Archive for September, 2012

Four GRA VentureLab companies presenting at Southeast BIO Investor Forum

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>

September 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm 2 comments

Emory Center receives $20 million in funding from NSF

The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to Emory University’s Center for C-H Functionalization.  Dr. Huw Davies, professor of chemistry at Emory, directs the center, which brings together scientists from research universities across to the country to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis.  Most of the synthetic products we use every day — from clothes to medications — are derived from organic synthesis.

“Today, more than ever, new products and materials need to be made efficiently and in environmentally sustainable ways,” said Davies. “We believe that C-H functionalization will have a huge impact on the development of new drugs and other fine-chemical products.”

Ultimately, the center aims to open new chemical space for exploration. “It’s like a farmer being able to grow crops in the desert, or in Antarctica,” Davies explains. “C-H functionalization represents a whole new way for chemists to synthesize materials in what were once barren sites. It opens the possibility for materials that are completely different from anything we’ve known.”

The Georgia Research Alliance helped to recruit Davies to Emory and has invested in state-of-the-art equipment for his laboratory.   Read more here>

September 18, 2012 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Damballa secures new $15 million funding round

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.”

Adams Street was joined in the funding round by existing investors, including the GRA Venture Fund, LLC.   Read more here> and here>

September 18, 2012 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

CAU Cancer Research Center earns $5.8 million renewal

The Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at Clark Atlanta University has been awarded a five-year, $5.8 million renewal by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities.  GRA Eminent Scholar Shafiq Khan is the center’s executive director.  According to Khan, the award will allow the center to move closer to breakthroughs in prostate cancer and advance their efforts to create a culture of awareness and prevention, particularly in the African-American community.   Read more here>

September 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment

GRA VentureLab graduate Urjanet garners $4 million in Series B financing

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>

September 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

UGA scientists Ralph Tripp and Yiping Zhao develop new method to detect, analyze DNA and RNA

Writer:  James Hataway

Athens. Ga. – University of Georgia researchers have employed specially designed nanomaterials to develop a new, label-free DNA detection method that promises to reduce the cost and complexity of common genetic tests.

Their discovery may be used to help clinicians diagnose certain cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. It can detect the presence of viruses in tissue. And it can be used for a variety of forensic applications, such as paternity testing or crime scene DNA analysis.

Led by Yiping Zhao, professor of physics in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and director of the university’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, and Ralph Tripp, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, the researchers proved the efficacy of their new DNA analysis method by experimenting with short strands of RNA called microRNA. While their approach may be used on all forms of DNA and RNA, researchers focused on microRNA because it holds great promise as a target for future therapeutics.    More here>

September 4, 2012 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

GRA Eminent Scholar Younan Xia honored

Dr. Younan Xia, GRA Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine at Georgia Tech, has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 American Chemical Society Award in the Chemistry of Materials.  Sponsored by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., the award recognizes technologically-important research in the chemistry of materials.  At Georgia Tech, Xia recently developed a simple method for depositing cells on a scaffold to generate a gradient pattern. “Such cell/scaffold constructs,” Xia says, “are important for applications in regenerative medicine, including repair of the rotator cuff, where the tendon-to-bone insertion is actually a graded junction structure.”

September 4, 2012 at 9:23 am Leave a comment