News

Colorado BioScience Association Recognizes State’s Innovators and Leaders at Annual Awards Dinner

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Array Biopharma Named Company of the Year, Cerescan Honored as Rising Star 
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Biodesix Oral Presentation At SITC: Testing Methodology May Identify Primary Immunotherapy Resistance In Patients

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Preliminary Data Indicate Primary Resistance May Be Overcome by Combination Therapies 
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ImmunoMolecular Therapeutics Launches to Advance Innovative Immuno therapi es for Genetically Defined Type 1 Diabetes and Other Autoimmune Diseases

Thursday, November 09, 2017

ImmunoMolecular Therapeutics (IM Therapeutics), a company developing personalized small molecule therapies for the treatment of genetically defined autoimmune diseases, today made its debut as a spinout from the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado. IM Therapeutics was co-founded by Peter Gottlieb, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine with tenure at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, and Director of Translational Research Unit at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes; and Aaron Michels, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, the Frieda and George S. Eisenbarth Clinical Immunology Endowed Chair, and Director of Clinical Immunology at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes.


IM Therapeutics was created to advance new therapeutic strategies for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) that aim to directly inactivate pathogenic immune cells responsible for damaging the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The key to this approach is the group of immune molecules called human leukocyte antigens (HLA). Because HLA molecules arise from genes that are slightly different among individuals (i.e., alleles), some HLA alleles function in an abnormal way to “mis-present” autoantigens that leads the body to mount an immune system attack against itself. The HLA-DQ8 allele is one such gene known to predispose individuals that carry it for T1D by mis-presenting autoantigens that favor the generation and function of harmful, but not protective, immune cells.
“The strategy of directly inhibiting HLA-DQ8 has the potential to preserve beta-cell function if treatment is started early,” says Dr. Michels. “With current advancements in diagnostics, we can identify individuals with the HLA-DQ8 gene at risk of T1D before symptoms occur.”


Dr. Gottlieb continued, “Our ultimate goal is to inhibit the initiation of an autoimmune response, thus maintaining normal insulin production. I am excited to be part of a company that could potentially reduce T1D patients’ lifelong dependence on insulin.”
IM Therapeutics’ scientific co-founders discovered that an oral small molecule drug, methyldopa, targets and inhibits the HLA-DQ8 molecule. The company’s lead candidate, IMT-002, is a proprietary formulation of the D enantiomer of methyldopa. The D enantiomer offers more convenient dosing, better potency and less side effects than the L enantiomer which is an anti-hypertensive. The company has received orphan designation for methyldopa, which applies to both enantiomers. IMT-002 is currently in preclinical development as a candidate to treat T1D in patients with the HLA-DQ8 gene. Drs. Gottlieb and Michels will continue to advance the development of autoimmune therapies for IM

Therapeutics as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, respectively, while maintaining their clinical and academic appointments.


“Our unique personalized small molecule approach to immunotherapy utilized in IMT-002, is being developed to block the peptide binding groove of DQ8 on specific white blood cells,” said Steve Orndorff, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, IM Therapeutics. “If successful, the pathogenic immune cells would not be able to identify the pancreatic beta-cells and the immune system can’t attack what it can’t see. While our initial focus is on T1D, our intent is to pursue this approach with other genetically defined autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease.”


The company will be led by Dr. Orndorff as President and Chief Executive Officer and Greg Kading, CFA as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Orndorff and Mr. Kading previously worked together at Accera, where they were instrumental in guiding the company from R&D to commercialization.


IM Therapeutics also announced the appointment of a Clinical Advisory Board. Clinical Advisors include renowned researchers in diabetes and immunotherapy, Mark Atkinson, Ph.D., Jay Skyler, M.D., MACP, Stephen Gitelman, M.D., Howard L. Weiner, M.D. and V. Michael Holers, M.D.



 
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Colorado BioScience Association to Honor Life Science Industry Innovation, Leadership at 2017 Awards Dinner

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Colorado BioScience Association highlights a banner year marked by acquisitions, investments, discoveries and partnerships during its 14th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 9 in downtown Denver at the Hyatt Regency. The event celebrates the companies, organizations and individuals who contribute to Colorado’s national reputation for innovation in life science.  

TranS1: Innovative Products and Partnerships

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

 

Champions for Bioscience

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

 

Four Companies Win Their Share of $150,000 in Healthcare Shark-Tank Event

Thursday, October 26, 2017

During the 2017 Prime Health Challenge, six healthcare technology startups pitched to representatives from 16 host institutions, including Kaiser Permanente, Metro Community Provider Network, AllHealth Network, Centura, UCHealth, and SCL Health. Over 500 audience members watched as each company competed for an opportunity to prove their solutions with Colorado healthcare institutions.

Early this summer, companies from around the country submitted applications to compete in the Prime Health Challenge. Over the past 3-months, experts from across the industry evaluated the proposals through the Prime Health Qualify process and narrowed the list down to six finalists. Thanks to funding from The Colorado Health Foundation, winners were rewarded with a share of the $150,000 prize.

“The Colorado Health Foundation is excited about its continued partnership with Prime Health in order to support the intersection of health care, innovation and low income communities across Colorado” said Ben Bynum, M.D., Portfolio Director of Private Sector Engagement at The Colorado Health Foundation.

Steve Adams, CEO of Prime Health, explained, “The healthcare industry presents unique challenges for entrepreneurs. Collaborating with providers and patients early on is key to success and for the winners of tonight’s Challenge, this experience will provide invaluable knowledge on how to scale innovation in the healthcare industry.”


Nymbl receives their award.

The first place award of $45,000 went to Nymbl Science, who has developed a comprehensive system for measuring, tracking, and improving balance for patients at-risk of falls.

“It was a dream come true for Nymbl to get pilot offers from four of the largest healthcare providers in the state of Colorado, and we are honored to receive the prize money to help make these pilots a reality. We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to pitch and for the sponsors of Prime Health. It was humbling to be on stage with so many other terrific companies, each talented enough to win, and all of which will impact healthcare in significant ways,” said Edward Likovich, Vice President of Operations at Nymbl.

AI Health, which has created a platform to improve communication between hospitals and post-acute care settings, such as, nursing homes, skilled nursing facility, home health, and rehab facilities, won the Safety Net Award. This award of $45,000 was specifically designated for a startup that addressed pain points for underserved populations.

As Dr. Kenneth Bellian, Co-Founder of AI Health, described, "We are very thankful to Prime Health, Colorado Health Foundation and all the participating host institutions for putting together such a wonderful program. We are very excited to have won the Safety Net Award because we know that we can help patients of any background find the best post-acute care facilities based on their specific situation. This results in better outcomes for the patient and lower costs for the payer. This is especially important for patients that are at risk, underfunded, and/or unfunded."

The second place award of $35,000 went to Redox, a Wisconsin-based startup who provides health systems with a platform that acts as a single access point for all cloud-based applications, providing access controls and monitoring while eliminating integrations. Through this, the company hopes to empower innovation and ease the burden of EHR interoperability.

The Third Place of $25,000 went to Listen.MD, an artificial intelligence based scribing application that allows providers to focus on personal interactions with patients.

While only the top four companies won a share of the prize money, all six finalists received bids to pilot their solutions at a host institution. For more information on these companies, and to stay up to date on all the trends in Colorado digital health innovation, visit PrimeHealthCo.com.

 
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‘It’s All About the Kids’

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

 

DMC Biotechnologies, Inc. Awarded Competitive Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Friday, October 20, 2017

DMC Biotechnologies, Inc. (www.dmcbio.com), an early-stage biotechnology company,has been awardeda U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)Phase Igrantfor $100,000 to commercialize their proprietary high throughput metabolic engineering platform that enables the rapid development of microbial hosts for the production of a broad diversity of bio-based products.

The USDA SBIR program is a highly competitive program which seeks to transform early-stage scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations.

Biology is fundamentally a manufacturing language with massive potential to positively impact our world. Increased deployment of bio-based products can reduce our dependence on foreign oil, improve the nutrition of the foods that we eat, provide domestic manufacturing of existing products, and enable new-to-the world materials that are only accessible using the precision of biology. DMC makes bio-based products using enhanced microbial fermentation. We are building a capital-efficient, multi-product company using our patent-pending technology that overcomes key barriers that have historically impeded efforts in this sector.

“For small agricultural businesses, the federal government is a key, initial investor to help them get great ideas into the marketplace,” said NIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy. “The feasibility and scalability of these business concepts are evaluated through our peer review process, and businesses get to keep their intellectual property rights as they commercialize their ventures.”

“The vision for DMC is to develop bio-based processes that are superior in cost and quality to existing manufacturing routes. We are pleased to be recognized with this highly competitive award from the USDA and are grateful for their support of our mission.This SBIR grant plays a vital role in advancing our technology along the commercial path,” said Matt Lipscomb, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of DMC.

The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is coordinated by the Small Business Administration and administered by 11 federal agencies, including USDA. It encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development with high potential for commercialization and that could lead to significant public benefit. Phase I grants invest in feasibility and proof of concept studies. Phase II grants help successful Phase I projects scale up, implement, and commercialize their ventures. Topic areas include forests and related resources; plant production and protection – biology; animal production and protection; air, water, and soils; food science and nutrition; rural and community development; aquaculture; biofuels and biobased products; small and mid-size farms; and plant production and protection – engineering.

To learn more about the USDA SBIR/STTR program, visit:

https://www.nifa.usda.gov/program/small-business-innovation-research-program-sbir

 
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Diversity Suits the C-Suite

Wednesday, October 18, 2017