CFB BEIR Receives $1.9M SBIR Fast-Track

Avanti Biosciences, Inc. a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company lead by Center for Biotechnology BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence Dr. Gian Luca Araldi, has announced that the National Institute of Aging (NIA) has awarded the Company an SBIR fast-track grant of up to $1,930,000 to support the company’s small molecule treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) over the next 3 years.

The award will enable the preparation and testing of Avanti’s proprietary compounds derivatized from natural catechins, which inhibit DYRK1A, an enzyme that modulates tau phosphorylation. Working with NY Institute for Basic Research and the University of California San Diego (UCSD), the company hopes to attenuate and potentially reverse pathogenesis for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

“This award marks a significant milestone for Avanti Biosciences and an important step for their research into a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease” stated Dr. Clinton Rubin, Director of the New York State Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University. “The Center for Biotechnology is thrilled to see another success for one of the emerging bioscience companies fueling our regional bioecosystem and we proudly support Dr. Araldi’s work as one of our BioEntrepreneurs-in-Residence.”

Dr. Gian Luca Araldi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanti, stated, “We are delighted to have been granted this funding from the NIA as it underscores the great need for innovative, effective treatments for this disease, and recognizes the potential benefits that our compounds may provide for patients with AD. The continuous support of Center for Biotechnology and the BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence program has been critical force in the development of our technology and the company as whole.”

More than five million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, irreversible, neurodegenerative disease that destroys memory and other cognitive abilities. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and as the aging population in the country grows, the incidence rate is expected to rise dramatically.

Learn more about Avanti Biosciences: avantibiosciences.com

Annual Applied Research And Development Awards Announced

Awards Support Innovative Research Collaborations Between Academic Faculty and Regional Bioscience Companies

The Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University has announced the recipients of the 2017-2018 Applied Research & Development (ARAD) awards. The ARAD Program is designed to help bridge the gap between the early-stage technology discovery and development capabilities of the academic community, and the later-stage commercial development interests of the bioscience industry.

The program currently provides matching funds on a competitive basis to support collaborations between Stony Brook University faculty and New York State corporate partners in all areas of medical biotechnology. The primary interest is in supporting development of technologies that will help companies hit commercially relevant milestones, and that have the potential to positively impact the New York State economy.

Projects supported this year include the furthered development of an ICU temporary pacemaker, a novel Lymphoma treatment, a novel synthetic peptide based therapeutic for Osteoporosis, further development of an fMRI Dynamic Phantom, development of novel vaccines, third generation taxoid based nanomedicine for chemoresistant cancer, development of a polymeric heart valve, a drug delivery technology for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, and the development of skin brightening agents.

“The Center’s Applied Research and Development Program speaks to the core of what our organization does – collaborate with New York State companies to help them develop commercially promising technologies that will lead to strategic partnerships, investment, corporate revenues, and job creation” said Diane Fabel, Director of Operations for the Center for Biotechnology. “Our academic institutions are incredible resources for bioscience companies to tap into when it comes to technology development, and promoting interactions between the two helps fuel the overall bioscience ecosystem in the region.”

The ARAD Program is part of a suite of programs and services provided by the Center for Biotechnology (CFB) 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.

2017-2018 Applied Research and Development Awards 

“Synthetic Osteogenic Peptide for Treatment of Osteoporosis” Ajes Life Sciences & Dr. Srinivas Pentyala

“fMRI Dynamic Phantom for Improved Detection of Resting State Brain Networks” ALA Scientific Instruments & Dr. Helmut Strey

“Continued Development of ICU Temporary Pacemaker” Avery Biomedical Inc & Dr. Wei Lin

“Novel Pleiotropic Skin Brightening Agents” Biocogent, LLC & Dr. Sanford Simon

“In vivo Testing of Vaccine Candidates” Codagenix, Inc & Dr. Eckard Wimmer

“A Novel Polymeric Valve for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement” Polynova Cardiovascular, Inc. & Dr. Danny Bluestein

“Imaging the Targeted Delivery of Biologic Agents to the Colon for Local Therapeutic Action” Symbiotic Health Inc. & Dr. Peter M. Smith-Jones

“Eradication of an Oncogenic Herpesvirus as a Novel Intervention for Lymphoma” Theragnostic Technologies, Inc. & Dr. Laurie T. Krug

“Novel Cancer Stem Cell Cytotoxic Agent: Nano-Formulation IND-Enabling Studies” TargaGenix Inc. & Dr. Galina Botchkina

Download a PDF of the press release 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.

Getting Serious About BioEntrepreneurship in New York

Center for Biotechnology BioEntrepreneur-in-Residence and Founder and CEO of Traverse Biosciences, Joseph Scaduto, recently penned a powerful article discussing the importance of human capital to the growth and sustainability of New York’s bioscience ecosystem.

“…the prospect of “jumping ship” into a new bioscience venture is not just risky, it is downright scary, if not financially impossible, exacerbated further by the frightening lack of alternative job opportunities in the high-probability event of failure. In my opinion, this seemingly insurmountable and geographic “barrier to entry,” defined by the comparatively excessive risk of bioentrepreneurship, is a primary reason why New York continues to struggle to develop, cultivate and grow a vibrant, dynamic and self-sustaining bioscience industry cluster.”

Read the full article here.