BioUtah and University of Utah’s TVC Announce Startups Chosen to Pitch at the 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit

Nine rising startup companies from Utah’s growing life sciences industry will present their innovations to investors during the 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit on February 28, sponsored by Simpson Thacher

 Salt Lake City, Utah – February 25, 2020 – BioUtah, Utah’s only trade association dedicated solely to the life sciences, in partnership with the University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC), today announced the nine Utah life sciences startup companies that have qualified to present to investors and guests attending the 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit (E&I Summit). The conference will be held on February 28 at the University of Utah’s Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House and is proudly sponsored by Simpson Thacher.

The following nine companies were selected from over 30 companies that applied to present: Alucent Biomedical; Braveheart Wireless; Epitel; Fluidx Medical Technology; Genestat Molecular Diagnostics; Layla Technology; Majelco Medical; SignPath Pharma and; Symbiocell Tech. The companies were chosen based on a number of criteria, including uniqueness of the product, potential of the product for commercialization, and quality and diversity of management. For information on the companies and a complete agenda visit www.eilifesciencessummit.org.

“We had a tremendous response to our call for applications from our life sciences community,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president & CEO, of BioUtah. “It reaffirms what we already know — that Utah is fertile ground for so many promising startups in this industry.”

All the companies that applied will be prominently featured in the E&I Summit program and will have the opportunity to personally engage with local and national investors attending the conference.

“There is a tremendous amount of healthcare innovation right in our own back yard,” said Keith Marmer, associate vice president and executive director of the TVC. ”In large part, our goal at the Summit is to broadly showcase our robust Utah startups, and get the word out to investors and other funding sources to help them succeed.”

The nine companies will deliver a 15-minute presentation to Summit attendees, angel investors, and representatives from venture capital funds. Companies attending the event will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Lili Portilla, who oversees the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ (NCATS) technology transfer functions as well as NCATS’ Small Business Innovation Research grants. Angel MD will also be on hand to personally meet with companies. Angel MD is a crowdsourcing company with an extensive investor network of medical professionals.

“It’s all about making connections and helping the investor community, both locally and nationally, learn about the tremendous innovation in medical technologies, diagnostics, biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals that are taking root in Utah,” said Brandi Simpson, president & CEO of Navigen Pharmaceuticals, and chair of the BioUtah Board of Directors.

 

About BioUtah

BioUtah is an independent 501(c)(6) trade association serving Utah’s life sciences industry. Its member companies reflect a broad spectrum of the industry with strengths in medical device manufacturing and services, research and testing, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and advanced diagnostics, amongst others; and are a key driver of Utah’s economy.

About the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization

The Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization is dedicated to helping the University of Utah’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market. TVC is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early-stage funding. The center’s mission is to expand the university’s reputation for innovation, and positively impact society. TVC is proud to help foster this spirit of discovery.

2020 Translational Medicine Symposium

All University of Utah faculty, staff and students are invited to the 2020 Translational Medicine Symposium on Feb. 27 at 11:30-5:00 p.m. The symposium will address how clinicians’ ideas and research results can have an impact on patient care — if they are translated into clinical practice. Clinician innovators and entrepreneurs will share their experience and panels of experts will discuss opportunities, barriers, and steps in creating impactful healthcare innovations. This is a great opportunity for faculty, student and postgraduate entrepreneurs to get acquainted with the complex and non-linear process of translating medical devices, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

This event is organized by a team from TVC and Dr. Kai Kuck (Anesthesiology, EFS), under the auspices of the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars (Dr. Kai Kuck), TVC (Dr. Keith Marmer), and BioUtah (Kelvyn Cullimore) in collaboration with the HHMI Med to Grad program (U2M2G), directed by Dr. Anthea Letsou, and the Center for Medical Innovation, directed by Dr. Bryan McRea.

Contact information: If you have questions about the event, contact Kai Kuck, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Utah, kai.kuck@hsc.utah.edu, 801-581-6393

When: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2019, 11:30am-5:30pm

Where: University Alumni House, University of Utah, 155 S Campus Drive, Salt Lake City

Speakers, Agenda Announced for 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit

Speakers, Agenda Announced for 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit

Tolero Pharmaceuticals, J.P. Morgan, NIH, and Investors Headline

BioUtah/TVC 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit

 

Salt Lake City, Utah – January 17, 2020 – BioUtah, Utah’s only trade association dedicated solely to the life sciences, along with the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization at the University of Utah, today announced distinguished speakers and sessions for the 2020 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Science Summit to be held February 28, at the University of Utah’s Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House. Early bird discounts are available for both BioUtah members and non-members who register by January 31. Sponsored by New York-based law firm Simpson Thacher, the E&I Life Science Summit promises to be an exceptional experience, convening Utah innovators, industry leaders, sector experts, and prominent local and national investors.

“Whether you’re an investor, a startup or established life sciences executive, the E&I Life Science Summit provides incredible value to all segments of our ecosystem,” said Brandi Simpson, CEO of Navigen, and chair of the BioUtah board of directors.

The E&I Life Science Summit will offer a content-rich agenda designed for Utah’s growing life sciences community, investors, and service providers. Speakers include:

These accomplished leaders will provide their unique perspectives on life sciences trends, economic outlook, and funding options to support the development and commercialization of medical devices, diagnostics, and drugs.

Attendees will be able to tailor their engagement by selecting from the following three robust tracks, including:

  • Entrepreneur – legal issues, IP, forming a Board of Directors
  • Finance – venture capital and funding options
  • Company presentations to investors

Companies will also have the opportunity to personally meet with representatives from the NIH-National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to learn about SBIR-STTR grants.

“Utah has one of the fastest-growing life sciences industries in the nation,” said Kelvyn Cullimore, president, and CEO of BioUtah. “The E&I Life Science Summit showcases the vibrant innovation, by companies large and small, that’s happening here.”

“We’re excited to present this conference with BioUtah,” said Keith Marmer, executive director and associate vice president of the TVC. “Helping companies, especially early-stage companies, connect the dots to mentors, investors, and resources is critical to success.”

 

About BioUtah

BioUtah is an independent 501(c)(6) trade association serving Utah’s life sciences industry. Its member companies reflect a broad spectrum of the industry with strengths in medical device manufacturing and services, research and testing, biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, and advanced diagnostics, among others; and are a key driver of Utah’s economy.

 

About the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization at the University of Utah

The Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization is dedicated to helping the University of Utah’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market. TVC is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early-stage funding. The center’s mission is to expand the university’s reputation for innovation, and positively impact society. TVC is proud to help foster this spirit of discovery.

 

Understanding the Role of Intellectual Property in the Academic Research Environment

Join TVC in welcoming Molly KocialskiDirector of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office, as she presents on the topic of the importance of “Understanding the Role of Intellectual Property in the Academic Research Environment”.

The discussion will include:

  • The relationship between intellectual property and the economy, how patents translate to real-world products
  • Why IP matters to universities and how faculty can create value in the patenting process
  • How patents integrate into broader commercialization strategies and the innovation landscape

As the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), since January 2016, Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the Rocky Mountain regional office. Focusing on the nine states within this region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Kocialski ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

A recognized leader in the Rocky Mountain Region, Ms. Kocialski currently serves on the Colorado Federal Executive Board’s Executive Committee, as the President of the Colorado Intellectual Property Inn of Court, and as a member of the Planning Committee for the annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property Institute.

This event will be held Thursday, Feb 20, from 9-10:30 am in the Moot Courtroom at the SJ Quinney College of Law.

RSVP HERE

Katharine Ku appointed to University of Utah Research Foundation Board of Directors

Katharine Ku appointed to University of Utah Research Foundation Board of Directors
Former director of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing will help advise foundation through period of growth and evolution

April 25, 2019 (Salt Lake City)—The University of Utah Research Foundation has appointed Katharine Ku to its board of directors. Ku recently retired from Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing after serving as executive director for 27 years. A world-renowned expert in technology transfer, she developed nine principles for university technology licensing that have been adopted by tech transfer offices across the country.

“Katharine is joining the UURF board at a crucial time,” said Andy Weyrich, vice president for Research. “The university just surpassed the $500 million mark for annual research investment, and our faculty are increasingly interested in commercializing their discoveries in ways that contribute to the greater good.”

The UURF—a 501(c)(3) organization—is wholly owned by University of Utah. The foundation is comprised of the university’s Research Park and the intellectual property and associated licenses, which are managed by the U’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC). “Kathy’s expertise in technology transfer will be invaluable as we move further to a value-driven model for technology commercialization,” said Keith Marmer, TVC executive director.

Ku’s appointment was ratified at the April 24 UURF board meeting, and her term is effective immediately.

“I share the university’s philosophy for technology development—do what is in the best public interest, while creating value and impact,” said Ku. “Taking this approach to commercialization will help the university meet the goals of its administration, faculty and investors.”

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Media Contact
Elizabeth Quinn Fregulia
Director of Marketing & Communications
Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization
o/ 801.587.9619
m/ 415.203.5779
elizabeth.fregulia@tvc.utah.edu

About the University of Utah Research Foundation
The University Of Utah Research Foundation promotes, conducts, encourages, and facilitates research, development and dissemination, and application of knowledge in the fields of science, technology, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, natural resources, energy, business, and education. It commercializes its inventions through license agreements with external organizations and allocates the realized funds for research and education programs of the university.

About the University of Utah Office of the Vice President for Research
The Office of the Vice President for Research oversees numerous research administration units that provide support services, research opportunities, and professional development for researchers, students, and staff at the University of Utah. The reporting VPR units are responsible for compliance and safety, research education and training, technology patent and commercialization, grant proposal development and submission, and more. Through strategic leadership and planning, the VPR office is dedicated to providing effective resources that serve the university’s research community and accelerate innovation and discovery at the U.

About the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization
The Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization is dedicated to helping the University of Utah’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market. TVC is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early-stage funding. The center’s mission is to generate economic returns for the university and the state of Utah, expand the university’s reputation for innovation, and positively impact society. The University of Utah was recently ranked as the number-one university for technology commercialization in the country by the Milken Institute. TVC is proud to help foster this spirit of discovery.

Recursion and Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization to jointly launch Incubator

Life science and technology startups led by members of underrepresented communities will be encouraged to apply

March 1, 2019 (Salt Lake City)—Recursion and the University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the launch, programming and management of an incubator for life science and technology startups. The incubator will be located in Recursion’s former Research Park offices, and the company will sponsor the space for an initial period of three years.

“Recursion’s faster-than-anticipated success and growth meant that we needed to expand before our lease expired,” said Chris Gibson, co-founder and chief executive officer of Recursion. “With the space sitting dormant, we realized we had the opportunity to repurpose it to help foster the next generation of biotech and tech companies in Salt Lake City. Supporting the valley’s innovation ecosystem directly furthers our goals for recruitment and our thirst for new ideas and perspectives.”

The 14,500-square-foot facility includes 5,000 square feet of wet laboratory space, which is in extremely short supply in the Salt Lake Valley. This will be the first freestanding incubator with wet lab space in all of Utah. The space also contains offices, co-working space, and multi-function rooms.

It is anticipated that Recursion and TVC will jointly select an onsite program manager to operate the space and provide comprehensive support for the tenant companies—including mentoring, educational opportunities, exposure to potential investors and referrals for basic business services.

“TVC has launched more than 150 companies—including Recursion—in the past decade,” said Keith Marmer, TVC’s executive director. “We know that finding affordable lab and office space is one of the biggest obstacles to building any company. Providing these resources—both the physical space and the accompanying support network—will greatly accelerate the companies’ go-to-market timelines.” Companies fostered in an incubator are twice as likely to succeed as those that do not receive similar support, according to research conducted by the National Business Incubation Association.

The Recursion/TVC incubator will give preference to university startups and will encourage applications from startups led by historically underrepresented founders, particularly those who have traditionally faced additional barriers to growth and funding.

“Innovative companies grow from diverse perspectives,” said Tina Larson, chief operating officer of Recursion. “We need to do everything we can to promote opportunities for women and individuals who have been historically underrepresented in science and technology—paying special attention to developing the next generation of business and technology leaders. This incubator will do just that.”

Full financial terms of the MOU were not disclosed.

Expressions of interest for laboratory and office space should be sent to Paul Corson, deputy director & senior director of entrepreneurship at TVC: paul.corson@tvc.utah.edu; 801.585.5016.

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Media Contacts
Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.
President, Little Dog Communications Inc.
o/ 858.344.8091
jessica@litldog.com

Elizabeth Quinn Fregulia
Director of Marketing & Communications
Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization
o/ 801.587.9619
m/ 415.203.5779
elizabeth.fregulia@tvc.utah.edu


About Recursion
Recursion is a clinical-stage biotechnology company combining experimental biology and automation with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to efficiently discover potential drugs for diverse indications, including genetic disease, inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Recursion applies causative perturbations to human cells to generate disease models and associated biological image data. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of more than a petabyte of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics to radically improve lives. Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City. Learn more at www.recursionpharma.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

About the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization
The Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization is dedicated to helping the University of Utah’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market. TVC is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early-stage funding. The center’s mission is to generate economic returns for the university and the state of Utah, expand the university’s reputation for innovation and positively impact society. The University of Utah was recently ranked as the 30th-most innovative university in the world by Reuters: TVC is proud to help foster this spirit of discovery. tvc.utah.edu

2019 Translational Medicine Symposium: Partnerships for Propelling Clinical Translation

Monday, February 25, 2019

11:30 am to 5:30 pm
University Guest House & Conference Center

110 South Fort Douglas Boulevard

 

The 2019 Translational Medicine Symposium will address how clinicians’ ideas and research results can have an impact on patient care—if they are translated into clinical practice. Clinician innovators and entrepreneurs will share their experiences, and panels of experts in Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and Medical Devices will discuss opportunities, barriers, and steps to creating impactful healthcare innovations. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit pending.

Speakers will include Dr. Michael L. Good, Kelvyn Cullimore, President & CEO of BioUtah, J. Michael McIntosh, and Kevin Lynch, Chief Business Officer, Recursion Pharmaceuticals.

Register today! (There is no charge for the symposium, but registration is required.) All University of Utah faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.

Contact Kai Kuck, Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, at kai.kuck@hsc.utah.edu or 801.581.6393, with any questions.

KOPEČEK NAMED TO NAI

University of Utah biomedical engineering Distinguished Professor Jindřich Henry Kopeček, who pioneered research in the design of polymer-drug conjugates and hydrogel biomaterials, was one of 148 academic inventors named as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for 2018.

Kopeček, who has been with the U for more than 30 years, formulated and implemented a comprehensive approach to the design of nanosized water-soluble polymer-drug conjugates and provided tools to manipulate the tissue and subcellular localization of therapeutics. This work initiated worldwide research and applications of polymeric drug carriers for the design of new therapeutics to treat cancer and musculoskeletal diseases. He designed, synthesized and characterized hydrogels for clinical applications, contributing to fundamental studies of biocompatibility of synthetic polymers. In addition to working in the U’s biomedical engineering department, Kopeček is a Distinguished Professor of pharmaceutics & pharmaceutical chemistry. He is also co-director of the Center of Controlled Chemical Delivery at the U.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction given to academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of “innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society,” according to NAI.

“I’m always happy to be recognized by my peers, but it’s also the work of my coworkers, not just mine,” Kopeček said.

Kopeček graduated from the Prague Institute of Chemical Technology in 1961, received his doctorate degree in macromolecular chemistry from the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (IMC) in the Czech Republic in 1965. In 1990, he earned a Doctor of Science in Chemistry from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Prague.

He became a visiting professor at the U in 1986 and a professor of bioengineering and pharmaceutics & pharmaceutical chemistry in 1989. “This is a great place to work,” he said about his career at the U. “You can develop your talent to the fullest here.”

Kopeček served as president of the Controlled Release Society, chair of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section at the National Institutes of Health, and chair of the Gordon Research Conference “Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology.” He serves on the editorial boards of 14 international scientific journals.

His many honors include the Founders Award of the Controlled Release Society, Millennial Pharmaceutical Scientist Award, Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award, and Distinguished International Scientist Award of the Japanese Biomaterials Society. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2011.

Kopeček has had 20 U.S. patents issued, five U.S. applications, and numerous foreign patents that have been licensed or are in the process. Currently, two active companies use his technologies in conjunction with the university’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization: Bastion Biologics and TheraTarget Inc.

Past University of Utah fellows include College of Engineering Dean Richard B. Brown; chemical engineering Distinguished Professor and former U President David W. Pershing; electrical and computer engineering professor Cynthia M. Furse; materials science and engineering Distinguished Professor Anil Virkar; and the late Stephen C. Jacobsen, Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering.

Link to Original Article

American and Russian universities need to keep students, to stay and grow their businesses

The international forum Student Technology Entrepreneurship is held at Tomsk Polytechnic University. Stakeholders interested in the development of youth entrepreneurship came to Tomsk to share their best practices, experience, and insights. Representatives of the federal government, regional administration, academia and businesses put their cards on the table to elaborate recommendations for the transformation of the academic system.

International participants Mr Spencer Walker from the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization at the University of Utah (USA) and Ms Riikka Reitzer, Senior Advisor on Innovation Development Programs from University of Jyväskylä (Finland) presented their entrepreneurial ecosystems and vision how to develop and encourage student entrepreneurship. The white paper on the role of universities of science and technology in innovative ecosystems of the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (СESAER) co-authored by Ricardo L. Migueis was presented at the roundtable Student technology entrepreneurship: business requirements and university opportunities.

In the interview to the Press Office of Tomsk Polytechnic University Walker noted that universities can create an ecosystem for learning and sharing of knowledge but entrepreneurship is first of all experience which students should gain outside a university.

He also pinpointed that Utah is a city which is located in about two-hour flight from such big centers as Los Angeles or Seattle and it is like Tomsk.

‘One challenge we may have here which we also have is when you train students, you have to keep them here because when you train them and invest in them and they leave your investments have gone.

“People in the ecosystems have to create opportunities to start and stay here. When they leave, jobs leave, the revenue leaves, the taxes leave, the experience leave. So, the universities, the government and the businesses, all people in the ecosystem need to work together to create policy and programs to support new businesses and a level to stay and grow here,” said Spencer Walker.

For Original article: https://news.tpu.ru/en/news/2018/11/15/33969/

Aqua-Yield Joins Nano Institute – Eyes Product Expansion

This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari. (Aqua-Yield)

(AGPRO) Five years after introducing its crop fertility products with nanotechnology, Aqua-Yield is eyeing further product development while expanding its footprint.

“Today, 75% of our revenue comes from our ag products, and the balance is from the turf business,” says Aqua-Yield Clark Bell. “We currently have 30 distributors in the U.S, but we are looking to double that be the end of 2019.”

Bells says this includes expanding beyond its farmer network of distributors to include traditional ag retail and dealers, with that coming on-board in the first or second quarters of 2019.

Another development for the company is forming a first of its kind collaboration between the company and University of Utah’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization. This university/corporate partnership is located at the university’s Nano Institute, which is overseen by co-director Dr.Hamid Ghandehari.

Aqua-Yield Chief Science Officer Landon Bunderson will lead the company’s efforts to “building”/inventing nano-particles that will specifically focus on agriculture and combine these new findings with the “nanogronomy” advancements already instituted and in practice at Aqua-Yield.

“Nano isn’t the cure-all, but it does help a plant express its full genetic potential,” Bell says. “And we’ve made great waves with corn, soy, potatoes, wheat and cotton.”

The company also recently reported trials with Utah State University in alfalfa. The trials were performed over the growing season (three cuttings) of 2018, Aqua-Yield liquid fertilizer enhancer, NanoStress, was added to the traditional dry fertilizer protocol. Tons per acre increased as well as relative feed value. The trial showed increased per acre returns on overall product investment by more than $107.

Bell also says the company is looking to expand beyond fertilizer products and is pursuing partners for a pesticide product in the next 18 to 24 months.

While the company has product in 47 U.S. state, it’s also expanded internationally.

“For example, our export partners have realized the benefit of nanotechnology. What previously was a 2 container shipment of fertilizer is now condensed to only 2 pallets,” Bell says.

To view full article: Exclusive: Aqua-Yield Joins Nano Institute; Eyes Product Expansion