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.

Posted in Uncategorized

Life Sciences Summit 2016: November 2-3, NYC

The Life Sciences Summit is an early stage investor and business development conference that highlights innovation. On November 2-3, 2016, emerging biotech companies and academic innovators will convene in New York City to connect with investors and strategic partners with the goal of moving new discoveries through clinical development. The two-day program features corporate presentations by promising young companies with transformative science that targets unmet medical needs. It also features informative plenary sessions, business workshops, and therapeutic sessions.

There is still time to register and participate in this innovative conference that provides attendee the opportunity to networking with potential investors and strategic partners. REGISTER TODAY!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

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.

Posted in Uncategorized

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. 

Posted in Uncategorized

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.

iCell

Posted in Uncategorized