Industry News and Notes – September 2011

Trenton Report

Funding Available to Help Life Science Companies Leverage Angel and Venture Fund Investments

TRENTON — Governor Chris Christie announced on August 2 that funding is available for life science and technology companies through three programs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). The products target emerging companies that have attracted capital through angel and venture capital investors.

The three programs, which are structured as subordinated convertible debt, will benefit early stage, emerging life science and technology companies by providing growth capital to directly fund uses such as hiring key staff, product marketing, and sales. They are:

  • Edison Innovation Angel Growth Fund, providing up to $250,000 to leverage the funding from private angel investors, with a 2:1 angel matching fund requirement
  • Edison Innovation VC Growth Fund, providing up to $500,000 to leverage the funding from venture-capital–backed investments, with a 1:1 venture capital matching fund requirement
  • Edison Innovation Growth Stars Fund, providing “follow on” funding of up to $500,000 to support the best-performing Edison Innovation Fund–assisted companies that have received 1:1 match funding from an angel investor/group or venture capital firm.

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

Governor Christie Continues Ongoing Efforts to Help Small Businesses Navigate State Government

TRENTON — Continuing the Christie Administration’s efforts to streamline government bureaucracy, assist small businesses to succeed and grow in New Jersey, and improve the state’s climate for job growth, Governor Chris Christie on September 1 signed into law A-3195. The measure establishes a program within the Department of State to assist small businesses in identifying all of the financial assistance programs for which they may be eligible. This program will help small businesses navigate the numerous finance, incentive, and assistance programs administered by various state departments and entities that are available to these businesses.

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

Washington Report

BIO Praises Final Passage of Patent Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC — Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement on September 8 following the passage of The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, H.R. 1249, by the U.S. Senate:

“BIO applauds the Senate’s passage of The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act as it marks the conclusion of a long and vigorous debate on how to best modernize our nation’s patent system. The improvements made by the bill will benefit all sectors of the national economy by enhancing patent quality and the efficiency, objectivity, predictability, and transparency of the U.S. patent system.”

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

Editor’s Note: President Obama signed the America Invents Act into law on September 16.

BIO Supports Timely Reauthorization of PDUFA to Promote the Development of Innovative Therapies and Speed New Medicines to Patients

WASHINGTON, DC — Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood released the following statement on the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) V recommendations as published on September 1 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

“BIO supports the PDUFA V recommendations as they will enhance the drug development and review process through increased transparency and scientific dialogue, advance regulatory science, and strengthen post-market surveillance. Most importantly, PDUFA V will provide patients and doctors with earlier access to breakthrough therapies.”

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

Synthetic Biology’s Potential for Commercial Innovation Should Be Supported, BIO Argues

WASHINGTON, DC — Research and development in synthetic biology is an evolution of biotechnology innovation that should be supported and encouraged by federal regulatory policies. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) on September 1 announced publication of the Policy Forum article, “Synthetic Biology: Regulating Industry Uses of New Biotechnologies,” in that week’s edition of Science magazine.

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

SBIR Updates

October 11 at NJIT Enterprise Development Center Event Highlights NIH and NCI SBIR Update and One-on-One Appointments

This seminar is intended to provide participants with an introduction to and overview of the SBIR and STTR programs, with a focus on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The seminar will feature participation by Todd Haim, PhD, who serves as SBIR/STTR Program Manager at NCI. The program will also include instruction on topic searching and an introduction to proposal writing.

The seminar will be delivered by Dr. Todd Haim, Program Manager, NCI SBIR Development Center, and Randy Harmon, NJSBDC Technology Commercialization Consultant and co-founder of Foundations Business Development Group, LLC.

From 1:00 until 5:00 p.m., Dr. Haim will be available for individual discussions with companies specifically interested in targeting NCI.

The event is sponsored by the NJ Small Business Development Centers of Rutgers, EisnerAmper, LLP, and Lowenstein Sandler PC.

Please CLICK HERE for more information or CLICK HERE for flyer about the event.

SBIR On-Demand Introductory Training Webinars

The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) has developed three 10-to-15–minute webinars intended to introduce entrepreneurs and small businesses to the basics of the SBIR & STTR programs and proposal writing, as follows:

  • Introduction to the SBIR & STTR Programs
  • Introduction to Topic Identification
  • Introduction to Proposal Writing

These webinars can be accessed at NJSBDC’s Technology Commercialization Program.

News from Our Colleges and Universities

FDU to Hold Innovation Summit: Healthcare Reform Strategies on October 12

This half-day intensive seminar is designed to help healthcare and business leaders learn about innovative new strategies that are improving healthcare and proactively responding to the implications created by the new federal law. In addition, business and nonprofit leaders at medium-sized businesses and nonprofits will better understand how to more effectively develop and implement programs and policies to help them better manage the rising cost of healthcare.

Please CLICK HERE for more information.

MITHRE 2011 Investment Focus Group Conference October 12 at Princeton University

The Mid-InfraRed Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) group invites you to attend its Investment Focus Group (IFG) conference on October 12 at Princeton University. This conference explores medical applications, starting with an overview of promising applications such as human breath monitoring, non-invasive glucose sensing, cancer detection and diagnostics, eye surgery, and environmental health monitoring, and focuses on key molecules of interest and addresses market impact.

The event is geared to engage a diverse and multidisciplinary group of individuals and stakeholders to help speed the adoption of emerging technologies by defining the market applications and opportunities. MITHRE is partnering with the Cleveland Clinic to increase visibility and understanding among clinicians and other medical personnel, and are pitching this to private and corporate venture capitalists and other investors interested in the medical/healthcare field.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more.

Open House at Princeton University Chemical and Biological Engineering Graduate Student Symposium on October 28

The annual Graduate Student Symposium, a one-day event organized by the graduate students in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will be held on October 28. It provides a medium through which students can present their work in a series of talks and posters to a predominantly industrial audience. The symposium is an opportunity to learn about the variety of research activities in the department and to promote discussion and interactions between students and industrial representatives.

For more information and to register, please CLICK HERE.

The Center for Environmental Life Sciences Continues Montclair State University’s Leadership Role in Education and Research

Montclair State is planning a Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), a transdisciplinary, collaborative facility for faculty and student research with a focus on pharmaceutical, environmental, and sustainability sciences. CELS will reflect the needs of the state and help solidify and facilitate relationships with industry through partnerships and incubator laboratories that permit collaborative research on forward-looking initiatives.

CELS will foster unique interplay between New Jersey‘s biopharma industry and the academic muscle at Montclair State.

Please CLICK HERE to read an article by Robert S. Prezant, Dean, College of Science and Mathematics, Montclair State University.

Rutgers Focuses on Business Partnerships

The Record (Bergen County) reported on September 19 that Rutgers University plans to highlight its business partnerships through two events this fall, focusing on entrepreneurs and the pharmaceutical industry.

Drug Discovery Day will take place November 3, and Entrepreneurship Day will be on November 14. Both events will include guest speakers and panels on moving ideas from university labs into the marketplace.

The newspaper also reported that the Rutgers Office of Technology Commercialization has increased its budget and set a goal of patenting 50 percent more inventions this year, compared with last year. And the university has also opened a web portal for the corporate community, through its Office of Research Alliances.

The article went on to say that Michael J. Pazzani, Vice President-Research and Economic Development at Rutgers, noted that the university is working to connect faculty researchers with commercial interests. Nine start-up companies have been created from university technologies in the last fiscal year.

Items of Note

Pearl Therapeutics in FierceBiotech’s 2011 Fierce 15

Pearl Therapeutics, with offices in Morristown, this September notched the ninth position in FierceBiotech’s 2011 Fierce 15.

In noting the selection, FierceBiotech wrote, “Pearl Therapeutics delivered compelling results from a Phase IIb trial of its lead therapy PT003, for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in May, showing the inhaled LAMA/LABA combo therapy beat existing products Foradil and Spiriva in a key measurement of efficacy. The data helped propel the feisty upstart in the race with Big Pharma outfits to bring potential blockbuster treatments for the lung disorder to market.”

Please CLICK HERE to read more.

Tobira’s Kathleen McGowan Named to SEC Committee

Congratulations to Tobira Therapeutics’ Vice President for Finance Kathleen McGowan, who on September 12 was named by the Securities and Exchange Commission to the newly formed Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.

The committee is intended to provide a formal mechanism through which the commission can receive advice and recommendations specifically related to privately held small businesses and publicly traded companies with less than $250 million in public market capitalization.

Please CLICK HERE to read the SEC release.

BioNJ Members among New Jersey Business’s Top 100 Employers

One of the reasons why New Jersey is such a great place to work is the many great employers. Hats off to the following BioNJ Members who were listed this August in New Jersey Business magazine’s annual list of the Top 100 Employers: UPS (5); Johnson & Johnson (7); Merck & Company (8); Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (24); Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (35); Citigroup (40); sanofi-aventis US (58); Pfizer (67); GE (72); KPMG (73); Bayer Corporation (84); Celgene Corporation (95); PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (99); and Deloitte, LLP (100).