nearly $15 million to create and expand cluster-focused, proof-of-concept and commercialization programs, and early-stage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), leads the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

“Long Island’s innovation economy is rooted in cutting-edge basic and applied science and engineering, fostered by top-tier research institutions, a highly educated population, and a depth, breadth and scope of intellectual capital.” said Dr. Clinton T. Rubin, Director, Center for Biotechnology. Dr. Rubin continued, “This award and the initiatives it will support add to the growing, concentrated efforts the Center for Biotechnology, the Long Island Bioscience Hub and the hub’s partner institutions are making to grow the high technology innovations born in our region into fully realized ventures.”

The Center for Biotechnology (CFB) at Stony Brook University is an Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) Center for Advanced Technology. Established in 1983, the CFB’s efforts are focused on accelerating the development of biomedical technologies in order to have a positive impact on human health and society. The CFB is also the lead administrative institution for the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH) an NIH-designated Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) established with a National Institutes of Health grant in 2015. The initiatives under the i6 Challenge award will complement the efforts of the LIBH, a partnership between the Center for Biotechnology, Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, to commercialize biomedical innovations emerging from the partner institutions.

Download a PDF of the press release here.

Related Articles:
Schumer: Biz-Development Funds Big Deal For SBU – Innovate Long Island
Stony Brook Biotech Center Wins $500,000 to Foster Companies – Newsday

Vitatex Awarded NCI Contract

Vitatex, a Stony Brook-based biotechnology company located in the Long Island High Technology Incubator, has announced that it was awarded an SBIR Phase I/II Fast Track contract in September 2015 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for its Vita-Cap™ CTC Capture and Preservation tubes. A modification to exercise the option for a two-year SBIR Phase II of the contract was executed on June 8, 2016.

Vitatex Inc. provides proprietary invasive circulating tumor cell (iCTC) enrichment technology and products to develop revolutionary cancer genetic and cell tests. These “liquid biopsies” focus on next generation sequencing (NGS) detection, gene expression profiling and flow cytometry and have recently been adopted by the clinical laboratory community to characterize cancer cells and/or their RNA/DNA in blood samples non-invasively and serially, and to acquire genetic alternations and drug resistance information, which have the potential to replace tests run on surgical biopsies.

Clinical metastasis of solid tumors is linked to blood-borne dissemination of viable tumor cells in the circulation and clinical instrumentation is now available to isolate, enumerate, culture, generate metastatic mouse models and perform molecular analyses on these circulating tumor cells (CTCs). However, CTCs are fragile and tend to degrade within a few days when collected in standard blood collection tubes.

“The functional CTC preparation tube is designed to collect, enrich and preserve the viability/functionality of cancer cells in blood all within a closed system” said Wen-Tien Chen, PhD., Chief Scientific Officer of Vitatex. “The goal is to define conditions of Vitatex CTC preparation tubes for capturing and preserving cancer cells in the blood of patients with breast, ovarian and other types for up to 96 hours of transit.”

Specific terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Traverse Biosciences Receives $1.3M NIH/NIDCR Phase II STTR Award

Traverse Biosciences, led by the CFB’s first BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence Joseph Scaduto, has received a $1.3M Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Award in partnership with the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University. Funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Evaluate the Pre-Clinical Safety and Effectiveness of TRB-N0224 for the Treatment of Periodontal Disease. The research will be led by Lorne Golub, DMD, MD (Honorary) in the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, and Ying Gu, PhD, DDS, in the Department of General Dentistry, who will serve as co-principle investigators on the award, in close collaboration with Traverse Biosciences. Read more here. 

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