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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TheraSource LLC receives $3M SBIR Grant

TheraSource LLC, a Feinstein Institute for Medical Research spin-out, has received a $3 million three-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will support the development of human ghrelin as an innovative treatment to alleviate health damage caused by unintentional radiation exposure.

TheraSource has been a client of the Center for Biotechnology and the organization is proud to have played an integral role in the helping the company advance their business and technology strategy. As noted by Diane Fabel, Director of Operations for the Center for Biotechnology, “The Phase II award for TheraSource is a significant landmark for the company and an important milestone for the region.”

Ping Wang, MD, founder of TheraSource and Chief of Scientific Officer (CSO) of the Feinstein Institute has stated “Human ghrelin has been investigated in clinical trials of other indications.  With our new findings, we will soon be able to file an Investigational New Drug application to US Food and Drug Administration,” said Dr. Wang. “TheraSource has received investments to fund its various projects and is seeking strategic partnerships towards the goal of clinical development and commercialization.”

For more details, read the company’s press release here.

Long Island Bioscience Hub Announces Next Funded Projects

Accelerating the development of biomedical technologies

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University, on behalf of the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH), has announced the recipients of the second round of funded projects under the Hub’s technology development and commercialization initiative. Funding for ten projects totaling $600,000 was 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 at Northwell Health Systems.

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. There are two tiers of funding, each with the goal of accelerating technology development to reach a critical development inflection point. Feasibility awards ($50,000) are 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 ($100,000) provide targeted, milestone driven support for further development, testing, and analysis of existing intellectual property.

A wide range of disciplines are represented in the project awards this cycle including biomedical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, psychiatry, molecular genetics and microbiology, and pathology and dermatology.  Eight Feasibility awards and two Proof of Concepts awards have been funded this cycle. The recipients of this round of awards are:

Feasibility Awards

Therapeutic for Clostridium difficile antibiotic-associated diarrheal disease – Dr. James Bliska

Device for rapid, simple and highly parallel single-cell processing – Dr. Eric Brouzes

Developing a small molecule drug to treat systemic C. albicans infections – Dr. Nick Carpino

Next generation hedgehog inhibitor for invasive basal cell carcinoma – Dr. Jiang Chen

A Novel Strategy for Recombinant AAV Vector Production for Gene Therapy – Dr. Patrick Hearing

A tandem-integration-based multi-barcode method for high-throughput combinatorial screening – Dr. Sasha Levy

Novel CAIX Targeted Combination Inhibitor/PET tracer to treat patients with solid tumors – Dr. Peter Smith-Jones

Substrate-Assisted Tethered Inhibitors of LigA to Treat MDR Gonorrhea – Dr. Peter Tonge

Proof of Concept Awards

fMRI Dynamic Phantom for Improved Detection of Resting-State Brain Networks – Dr. Lilianne Mujica-Parodi

Development of SMASH technology as a next-gen sequencing diagnostic for congenital heart disease – Dr. Michael Ronemus

​“The announcement of this second cycle of awards from the Long Island Bioscience Hub under the NIH-REACH program is exemplary of the increasing commercially relevant research taking place in the region” said Clinton T. Rubin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director, Center for Biotechnology. “Coupled with the recent expansion of the Hub to include the Feinstein Institute and the announcement of our third “request for proposals,” the LIBH is steadily working toward its goal of accelerating the translation of these technologies from the bench to the bed side.”

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.

Download a PDF of the press release here.



Long Island Bioscience Hub Welcomes Feinstein Institute

Stony Brook University-led initiative to accelerate commercialization of biomedical discoveries

STONY BROOK, AND MANHASSET, N.Y. – April 21, 2016 – The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of Northwell Health, announced that the Feinstein Institute will be joining the Long Island Bioscience Hub (LIBH).

Established with a National Institutes of Health grant in 2015, Stony Brook’s Center for Biotechnology is the lead administrative institution for the LIBH, an NIH-designated Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH). It is one of three such Hubs in the country, the mission of which is to accelerate the translation of biomedical discoveries into new drugs, devices, and diagnostics to enhance health and improve patient care. The Feinstein Institute joins LIBH members Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The addition of the Feinstein Institute fulfills one of the Hub’s goals of coordinating comprehensive technology commercialization efforts across all four major bioscience research institutions on Long Island.

“We look forward to working with the Feinstein Institute, and their involvement in the Long Island Bioscience Hub further enriches the region’s burgeoning innovation economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Clinton Rubin, PhD, Director of the Center for Biotechnology. “The Feinstein Institute is a world leader in multiple areas of biomedical research, and their expertise will complement the groundbreaking work being done at Stony Brook, Brookhaven Lab, and Cold Spring Harbor.”

“The Feinstein Institute’s focus is on advancing science, treating disease, and bringing healthcare innovations to patients,” stated Dr. Kevin Tracey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Feinstein Institute. “Our partnership in the Long Island Bioscience Hub will help ensure that scientific breakthroughs emerging from our research enterprise progress into the commercial sector where they can ultimately impact patient care. We see the Long Island Bioscience Hub as a great opportunity to accomplish our mission.”

The LIBH is connected to a network of National Institutes of Health-designated “proof of concept” centers that include the three REACH centers and three additional National Centers for Accelerated Innovation. Collectively, they are developing best practices for the commercialization of academic innovations. The Hubs & Centers also have access to resources at the federal level including the US Patent & Trademark Office, Food & Drug Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide guidance at the earliest stages of technology development.

The LIBH will provide funding for feasibility and proof of concept studies at the four Long Island partner institutions, and coordinate access to expertise in areas required for early stage technology development, including scientific, regulatory, business, legal, and project management. The Hub will also facilitate introductions to strategic industry partners and early stage investors.  The LIBH announced its first round of technology development awards in December 2015, committing approximately $900,000 to thirteen projects. The second round of funded projects is expected to be announced in April 2016.

In addition to the Long Island Bioscience Hub’s institutional partners, support for the initiative has been provided by the Research Foundation of SUNY and Empire State Development. Total investment in the Hub over the next three years exceeds $8 million.

Download a PDF of the press release here.





2016 Long Island Innovation Boot Camp

Taking place on two days over the course of two weeks at the beginning of March, the 2016 Long Island Innovation Boot Camp/Pre-Seed Workshop was held at the Long Island High Technology Incubator. The annual event, co-organized by the CFB and Stony Brook Universities Clean Energy Business Incubator Program (CEBIP), featured eight technologies emerging from the region’s top research institutions. The event rallies community talent and resources to investigate and transform commercially promising technologies into pre-seed stage companies.

Dr. Carol Carter, a molecular Genetics and Microbiology Profession at Stony Brook University, participated in the boot camp this year. About her experience in the boot camp, she noted to Innovate Long Island, “It’s given me an education of a type I’ve not gotten before, in all of my training. As an academician, you don’t usually get this kind of perspective on what you do.” Read additional articles on the event here and here.