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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iCell Gene Therapeutics Granted Orphan Drug Designation

iCell Gene Therapeutics, a CFB client company, has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation for its chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR) for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL). The Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status, and associated development incentives, to drugs and biologics intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Read more about the designation and company here.

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Traverse Biosciences to collaborate with SUNY Upstate Medical University

Traverse Biosciences has announced a collaboration with SUNY Updated Medical University on a $164,689 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) Discovery Award from the U.S. Department of Defense. The research will be led by Gary Nieman, Associate Professor and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Surgery and will evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s lead drug candidate, TRB-N0224, to treat acute lung injury, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Read more here.

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Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. Raises $10 Million Series A

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Intensity Therapeutics has announced that it has secured $10 million in new capital from a Series A preferred stock financing. Participants included Batterson Venture Capital, VCapital, FastForward Innovations, SalvaRx Group PLC, Declan Doogan M.D. and Jim Mellon as well as several other accredited investors and family offices.

Lead by President and CEO Lewis H. Bender, the company is developing a proprietary cancer immunotherapy products. In a statement Bender said, “Our lead drug, INT230-6, has shown strong results in severe murine models of metastatic cancer via a combination of direct tumor killing and immune system activation.” According to Bender, “Proceeds will be used to fund operations, manufacture the clinical supplies, permit the needed regulatory filings and conduct a series of clinical trial cohorts in cancer patients with various tumor types.”

The company has also announced the addition of Dr. Decalan Doogan former Senior Vice President and Head of worldwide drug development at Pfizer and Emer Leahy, Ph.D., CEO of PsychoGenics will join Intensity’s Board of Directors. More information about Intensity Therapeutics can be found on the company’s website: www.intensitytherapeutics.com.

BIO 2016

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The Center for Biotechnology team recently ventured out to San Francisco for BIO’s annual International Convention. Through the support of Empire State Development and the Long Island Bioscience Hub, the Center for Biotechnology was able to support six Long Island emerging biotech companies to attend the meeting: Alpha-1 Biologics Corporation, Codagenix, Inc., DepYMed, Inc., iCell Gene Therapeutics, PhD Skin Care LLC and Vela Therapeutics. These companies were joined in the New York Pavilion by more than two dozen other companies and entities representing New York State.

Long Island and New York City regional companies Alpha-1 Biologics, Vela Therapeutics, Intrommune Therapeutics, PainQX, Serendipity Biotech, ENB Therapeutics, and QuickSilver Biosystems all were recipients of grants from Empire State Development and NewYorkBio which also assisted their participation in the event. These companies were tapped to present in the New York Pavilion along with six other companies from upstate New York.

Envisagenics, ENB Therapeutics, PainQx, QuickSilver and Abcombi BioSciences, all New York State Companies, were invited to participate in the BIO 2016 “Start-Up Stadium” which provide start-up companies with the opportunity to pitch to key members of the investment community, venture philanthropy groups, and BIO attendees. The participating investors provided live feedback and judged the sessions.

In addition, six Long Island Bioscience Hub faculty members were invited to participate in the meeting for the first time. These NIH-REACH program supported faculty attended with the goal to learn more about the commercialization process, how it applies to their translational research, and to engage in the partnering process and meet with potential strategic contacts. Center staff met with over 40 strategic partners over the course of the meeting and follow up is underway.

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