Selected researchers and startups win hearts, minds and $$ at Pacific NW life science event

Winning researchers and startup entrepreneurs capture prizes in four categories at Oregon Bio Digital 2020: Amplifying Diversity of Discovery, Access and Economics conference

(Portland, Ore.)  – Winners are now being announced for the Oregon Bioscience Association’s Pitch & Partner 2020 in recognition of local emerging research and successful life science and biotech startups. The pitches and real-time judging occurred at the annual conference’s digital event, Oregon Bio Digital 2020: Amplifying Diversity of Discovery, Access and Economics Conference, which took place in late November.

All entrants’ research and company abstracts can be found here, in the Conference Guide.

Of a pool of eight researchers, science expert judges picked winners from the Basic Research and Translational Research categories. Conference attendees at large selected the People’s Choice winners in each category.

  • Pitch & Partner 2020 Basic Research judges’ winner: Amy Robbins, Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon presented “Skin and bone: How zebrafish fin skeletons can inform regenerative therapeutics.”
  • Robbins won a cash prize of $1,000, Oregon Bio 1-year membership and entry for an Oregon Bio BioPro class, valued at $475.
  • Robbins also won the People’s Choice Award for this category.
  • Find recordings of all presentations at our Basic Research Playlist.

For the Pitch & Partner 2020 Translational Research judges’ winner:

Anthony Tahayeri, a Research Assistant at Oregon Health & Science University for his presentation called “Tooth-on-a-Chip: Reducing the need for animal testing in the field of dentistry.”

  • Tahayeri won a cash prize of $1,000, legal support for intellectual property protection from Miller Nash Graham & Dunn valued at $500, an Oregon Bio 1-year membership and entry for an Oregon Bio BioPro class, valued at $475.
  • The People’s Choice winner in this category went to Adie Wilson-Poe, Ph.D. of Legacy Research Institute who presented “Reducing Opioid Risks: The Efficacy of Inhaled Cannabis Vapor.”
  • Find recordings of the presentations at our Translational Research Playlist.

Of a pool of 10 startups, commercialization and scale-up expert judges selected one Early-Stage and one Later-Stage company. Conference attendees at large selected the People’s Choice winners in each category.

For the Pitch & Partner 2020 Early-Stage Startup category:

  • Inherent Targeting and Connor Barth, Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO, won the judges’ approval for his startup focused on “Nerve Tracing to Improving Surgical Outcomes and Reducing the Cost of Intraoperative Nerve Damage.”
  • Barth won a cash prize of Silver Level Membership in Oregon Bio valued at $3,300, a cash prize of $2,500, legal services including intellectual property protection from Graham Miller Nash Graham & Dunn valued at $1,000, BioPro classes, with valued at $775 and a virtual reception with industry leaders and legislators.
  • Inherent Targeting also snagged the People’s Choice Award for the Early-Stage Startup category.
  • Find recordings of the presentations at our Early-Stage Startup Playlist.

For the Pitch & Partner 2020 Later-Stage Startup category:

  • Emmanuel Akporiaye, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Veana Therapeutics, Inc., for his company’s mission “Developing Safer and Effective Oral Cancer Therapies.”
  • Akporiaye won a cash prize of Silver Level Membership in Oregon Bio valued at $3,300, a cash prize of $2,500, legal and intellectual property protection from Graham Miller Nash Graham & Dunn valued at $1,000, BioPro classes with a 2-day value of $775 and a virtual reception with industry leaders and legislators.
  • The People’s Choice Award for the Later-Stage Startup category went to Jacques Zaneveld, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Lazarus 3D, Inc., for “Improving the Quality of Healthcare and Patient Outcomes through Breakthrough 3D Printing Technologies.”
  • Find recordings of the presentations at our Later-Stage Startup Playlist.

“Attendees from our region and across the U.S. and beyond got a unique view of emerging research, entrepreneurial thought leadership and early-stage companies in the Northwest,” said Liisa Bozinovic, executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association. The conference offered industry symposia, a virtual career resource and matching event called Career 2020, and the signature pitch competition, Pitch & Partner 2020.

The Oregon Bio Digital 2020: Amplifying Diversity of Discovery, Access and Economics event partners include Presenting Sponsor BIO, Pitch Sponsor PhRMA,  and Panel Sponsors and Platinum Members: AbSci, AdvaMed, Biotronik/MSEI, City of Eugene, Genentech, and University of Oregon. Networking and contributing sponsors include VWR International, CAI, Davis Wright Tremaine, Skanska, NIKON, Oregon Health & Science University OTRADI/Oregon Bioscience Incubator, Summit Development Group, and  TE Connectivity. In Kind sponsors include LASTLink, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Catalyze, Saturday Academy, TiE Oregon, Oregon State University Advantage Accelerator and Riff.

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About Oregon Bio

The Oregon Bioscience Association seeks to create opportunity through advocacy, cultivation, education and group purchasing discounts for its members and the sector. Oregon Bio promotes the growth and quality of the bioscience industry in the region and continually seeks ways to support sustainability, acceleration and growth in the life science, bioscience, biotechnology and device manufacturing industries. Oregon Bio, a nonprofit membership association, affiliates with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO),  Advanced Medical Technology Association and Medical Device Manufacturers Association.

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