Posts filed under ‘Commercialization/VentureLab’
The Emory University 7th Annual Celebration of Technology and Innovation will include award presentations to Clearside Biomedical Inc. and Neurotrack, Inc. Clearside, a GRA VentureLab graduate, will be recognized as the Start-Up of 2012. Based on technology developed by researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory, the company is working on a microinjection system that will use hollow needles to precisely target therapeutics within the eye.
The Deal of 2012 award will go to Neurotrack, an early stage GRA VentureLab company developing technology to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear. In a five-year longitudinal study, their computer-based recognition memory test was able to predict Alzheimer’s with 99% clinical accuracy at least three to four years in advance of disease symptoms.
The event is scheduled March 7 from 4:30 – 6:15 at the Emory Conference Center. Dr. Todd Sherer, CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, will serve as keynote speaker.
Mountain Capital Group and its affiliates and Santen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Santen Pharmaceuticals, are funding a $7.9 million investment Clearside Biomedical. A graduate of GRA VentureLab, Clearside offers a proprietary microinjection system developed at Georgia Tech and is testing a new drug developed at Emory University to treat posterior ocular diseases.
“I cannot imagine a better alliance as we continue to understand the role the suprachoroidal space will play in dosing medicine directly to the site of retinal disease in patients experiencing retinal blindness,” said Dan While, Clearside’s chief executive.
In January 2012, the company closed a $4 million Series A round with investments from the GRA Venture Fund, Hatteras Venture Partners and Kenan Flagler Business School Private Equity Fund. Read more here>
QUE Oncology, a newly-launched GRA VentureLab company, will license intellectual property originating from research discoveries at the Emory Institute for Drug Development and the University of Queensland in Australia. The new company was created through a partnership of Emory University and UniQuest, a leading Australian research commercialization company.
“Bringing together the expertise and discoveries of these leading innovation hubs creates an attractive prospect for global biotech investors and also for pharmaceutical companies, which are looking to outsource R&D for potential new drugs at an earlier stage more so than ever before,” said David Henderson, UniQuest’s managing director.
Research projects that have been identified to start the QUE Oncology pipeline relate to prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma and melanoma, as well as pain and menopausal systems. Read more here>
REACH Health, a healthcare technology company focused on telemedicine solutions, was honored with a Phoenix Award at the third annual Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta December 4.
The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce created the Phoenix Awards to recognize individuals and companies that have made an outstanding contribution to the growth of the health IT industry in Georgia. REACH Health, which received early assistance through the GRA VentureLab program and through the GRA/TAG Business Launch competition, won in the category of Start-up Company of the Year. Read more here>
Clearside Biomedical, a GRA VentureLab company, has announced successful results of a safety and tolerability clinical study using its proprietary ocular microinjection platform to deliver therapeutics precisely within the eye to treat diseases that affect the back of the eye, including age-related macular degeneration.
“In my opinion, this study is pivotal for the company since it demonstrated that the suprachoroidal microinjection procedure was well-tolerated by the patients,” said Dr. Peter K. Kaiser, professor of ophthalmology and retinal specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “It was done with only topical anesthesia, making this a viable procedure to deliver medications to the retina and choroid.”
Clearside got its start through a series of GRA VentureLab grants; its microinjection technology is based on a collaboration of researchers at Emory University and Georgia Tech. In January 2012, the company garnered $4 million in venture capital investment from Hatteras Venture Partners, the GRA Venture Fund and the Kenan Flagler Venture Fund. Read more here>
With a two-stage $100,000 grant from GRA VentureLab, French biotech company SISENE is establishing SISENE Oncology, Inc. in Augusta, Georgia. The company, which will reside in the Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) Business Incubator, will continue the development of SISENE’s novel anti-tumor therapy in partnership with the GHSU Cancer Center. The new drug therapy will target glioblastoma multiform, the most common type of malignant brain tumor, as well as other large solid tumors including lung and colorectal cancers.
“We are delighted to establish SISENE Oncology, Inc. in Georgia, particularly in such close proximity to our primary collaborator, Dr. Olivier Rixe, and other colleagues at the GHSU Cancer Center. We are also honored to have been selected for VentureLab funding from the GRA and very appreciative of our ability to locate in the Life Sciences Business Incubator at GHSU,” said Dr. Martine Garreau, General Manager of SISENE.
Four GRA VentureLab companies are among the 24 Southeast life sciences companies that will be showcased at the 2012 Southeast BIO Investor Forum, October 30 – November 1 in Palm Beach, Florida. Now in its 14th year, the Forum connects emerging companies with potential investors and partners.
VentureLab companies presenting on the Main Stage are NeurOp, a developer of medicines to treat central nervous system disorders, and REACH Health, which offers telemedicine systems to connect physicians with patients in acute care situations. Early Stage presenters are NeuroTrack Technologies, which is developing tools for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, and Hypercell Technologies, a developer of animal health applications.
Also participating in the Forum are four GRA VentureLab projects that are finalists in the BIO/Plan competition — Neuro-Steroidal Topical Compounds for Dermatology Applications, Repurposed Osteoinductive Molecules for Bone Healing, Cell Therapy Delivery System, and Rapid Assay for RSV and Strep. Read more here>
Damballa Inc., a GRA VentureLab company, has closed a $15 million growth funding round, led by Adams Street Partners, to accelerate marketing, sales and channel distribution of its advanced network threat protection solutions.
“Damballa technology is unique in its approach to protecting organizations against targeted, zero-day and advanced malware threats,” said David Welsh, a partner with Adams Street. “In addition, the talent and energy within the organization is unparalleled.”
Grotech Ventures has joined the GRA Venture Fund and Imlay Investments in providing $4 million in Series B venture financing to Urjanet, a GRA VentureLab graduate based on technology developed at Georgia Tech. Urjanet is a leading provider of energy data that enables large-scale energy consumers with multiple locations to make energy-related decisions that can save money, reduce their carbon footprint and measure ROI on energy investments.
“Business models which revolve around data are very attractive to investors, but they must also address a critical market,” said Steve Fredrick, general partner at Grotech. “Urjanet is building a business at the confluence of energy and data. They are solving the pain enterprise customers face in acquiring accurate and timely energy data on which to make informed decision.” Read more here>
SpherIngenics, a GRA VentureLab company, has been awarded $730,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense to refine its microbead technology as a safe, efficient and repeatable cell therapy system. Developed in the labs of Georgia Tech, the technology is aimed at helping therapeutic cells survive the hostile environment they encounter when injected into the body and perform needed repairs of damaged tissue.
According to GRA Eminent Scholar and company CSO Barbara Boyan, the new funding will be focused on examining whether delivering microbeads full of stem cells can enhance cartilage repair and regeneration of craniofacial defects in an animal model. Read more>