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.

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Long Island Biomentoring Initiative Established

Program Established to Foster Vibrant Bioscience Cluster in the Region

On Friday, November 18th at the Long Island High Technology Incubator, the Long Island BioMentor Initiative (LIBMI) will be hosting its first full-day mentor training session for the founding mentors of the new initiative. Led by the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University and Accelerate Long Island, the LIBMI has been established on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub – an NIH-designated Research, Evaluation, and Commercialization Hub. The LIBMI is a platform to bring highly qualified, volunteer mentors together with motivated, early-stage bioentrepreneurs to provide guidance and support as they advance their business strategy.

The LIBMI is based on the successful mentoring model developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), and created in collaboration with Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Hofstra University, and the Feinstein Institute at Northwell Health Systems. Through MIT VMS’s team mentoring approach, the LIBMI aims to provide objective and unbiased advice that will help entrepreneurs navigate the challenging landscape that growing bioscience ventures face. Mentors participating in the November 18th training session led by a MIT VMS Co-Director will benefit from curriculum and interactive teachings along with a mentoring session with one of the first entrepreneurs chosen to serve as mentee.

“There is an abundance of innovation on Long Island as well as a growing pool of entrepreneurs looking to create ventures that will take root and grow in the region” said Mark Lesko, Board Member, Accelerate Long Island. Diane Fabel, Director of Operations for the Center for Biotechnology added “Establishing a formal mentoring program, specifically for the bioscience sector, is critical as these companies need diverse support in order for them to thrive.”

The initiative employs the team mentoring approach and brings together experts with great depth and a range of experiences. The members of the founding mentor team include Dr. Linda Amper, Chief People Officer of Clever Devices; Dr. Gian Luca Araldi, founder and principal of US Pharma Services; Kara Cannon, Global Head of Sales & Marketing of Enzo Life Sciences, Inc.; Dr. Anil Dhundale, former Executive Director of the Long Island High Technology Incubator; Dr. Wayne Koff, President and CEO of Human Vaccines Project; Ric Overton, President of Overton Operations Advisors; Jeff Peacock, VP Global Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs at Henry Schein, Inc.; Dr. Saied Tousi, Managing Director for NW Advisors; and Edward Travaglianti, Market President of Long Island for TD Bank.

The entire process is guided by a statement of principles to ensure confidentiality and a conflict free environment. The initiative will build upon a suite of services and resources provided by the NIH-designated Research, Evaluation, and Commercialization Hub (LI Bioscience Hub), Accelerate Long Island and the Emerging Technology Fund, the New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Medical Biotechnology.

“It’s important to me to help support the entrepreneurial ecosystem on Long Island” founding mentor Ed Travaglianti stated, “and the team approach expands our capacity, allowing us to mentor more than one entrepreneur.”

Learn more about the Long Island BioMentor Initiative here.

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DepYmed Announces $2 Million Series A

DepYMed Inc. has announced the completion of a Series ‘A’ Round of funding with TopSpin Fund, L.P. for a total of $2 million. At closing, $1 million was received by Depymed, and another $1 million will be provided pending the achievement of specific development milestones.

DepYmed, Inc., headed by a Center for Biotechnology BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence Andreas G. Grill, is a pharmaceutical company focused on phosphatase inhibition for multiple therapeutic applications. The company is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial of its lead compound, MSI-1436C (Trodusquemine), as a therapeutic candidate for HER2-positive breast cancer. DepYMed was founded through a joint venture between Ohr Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Read more about the financing here.

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Life Sciences Summit 2016: November 2-3, NYC

The Life Sciences Summit is an early stage investor and business development conference that highlights innovation. On November 2-3, 2016, emerging biotech companies and academic innovators will convene in New York City to connect with investors and strategic partners with the goal of moving new discoveries through clinical development. The two-day program features corporate presentations by promising young companies with transformative science that targets unmet medical needs. It also features informative plenary sessions, business workshops, and therapeutic sessions.

There is still time to register and participate in this innovative conference that provides attendee the opportunity to networking with potential investors and strategic partners. REGISTER TODAY!

 

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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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