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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Next HHS SBIR/STTR Application Deadline 9/6 – Get Started Today

September 6 is the next HHS SBIR/STTR standard deadline. Talk to an HHS SBIR/STTR program manager today for advice: http://bit.ly/SBIR_IC_Contacts

The next HHS SBIR/STTR application deadline is less than two months away on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 5 pm local time. (Note – the standard deadline falls on September 5, a federal holiday, so the revised deadline is September 6).

Make sure you are registered! The 5-step registration process may take 6 – 8 weeks, so it is important to start now. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted, and the System for Awards Management (SAM) registration must be updated annually. Learn more about the five required registrations, here.

Don’t be shy – speak to an HHS SBIR/STTR Program Manager! It is critical for success that applicants speak to a program manager before submitting! You should send the program manager a non-confidential abstract or executive summary of your research topic, including a description of your technology, which may include your specific aims. After you connect via email, you and the program manager may decide to set up a call to discuss your application in more detail. For questions about who to contact, please email sbir@od.nih.gov.

ASSIST vs. Downloadable Forms – You may submit your application using ASSIST or the Downloadable Forms method, starting on March 5, 2016. Please select the “Apply Online Using ASSIST” button, or the “Apply Using Downloadable Forms” button within the SBIR/STTR solicitation. View the ASSIST webinar materials here.

Be sure to use the Annotated SF424 SBIR/STTR Form Set in conjunction with the SF424 R&R SBIR/STTR Application Guide (FORMS-D) to guide you step-by-step through the application process. Applicants also find the Top 5 Most Common eRA Commons Errors and the SBIR Sample Application from NIAID helpful. All resources can be found on our Resources page.

Remember – The standard due dates occur on September 5, January 5, and April 5. The standard due dates apply to all SBIR/STTR solicitations that follow the Standard Due Dates, including the SBIR/STTR Omnibus solicitations and the Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program solicitations. You can find all solicitations here.

 

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.