News ItemIn The Know – July 2017

July 18, 2017 – 

We’re No Longer One Of New Mexico’s Best Kept Secrets

NMBio set several personal records at the recent BIO convention in San Diego. Nine companies partnered with the association to represent the state’s life science industry in the New Mexico Pavilion. In addition to marketing their firm’s products and services, the 19 executives from SAVSU Technologies, Imagion Biosystems (which recently went public in Australia), Agilvax, Likarda, Sandia BioTech, Active Clean, AWS BioPharma, BioSafe Technologies, and AE Gorsuch Designs served as ambassadors for the state’s biotech industry. Julia Wise, who oversees the bioscience and technology sectors for the state’s Economic Development Department was on hand to answer any questions regarding state programs and incentives for companies considering relocating to the Land of Enchantment. Janeen Vilven-Doggett, a partner with Peacock Myers and an NMBio officer, attended the conference as a representative for Zocere. 

Five of the participating partners — Active Clean, AE Gorsuch Designs, Agilvax, Sandia Bio and Imagion Biosystems — each received STEP Grants of $3,500 to help defray their costs to exhibit at the show. Edward Herrera from the New Mexico Office of International Trade secured the grants on behalf of these promising companies — NMEDD’s Office of International Trade

NMBio displayed and passed out the brochures and marketing materials for several economic development organizations and business incubators, including Arrowhead Park, the Santa Fe Business Incubator, the City of Albuquerque, the soon to open Lobo Rainforest building, STC-UNM, NM Economic Development Department — New Mexico Economic Development Department — and  Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc. 

Harry C. Pappas, the President, CEO and co-founder of BioSafe Technologies, gave a well received 10 minute presentation on his firm and its research in the Start-up Stadium — the first NM bioscience firm selected. BIO selected 40 firms from 100 applicants. Harry, the  co-inventor of the company’s technology, presented to a panel of investors and an audience of 150 attendees. BioSafe, he explained, has expanded the world’s understanding of quaternary ammonium-based antimicrobials and their efficacy against pathogenic bacteria and fungal yeast.

Las Cruces High School junior Sanjiv Harikumar represented the state in the BioGENEius Challenge — the premier competition for high school students from across the globe. It recognizes outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology. Sanjiv was one of 16 students from the US and Canada selected as a finalist.

“The high school students competing in the BioGENEius Challenge are among the world’s elite young thinkers. Their research projects represent some of the freshest thinking about how to use biotechnology to solve the world’s most challenging problems,” said Seema Kumar, VP Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communications at Johnson & Johnson. Sanjiv received a stipend from NMBio to cover the cost of his trip. His project is titled: Magnetic Iron Oxide-Gold Nanoparticles for the Photo-Thermal Dissolution of Protein Aggregates – Implications in Alzheimer treatment.  

We want to give special thanks to the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe for donating a three-day, two night gift certificate to its award-winning facility as well as Santa Fe-based True West, a source of native American and Southwestern jewelry and art. The retailer, which represents more than 150 artists, donated a carved Navajo bear fetish. The donated items were displayed during the three days the exhibit hall was open to the conference’s 16,000 attendees.  

Based on this year’s success, we have committed to leasing a larger pavilion for BIO-18, which will be held in Boston, June 4 to 7. The state’s Ed Herrera has also committed to once again supporting qualified NM’s emerging bioscience companies for next year’s event. If you’re interested in participating and applying for a STEP grant, please contact me. Only NMBio members are eligible to participate in the pavilion.


Showcasing NM’s Life Science Industry & BIO Business Solution’s Preferred Providers

October 18 is the date for NMBio’s inaugural Knowledge Fair & Expo. The event will be held on the campus of the University of New Mexico. The Knowledge Fair will harness the talent, energy, research and business smarts of the region’s bioscience, biomedical and health care organizations, research institutions, economic development agencies, the national labs and venture groups committed to the advancement of the biotech, medical device, pharmaceutical, drug discovery and diagnostic industries throughout the state. 

The Santa Fe Business Incubator, the Arrowhead Center, The BioScience Center, STC-UNM, UNM-HSC, NM Tech, NMSU, ABQid, the NM Economic Development Department, The New Mexico Partnership, the New Mexico Technology Council, the New Mexico Angels, MDVA, Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc., the SBA, the state’s International trade office, are examples of the organizations that are being invited to share their knowledge and program offerings with participants. 

The leaders from these organizations as well as BIO’s and NMBio’s service providers from the scientific equipment, CRO, accounting, legal, insurance, health care, office supply, shipping, marketing, job placement, real estate and other sectors will provide essential and practical information on how their firms can save NMBio members thousands of dollars annually on their business expenses as well as assisting core members in finding effective tools and solutions for capital, employee training programs, office and lab locations and other pressing business needs.

NMBio and its committed partners will offer members and prospective members unparalleled education and networking opportunities in an intimate and informal educational settings. Robert W. Rubin, President & CEO of Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute will be the morning keynote speaker. He’ll be joined by the top executives of LRRI’s family of companies. We are close to announcing our luncheon speaker. In between the two keynote addresses, attendees will be able to attend a wide range of simultaneous informative briefings and the opportunity to meet one on one with speakers and with service providers that will be sharing classrooms and manning table top exhibits. 

The unique learning environment will be immediately followed by our version of Octoberfest. The combination of tasty food, beer and wine will provide everyone with the chance to put their cell phones on mute and enjoy a couple hours of networking before heading home.

UNM Receives National Recognition For Its Tech-Transfer Accomplishments

UNM ranked 28th among 225 universities and research institutions that work to commercialize new technologies. Its climb in the rankings was noted in the recent release of the Milken Institute’s 2017 report, “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer.”

UNM also jumped to 33rd this year on a list of 100 universities and research organizations worldwide that received US patents in 2016. The National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, which released those rankings on Tuesday, began publishing the annual list in 2013. Since then, UNM has steadily climbed the ranks, from 56th in 2013 and 47th last year.

The increase in both rankings reflects the growth in UNM’s technology transfer program, said Lisa Kuuttila, UNM’s chief economic development officer and president and CEO of the Science and Technology Corp., UNM’s tech-transfer office.

“We are now ranked among the top universities worldwide in both the number of issued patents and overall technology transfer rankings,” said Kuuttila , who is currently serving as chair of NMBio’s board of directors. “This is significant because we are a midsize research university, smaller than many of those who rank below us.”

Register For The MedTech Conference by July 7 to save $600 + a NMBio Special 15% Discount

The MedTech Conference powered by AdvaMed is the leading gathering in North America of global medtech executives with regulatory, reimbursement, business development, legal, IP, marketing, quality, compliance, HR and other key responsibilities. In addition to the $600 savings, you’ll receive a 15% discount for being a member of NMBio. Click to register and use code “SPO17.”

Along with industry leaders, the international conference attracts business development professionals, investors, policy-makers, members of the media, legal experts, consultants, distributors, and other important stakeholders. More than 2,500 attendees will network, conduct business, gain access to capital and share insights in San Jose, Calif. fromSeptember 25-27. The conference also features world-class plenary speakers, networking, and business development opportunities. Visit to learn more.


UNM’s Health Sciences Center Will Add 100 to 200 New Researchers

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center brought in a record $203 million in research funding for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which ended June 30. The $203 million is a 23 percent increase from the $165 million the school raised last fiscal year, which set a record at the time. The additional funding will translate to 100 to 200 additional research jobs at the Health Sciences Center, according to a report in Albuquerque Business First.

NMBio board member Dr. Richard Larson, who serves as HSC’s executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research, said the continued funding growth adds longevity to the center’s work. After announcing the record-setting year in 2016, Larson estimated that for every million dollars in research funding, about 10 research jobs would be created. 

“This money spurs employment in New Mexico while promoting new discoveries and technology to improve health and health care,” Larson said. “Each of those jobs creates a ‘ripple effect,’ making the UNM Health Sciences Center a bright spot in our state’s economy.”

“We have posted year-over-year increases in grants and contracts for more than a decade, even as overall funding for biomedical research has remained stagnant,” Larson said. “We’ve built structures to help faculty become more competitive. We’ve provided pilot funding, additional training and support facilities — all while facilitating new scientific team formation to help our researchers address bigger challenges in health care.”

The research enterprise features two centers: the UNM Clinical & Translational Science Center, which focuses on accelerating the adoption of new technology into health care, and the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only institution in the region with the highest “comprehensive” designation from the National Cancer Institute. 
“Biotechnology developed by our scientists has been spun off to create dozens of new businesses in recent years,” Larson said. “Our continued success in growing our research capacity has been a tremendous boon for the people of New Mexico.”


Innovation Vouchers for Bioscience Startups

New Mexico Innovation Vouchers are small competitive grants which enable early stage science or technology companies to overcome discrete barriers to reaching market potential. These grants offset costs for services offered by approved programs. This allows companies to focus on and achieve strategic business development goals. For example, a company can use an Innovation Voucher for one month’s rent at an incubator and thus be able to travel to pitch to investors. More information and the application are found at this link: New Mexico Innovation Vouchers

NMBio Will Cohost the Tech + Entrepreneurship Mayoral Candidate Forum

Candidates for mayor of Albuquerque will address a wide range of issues that affect our burgeoning tech, bioscience and business communities at the August 17 event. It will be held from 5 PM to 8 PM at Fat Pipe. Other sponsors include The BioScience Center, ABQid, The New Mexico Technology Council, Creative Startups, WESST and the South Valley Economic Development Center. Here is the event page and link for registration:


NeuroVive Announces Successful Phase IIa Clinical Trial Results In Traumatic Brain Injury

Maas Biolab spinoff company NeuroVive Pharmaceutical (OTCQX symbol NEVPF) of Lund, Sweden has announced successful results from its clinical phase IIa CHIC (Copenhagen Head Injury Cyclosporine) study, conducted at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, according to Michael Vickers, Maas Biolab Director of Operations and a member of the NeuroVive Pharmaceutical Nomination Committee.  

The primary objective of the study was to establish safety and to characterize the pharmacokinetic profile of two dosing regimens of NeuroSTAT® in severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients.  In addition, exploratory measurements to evaluate the efficacy of NeuroSTAT® at the mitochondrial level and study how NeuroSTAT® affects various biochemical processes after a brain injury are being processed at present.  “We are thrilled to have achieved the primary goal of our phase IIa clinical trial in traumatic brain injury patients,” said Vickers, who serves as treasurer for NMBio. “The positive results are very gratifying as Maas Biolab was able to contribute significantly to the design of the study through the protocol input of our President Dr. Marcus Keep,” he continued.  

This successful phase IIa clinical trial adds to successful preclinical TBI studies that have been conducted in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).  A significantly reduced volume of brain injury (35% decrease) after NeuroSTAT® treatment was observed in MRI scans in the experimental TBI studies done in collaboration with Penn. Furthermore, these studies displayed positive changes in brain energy metabolite levels and mitochondrial respiratory function, as well as decreased generation of reactive oxygen species. “The NeuroSTAT® effects observed in our state-of-the art experimental model for TBI are very promising. Our collaborative approach on preclinical study design will set a completely novel standard in the development of new drugs in the field”, said Susan Margulies, PhD, Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania, US, and lead investigator for the preclinical studies. Further analyses are ongoing and additional data will be presented at the Annual National Neurotrauma Symposium, Neurotrauma 2017, in Snowbird, Utah, on July 9-12.

If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to learn about the bioscience community’s progress and accomplishments. If you have items of interest for our monthly publication, please forward to me.

Best wishes for a summer filled with accomplishments mixed with some leisure/play time,

Greg Byrnes
Executive Director
610-731-3671 (M)

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