Making your innovation our business.
Commercialization Team Update
The WBBA thanks and bids a sad farewell to Andrew McUsic, who has served for the last year as Commercialization Associate and WINGS Project Manager, and as a volunteer event recap writer. "Drew" is relocating to Ann Arbor, Michigan to begin a position as an Applications Scientist at Swift Biosciences. Congratulations Drew, and keep in touch!
At the same time, we welcome our new Commercialization Intern Brady Ryan, who will be supporting the Commercialization Team this summer. Brady is a recent Biology graduate of Willamette University in Oregon, and is excited about the opportunity to contribute his skills and enthusiasm to the life sciences industry in Washington state. Welcome Brady!
GET NOTICED BY LIFE SCIENCE COMPANIES! Sponsor the WBBA's Commercialization Consulting Program
In 2011, the Commercialization Team provided consulting services to 63 new emerging life science companies, entrepreneurs and research groups, and this year is on target to mentor 65-75 new companies. To date, the program has supported 130 life science startups as they sought advice on matters relating to company formation, intellectual property, capital sources, research studies and clinical trials, product design, development and manufacturing, regulatory strategy, accounting/finance, and management. Often these companies are in the very early stages of formation and development, and thus have no website or public presence.
We are offering service providers with expertise in these areas a unique opportunity to connect with the early stage companies we support. This exciting, win-win program offers service providers visibility and connection with these early stage life science companies, and at the same time, provides the startups and entrepreneurs with some crucial, initial services for no cost.
The Commercialization Team has created a Commercialization Resource Packet that includes a detailed Bio-Entrepreneur Startup Kit. The highlight of this kit is a Map to Financing that outlines the sources of capital available to life science startup companies, and explains the characteristics of successful fundees at each stage of fundraising. All groups that utilize our consulting program receive the Resource Packet and Kit. Your company can be featured in the Packet as a sponsor of the Consulting program. Your company one-pager will describe your area of expertise, service offerings and the offer of at least two hours of initial pro bono services.
We envision that more than 75 early stage life science companies will receive this packet, creating an instant connection to your unique services. For more information on this valuable opportunity, see the Commercialization Consulting Sponsorship, or contact Director of Commercialization Christiana DelloRusso. We’d like to thank and welcome the newest Commercialization Consulting Sponsor, the W.H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership Program within the UW’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. The Coulter Program is dedicated to improving human healthcare by supporting translational research in biomedical engineering that is progressing towards commercial development and clinical practice.
If you are a life science entrepreneur, researcher or company in need of pro bono consulting services and access to the Commercialization Resource Packet, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sponsor the Commercialization Resource Wiki Website: www.lifesciencestartup.com
This integrated resource for life science entrepreneurs and companies in Washington State provides prominent, year-long visibility to a multitude of audiences. And in June 2012, a new section of the wiki will launch with much fanfare! This new section covers all aspects of, and the multitude of resources available for, exporting life science products from Washington. The expanded content reflects the results of a two-year project funded by the Washington state Department of Commerce and in partnership with the UW Center for Commercialization and the Washington Global Health Alliance.
Sponsor the Wiki and have your company logo and link prominent on all pages of lifesciencestartup.com!
Are you forming a company, writing a business plan, or looking to raise capital? Or are you a WBBA member/consultant with years of experience commercializing medical products, writing successful SBIR grants or executing regulatory strategies? Check out lifesciencestartup.com, the WBBA-hosted wiki website full of resources and information for early-stage life science entrepreneurs AND for experts, mentors and service providers who have advice and expertise to contribute to the WA life sciences community. To suggest a new page or add content, just visit the site and create an account. And look out for the new expanded section on Life Science Exporting, to be launched in mid-June!
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Pacific Northwest National Lab’s Economic Development Office Offers SBIR/STTR Partnering
The PNNL’s Economic Development Office will partner with any Washington-based small business seeking Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding. Small businesses teaming with PNNL or another national lab increase their chances of winning and can take advantage of PNNL staff experience in winning dozens of past SBIR/STTR project proposals. Although you will do your own writing, the PNNL EDO will provide strategy and development advice and leverage its world-class facilities to augment and support the capabilities of your small business. Visit their website for more information and to contact EDO Program Manager, Robin Conger.
WBBA receives grant from Herbert P. Jones Foundation for SBIR Pilot Program
Commercialization to Launch Internship Program to Match Grad Students/Fellows with Companies Seeking SBIR Grants
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program is a proven vehicle for supporting startup companies in the science and technology space. However, the process for developing, writing and submitting these grants is not trivial (for example, the SBIR application guide for the National Institutes of Health is 237 pages long!), and much support is needed to be successful.
At the same time, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the life sciences are trained to do science in the academic setting - to design, develop and carry out experiments, write papers and grants to support their research, and run academic laboratories. However, fewer than 20% of these students and fellows will go on to attain faculty positions (The Economist, December 16th, 2010), which leaves their extensive training and talents underutilized until alternative employment can be found.
Commercialization Director Christiana DelloRusso, who spent time as a grants consultant in Cambridge, MA after completing postdoctoral work, smelled opportunity. She applied for and received approval from the Herbert P. Jones Foundation to instigate a pilot program that will match graduate students and fellows with grants experience to startup life science companies seeking SBIR funding. The selected students and fellows will undertake a paid internship to support the startup companies through the development, writing and submission of an SBIR grant application.
The program will be implemented in the fall of 2012. If you are a WBBA-member company looking to submit an SBIR proposal in 2013, or are a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow interested in grant writing and working with an emerging life science company, please contact Christiana at email@example.com or 206-456-9560.
Other Non-Dilutive Capital Opportunities and Deadlines
Following Commercialization Associate Drew McUsic’s visit to the Madigan Army Research Center’s Research Day on April 27th, the WBBA Commercialization Team initiated dialogue with Dr. Angela Martinelli, Captain, USPHS and Science Officer for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), a grant program with a wide range of medical projects funded by the Department of Defense. Current open applications are for research in autism (brief pre-proposals due June 20), orthopedics (June 27) and spinal cord injury (July 3), as well as career development awards in cancer research (June 19). Dr. Martinelli welcomes Washington companies to use her as a resource for understanding program announcements and referring them to the appropriate Joint Program Committee member(s) who may best answer their questions regarding funding opportunities. If you would like to contact Dr. Martinelli, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pre-proposals for the Life Science Discovery Fund’s (LSDF) Commercialization Grant are now being accepted through July 6 via the LSDF website. LSDF Commercialization grants encourage the translation of health-related technologies from discovery to development for eventual delivery to the marketplace. These grants support small-scale, targeted studies at Washington state governmental and non-profit research organizations to validate the commercial merit of potential new products and services and reduce the risk of further development. New for 2012, principal investigators may request up to $250,000 in total funding for work to be accomplished in one year. LSDF has allocated up to $1,000,000 for this competition. For-profit entities are not eligible to apply directly for Commercialization grant funding but are eligible for LSDF PreCede grant competitions, with the next competition expected to be announced later this summer.
WBBA BROKERS MEETINGS BETWEEN VCs & COMPANIES SEEKING CAPITAL
Venture Investment & Partnership (VIP) Forum
In 2011, the WBBA’s Venture Investment and Partnering (VIP) Forum was an important vehicle for more than 45 WBBA-member companies and research groups to gain meaningful face time with venture groups and multi-national strategic partners. During VIP Forums, venture investors and multi-national strategic partners (VIPs) travel to Seattle to participate in two events. First, the VIP gives an overview seminar during a networking session and reception open to the life science community. Second, the VIP participates in a customized, day-long schedule of 1:1 meetings with the region’s most promising life science companies, entrepreneurs, researchers and emerging companies, who are pre-selected during an application process. In 2011, the WBBA hosted five VIP Forums: BioWa Inc., Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Office of Science & Technology (COSAT), Takeda Ventures, Merck’s Global Health Innovation Group, and Bayer Healthcare.
Three VIP Forums to date in 2012 have featured Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) on January 12-13 (slides linked here), H.I.G. BioVentures on March 7-8 (slides linked here), and most recently MedImmune Ventures and MedImmune Partnering, who jointly visited on May 23-24.
Wholly-owned entities within the AstraZeneca Group, representatives from MedImmune Ventures and Partnering traveled from Gaithersburg, MD to meet with 17 companies in one-on-one meetings and present their investment and partnering interests in an overview seminar with networking and a wine reception. This was the first VIP Forum plenary session held in the Agora (an Alexandria Conference Center at 1551 Eastlake Ave E), and drew over 60 attendees.
Speaking on behalf of the Ventures group was Michael Gutch, Managing Director at MedImmune Ventures. Mike joined MedImmune Ventures in September 2011. Previously, he was with H.I.G. BioVentures, and prior to that, Lilly Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Eli Lilly & Company. Joining Mike from the MedImmune Ventures team was Senior Associate, Tyrell Rivers. Mike and Tyrell gave a clear overview (slides linked here) of MedImmune Ventures’ broad interests, with reference to both stage and technology. Locally, MedImmune Ventures is invested in WBBA-member companies VentiRx Pharmaceuticals and VLST Corp.
Atul Saran, Senior Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Ventures at MedImmune, gave an overview of MedImmune’s partnering strategies and interests. Atul has responsibility for MedImmune’s corporate development activities, including worldwide biologics and vaccines strategic business development transactions for the AstraZeneca Group, as well as responsibility for new MedImmune corporate ventures and oversight of MedImmune Ventures. Mr. Saran joined MedImmune in 2003 as the company’s first in-house corporate and securities lawyer and worked on critical initiatives and transactions, including the production of H1N1 vaccine for the U.S. government in 2009 and the acquisition of MedImmune by AstraZeneca in 2007. He currently serves on the board of local company VentiRx. Following Atul’s enlightening presentation and emphasis on later-stage partnering opportunities (slides linked here), Atul, Mike, and Tyrell elaborated on their talks in a Q&A session which covered, among other important questions, a million-dollar “What really turns you off during an investment pitch?” discussion.
The next VIP Forum, to be held August 6-7, will feature multinational strategic partner C.R. Bard. C. R. Bard, Inc. is a leading multinational developer, manufacturer, and marketer of innovative, life-enhancing medical technologies. BARD markets its products and services worldwide to hospitals, individual health care professionals, extended care facilities, and alternate site facilities. Representatives from C.R. Bard will be in Seattle on Monday August 6th and Tuesday August 7th to present at a Plenary Session and Networking Reception, and meet individually with pre-selected companies and research groups. If you are interested in a private meeting with C.R. Bard, please fill out an application for a 1:1 meeting, which details their areas of strategic partnership interest. Applications are due via email to email@example.com by July 6.
VIP Forums are generously supported by Cooley LLP, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Knobbe Martens. If your organization is interested in sponsoring VIP Forum, information can be found in the WBBA’s 2012 Sponsorship Prospectus.
COMMERCIALIZATION TEAM OFFERS COACHING FOR LIFE SCIENCE INNOVATION NORTHWEST
Put your best foot forward when speed dating or presenting your poster at Life Science Innovation Northwest!
The Commercialization Team, along with support from members of the Commercialization Committee, will be lending a hand to speed daters and poster presenters at two pitch coaching sessions prior to Life Science Innovation Northwest (LSINW).
On June 27th, speed daters will have a chance to practice their five minute pitches multiple times and receive valuable feedback from coaches at a mock speed dating session sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. On July 2nd, poster presenters will have a similar opportunity to display a draft of their poster and run through their elevator pitch at a mock poster session sponsored by Knobbe Martens.
Both sessions will include a networking reception. If you have been accepted to speed date and/or present a poster at LSINW and would like to receive coaching, please contact Commercialization Intern Brady Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to the generous support of Wilson Sonsini and Knobbe Martens, there is no cost to attend either session.
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SEED AND EARLY STAGE CAPITAL
WINGS Angels Continue to Invest in Washington’s Med Tech Startups
WINGS, The Washington Medical Technology Angel Network is a joint initiative of WBBA and the medical technology community. WINGS’s mission is to close the gap in early stage funding to accelerate the translation of medical technology innovation from the lab bench to patients. Since the inception of WINGS, 28 companies have been selected to present at nine Investor Meetings from 113 deals screened. To date, WINGS is responsible for more than 4.4 million dollars of investment in ten Washington med tech companies. About 30% of the companies that make it through screening and present to the WINGS investors receive some investment. WINGS held its second Investor Meeting of 2012 on May 15th with company presentations from Vadiswire, Aqueduct, and Otometrix, and company updates from Magnolia Medical Technologies and Mobisante.
The WINGS network is looking forward to its next meeting on July 17th. Emerging medical technology companies are encouraged to apply to present at the fall meeting. To be considered for the next round of screening (for the investor meeting occuring October 16, 2012), applications are due by September 11. For more information on how to apply to present, to become a WINGS investor or to sponsor WINGS, visit www.medtechwings.com or email WINGS Intern Brady Ryan at email@example.com or WINGS Managing Director Christiana DelloRusso at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WINGS thanks the generous support of its sponsors: WBBA, Perkins Coie, WRF Capital, University of Washington Center for Commercialization, Silicon Valley Bank, SonoSite, Stratos, Varitrex, Philips, and Physio-Control.
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Congratulations to WBBA-member company Immusoft! CEO Matthew Scholz reported to us that his company raised $250K from private investors and received a Breakout Labs grant from the Thiel Foundation. The grant award garnered a lot of press; articles mentioning Immusoft appeared in Nature, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, and TechCrunch.
WBBA-member company Mobisante has built and successfully commercialized MobiUS™ SP1, the world’s first smartphone-based ultrasound imaging system. The award-winning system was granted FDA clearance in 2011, and Mobisante is continuing to market and sell the device following its October 2011 official launch. CEO Sailesh Chutani was awarded the Technology Alliance’s Innovation Showcase Company of the Year Award at the 2012 State of Technology Luncheon on May 22. Congratulations to Mobisante!
Impel NeuroPharma, a WBBA -member company since 2008, recently announced pharma collaborations, an SBIR award and the first in-human use of its Pressurized Olfactory Delivery device. Impel is developing medical devices that enable drugs to bypass the blood-brain barrier. Congratulations to Impel CEO Michael Hite and his team!
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