Doylestown, PA, July 29, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute recently hosted its second annual “Entrepreneur Spotlight” with a Shark Tank-style program and awards ceremony at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County. In attendance were pharma and biotech business movers and shakers celebrating the contributions of biotechnology and pharmacology to the quality of life in the Bucks County area.
The evening began with presentations from five start-up companies located at the PA Biotech Center. The companies ranged from those in very early stage development to one company with a medical device already approved and being sold as a commercial product. Company leaders pitched their technologies to angel investors who could help make their ground-breaking medical therapies a reality.
The discussion was facilitated by an expert panel led by Barbara Schilberg, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BioAdvance; Patrick Higgins, co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of OnCore Biopharma; and Elizabeth D. Sigety, Esq., Partner with Fox Rothschild LLP in Warrington, PA. Sigety received the Blumberg Institute’s inaugural Entrepreneur Champion Award along with Fox Rothschild colleagues Loren Danzis and Jeff Nichols in 2015.
The Blumberg Institute’s 2016 Entrepreneur Champion Award was presented to Schilberg, who leads BioAdvance, which provides early stage capital and other support to companies developing technologies to improve human health. This honor, which recognizes those who have made extraordinary contributions to advancing biotech entrepreneurship in the region, was presented by Dr. Patrick Lam, who serves as Chair of the Entrepreneur Council at the PA Biotech Center. Dr. Lam is a former medicinal chemist with Bristol-Myers Squibb with a total of eight clinical candidates to his name and was the co-inventor of Eliquis®/Apixaban, a very successful blood thinner used to prevent clots and strokes.
“BioAdvance has stimulated the creation and development of new ideas into innovative entrepreneurial entities,” said Dr. Timothy M. Block, president of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. “Barbara’s investment, not just in capital but in time spent nurturing young biotech companies, helps countless entrepreneurs move science from the laboratory into successful, industry-changing businesses.”
Schilberg has more than 30 years of experience working with academic technologies and start-up companies in the life sciences sector. Under her leadership as CEO, BioAdvance has invested $32 million in 73 companies and academic technologies focusing on areas including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and infectious diseases. During Schilberg’s tenure with BioAdvance, portfolio companies have attracted more than $2.4 billion in capital, 11 companies have been acquired and nine products have been approved by the FDA.
The biotech companies showcased during the Entrepreneur Spotlight event were:
• Greene Street Pharmaceuticals LLC – Led by Founder and CEO Frank Jones, Greene Street specializes in the formulation and development of abuse deterrent opioid transdermal delivery systems. They are creating patches that release and regulate controlled substance pain killers.
• Iminovir, LLC – An early stage company led by CEO Michael F. Thomas, Iminovir is working on compounds called “IminovirsTM” that have therapeutic potential for the management of influenza viruses that can infect people.
• KannaLife – A bio-pharmaceutical and phyto-medical company led by CEO Dean Petkanas, KannaLife is developing cannabinoids, a group of active, non-hallucinogenic compounds found in marijuana, for medical use.
• Makindus – Founder and CEO Manohar Katakam, Ph.D., of Makindus is developing a formula to treat juvenile macular degeneration, a genetic eye disorder that causes progressive vision loss.
• OrthogenRx – A late-stage product development company led by President and CEO Michael J. Daley, Ph.D., OrthogenRx focuses on the commercialization of generic Class III orthopedic medical devices to provide solutions for osteoarthritis, with a product already approved and for commercial sale.
About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute is an independent, nonprofit research institute established in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. It was renamed in 2013 to honor Baruch S. Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus and co-founded the Hepatitis B Foundation. To learn more, visit www.blumberginstitute.org.
About the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center: The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County offers state-of-the-art laboratory and office space to nonprofit research companies and biotech companies. Created by a partnership between the Hepatitis B Foundation and Delaware Valley College and managed by the Blumberg Institute, the Center was funded in part by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The facility opened in 2006 in a formerly abandoned warehouse and has since grown to encompass 110,000 square feet on a 10-acre campus. To learn more, visit www.pabiotechbc.org.