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

CFB Director Testifies Before Joint Congressional Hearing

On Thursday May 4, 2017 Center for Biotechnology Director Dr. Clinton Rubin was fortunate to testify at a joint congressional hearing on “Improving the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs”. Dr. Rubin was present to discuss the NIH-REACH Program – which is the program that supported the creation of the Long Island Bioscience Hub.

Dr. Rubin spoke about the importance of initiatives like REACH which promote the development of “Phase 0” proof-of concept centers embedded within university communities. The activities of these centers are critical in promoting under-realized innovations out of academic labs and into the hands of patients as Universities often face significant challenges when it comes to commercializing translational research. He talk about the fact that in a very short amount of time, the three hubs created by the REACH program have already seen major impacts at our institution, fostering new intellectual property, increasing credibility with the investor community, promoting a shift in the academic culture, attracting new licensing opportunities, and most importantly, catalyzing the formation of new companies – some of which have successfully secured SBIR funding.

Programs like REACH fuel the growth of the small business community around university centers, and drives science towards successful new treatments for disease.

The committee hearing is available to view at this link. Dr. Rubin’s comments begin at 2:53:06

CFB Director Clint Rubin and Director of Operations Diane Fabel at a joint congressional hearing on May 4, 2017.

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.

Related Articles:
Schumer: Biz-Development Funds Big Deal For SBU – Innovate Long Island
Stony Brook Biotech Center Wins $500,000 to Foster Companies – Newsday

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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Codagenix Receives Phase I SBIR Grant for Swine Influenza Virus Vaccine

Codagenix, a CFB client company, has announced that it has been awarded a $99,710 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to commence the development of an influenza vaccine for swine. Codagenix will apply its next-generation platform technology to construct a vaccine against influenza viruses that infect swine, which, according to the USDA’s 2014 Census of Agriculture is a $22.5 billion industry here in the United States. Read more here.

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