The Innovation Forum at the Biotech 2011 conference in Philadelphia this week sought to put scientists and early stage startups from universities and incubators in the region in front of investors and alongside other, more mature startups to provide opportunities for investment and partnerships.
This year’s innovation corridor included about 24 scientists and early stage startups from universities and incubators who exhibited posters that highlighted their work and demonstrated the commercial applications, something that regional associations are trying to do more. Now in its sixth year, a decision was made to put the younger scientists alongside the more mature startups so potential investors could see them at the same time and encourage mentoring and partnership opportunities.
“It’s such an exciting opportunity to bring scientists together to rub elbows with business people. We were very pleased with the new format,”Sheft said.
In the company showcase, about 20 startup companies pitched for investment. There was also a funding round table where startups moved from table to table to pitch angel investors, venture capital firms and economic development associations.
Among the companies in the showcase section was Cool Bio. It uses hypothermia-activated biologics in a technology licensed from Emory University. Dawn Bell, co-founder and CEO said: “The lead molecule is an anti-platelet antibody that is turned on and off with the patient’s body temperature. In cardiac surgery, you are cooling down patients to less than 35 degrees Celsius — that’s when it’s active. Then, when it’s time to warm up the patient, it turns off. It inhibits platelets during cardiac surgery with immediate reversal at warming. The benefit is not to have bleeding after surgery. We are looking for $1.5 million so we can move it into human trials.”
Recro Pharma, a Malvern, Pennsylvania-based company, is seeking $20 million for a new drug application for a drug that targets postoperative and diabtetes pain relief.
Ezose Sciences in Pine Brook, New Jersey, is looking at sugars attached to proteins for discovery of novel glycan-based biomarkers for disease diagnosis or use in clinical trials.
MSC Biotarget is developing a cancer drug and seeking investment from angel and venture capital investors.