Ashley

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Large Capital Infusion and Acquisition Makes New Oregon Bio Company Part of Huge Cure-Focused Portfolio

JOINT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 6, 2017 “This is the story about all the right elements coming together at the right time to show Oregon’s success in growing and accelerating bioscience startups here,” say both the Oregon Bioscience Association and OTRADI Bioscience Incubator leaders. Oregon is home to more than 840 bioscience firms and research institutions. CONTACT: Jennifer Fox., Ph.D., OTRADI Executive Director, (503) 753-8966 Denise McCarty, Executive Director, Oregon Bio, (503) 548-4432 Dianne Danowski Smith, Board member, (503) 201-7019, @OregonBio (Portland, Ore.) - Oregon’s biotech sector has again landed in merger and acquisition territory. Launching to “develop cures, treatments and preventions for challenging infectious diseases” Vir Biotechnology Inc. launched today announcing it is acquiring Portland, Ore.-based TomegaVax Inc., a startup company housed in the bioscience incubator at the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI). “This is one of Oregon’s biggest biotech stories to date,” said Denise McCarty, Oregon Bioscience Association’s executive director. “With the millions of dollars in capital infusion from ARCH Venture Partners and a lead investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today’s announcement showcases the attractiveness of Oregon’s biotech ecosystem for early and growth stage companies.” ARCH and investors are pouring $150 [...]

Oregon health care startups raised $11M in 2016 VC

Elizabeth Hayes, Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal Last year, five Oregon healthcare companies, including two Oregon Bio member companies: Nemametrix and RevMedx, raised more than $11 million in venture capital. Read more at bizjournals.com.

New research provides key insight about mitochondrial replacement therapy

OHSU-led study in Nature suggests mitochondrial donors should be carefully selected to avoid transmission of harmful mutations OHSU News  http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/news_events/news/2016/11-30-New-research-provides-ke.cfm A new discovery may unlock the answer to a vexing scientific question: How to conduct mitochondrial replacement therapy, a new gene-therapy technique, in such a way that safely prevents the transmission of harmful mitochondrial gene mutations from mothers to their children. A study published today in the journal Nature suggests that clinicians select egg donors whose mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is compatible to the mother’s ancestral mitochondria. Similar groups of mitochondrial DNA are known as haplotypes, each of which represents major branching points on the human genetic family tree. “This research suggests that we’re going to have the greatest success rates for producing an embryo free of disease-causing genetic mutations by making sure we are using the right combination of haplotypes,” said senior author Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., who directs the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at OHSU. Mitochondrial replacement therapy offers hope for women genetically predisposed to pass on mutant mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside nearly every cell of the body. Mitochondrial DNA is passed only from mothers to their children. Mutations can cause a range of potentially fatal [...]

OTRADI’s Jennifer Fox, drawn by Sci-Fi to a career in science

Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal Nov 30, 2016 Jennifer Fox was taking a risk when she accepted an offer to head a newly formed research institute to be based at Portland State University in 2008.At the time, Fox was happily working as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oregon’s Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology for five years. But she thought the Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute (OTRADI) had a lot of potential. She was intrigued by the challenge of building a lab from scratch and rather than being micro-focused on her own research, helping a broad swath of investigators take their discoveries from the lab to the real world. After learning about the lack of lab space in Portland, Fox also spearheaded the creation of an incubator to give biotech startups a springboard to commercial viability. Located on Portland’s South Waterfront, the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator (OBI) launched in 2013 with six startups. It provides lab space, entrepreneurial support and mentoring for emerging bioscience, medical device, digital health and therapeutic companies. The incubator has since grown to 17 companies and one, AbSci, is preparing to leave the roost for larger digs to accommodate its rapid growth. Fox isn’t [...]

No pain means gain for Portland device maker

Genteel targets broader market for device that draws blood without pain. Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal Nov 23, 2016 After Angela McMaster’s six-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, she started waking him up twice during the night to check his blood sugar. That meant pricking his finger with a needle — not a pleasant experience at any hour. Five years later, McMaster is still checking on Jackson in the wee hours, but he never knows it. Through a Facebook forum, she discovered a device that draws blood painlessly and happened to have been invented locally, by Christopher Jacobs of West Linn. “Instead of a half-hour ordeal in the middle of the night, it’s five minutes,” McMaster said. “It’s been a game changer for us.” Last May, a decade after he invented the Genteel lancing device, Jacobs obtained FDA clearance. Now he’s making a push to get it to as many of the half billion people globally who suffer from diabetes as possible. He is trying to expand beyond Amazon.com and the company’s own website to get the $129 device into drug stores. He is also applying for a Small Business Innovation Research grant for a study and to develop [...]

As Prescription Drug Costs Climb, Solutions Remain Evasive

Courtney Sherwood, The Lund Report https://www.thelundreport.org/content/prescription-drug-costs-climb-solutions-remain-evasive Prescription drug costs are rising so fast that sick patients, pharmacists and health insurers can’t keep up, but the most straightforward ways to rein in prices would have unintended consequences that could hurt patients or halt the development of new cures, panelists said Wednesday morning in a lively discussion hosted by the Oregon Health Forum on “What’s Going on with Pharmaceutical Costs?” Even so, insisted state Rep. Rob Nosse, Democrat from Oregon District 42, the Legislature must act. “I can’t keep having people in this industry tell me, ‘No, it’s too complicated, we can’t do anything. You are going to wreck research and development,’” said Nosse, the only panelist from outside the healthcare sector. “I need the pharmaceutical industry to come forward and suggest some solutions, because we are on an unsustainable trajectory.” Nosse sits on a legislative task force that last week unveiled a proposal to limit the cost of prescription drugs. He was joined on stage by: Ryan Dunlap, chief financial officer and senior vice president at MolecularMD Corp., who argued that caps on pharmaceutical prices could make it impossible for companies like his to raise capital to fund cutting-edge drug research. [...]

To The Future and Beyond: How the Latest Technology and Research Can Shape the Future of Health Care

Cambia Blog https://www.cambiahealth.com/blogs/innovation/future-and-beyond-how-latest-technology-and-research-can-shape-future-health-care How does big data play a role to improve the products of tomorrow? What rewards and challenges come along with merging healthcare, design and infrastructure? These questions were recently discussed in the “To the Future and Beyond – The Opportunities, Challenges and Rewards that Lie Ahead” panel at Oregon Bioscience Association’s 2016 Annual Conference. Brodie Dychinco, General Manager of Convenient Care Delivery, Cambia Health Solutions At Oregon Bio 2016, Brodie discussed health care of the future. How can health care be more personalized and convenient to consumers? He shared how virtual telehealth visits are a step in the right direction, allowing people to have a doctor’s visit without leaving the comfort of their home or office. “An important aspect of health care is convenience – what is convenient to you may not be convenient to your neighbor, so we’re trying to gather together an experience that makes sense for every person.” “Innovation is only really valuable when it’s used, so for it to be used you need to solve problems that humans actually care about in ways that humans actually like and appreciate.” “People are demanding personalization. The great thing about technology is that it enables personalization [...]

Oregon’s Top Bioscience Innovators—including Reed’s own—Convene on Campus

Katie Pelletier ’03, Sallyportal, Reed Magazine Online Fall break is typically a quiet week at Reed: the rain has set in, many students have gone home, and others are holed up in the library and dorms getting caught up on coursework and sleep. But over break this year, more than 300 leaders in Oregon’s biotech industries convened at Reed to talk about topics ranging from lifesaving technologies to supporting diversity and inclusion, biomedical research, and investing in the Oregon bioscience field. Campus became the hub of an annual effort to strategize and support the regional bioscience community, and many Reedies took part. The annual conference—Oregon Bio 2016—is not only a professional development and networking opportunity for the bioscience community, it's an important chance for industry professionals collectively to look to the future and set goals. Senator Ron Wyden addressed the conference, emphasizing the need for industry growth, enhancing Oregon's research climate, and attracting talent and companies to the state. Reed students, professors, alumni and staff also participated in the conference. Morgan Vague ’17, a biology major, was one of 10 researchers selected to participate in an opportunity called Research Fast Pitch. She competed against associate professors and PhD candidates with [...]

Meet the Small Business Innovation 2016 honorees

Andy Giegerich, Digital Managing Editor, Portland Business Journal PBJ's Small Business Innovation awards will, in its 2016 incarnation, feature an array of health, technology and lifestyle companies. In short, everything but the kitchen sink, up to and including a company that specializes in fast Jello shot production. This year's program is sponsored by Bank of America and Portland State University's School of Business Administration, both of which are presenting sponsors, and EnergyTrust of Oregon, which is a gold sponsor. The program takes place Nov. 10, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the Hilton Hotel, 921 S.W. Sixth Ave., in downtown Portland. Tickets are still available for this event, which teems with both entrepreneurial and creative up-and-comers. The Honorees: Goggle maker Abom (the company's wares are fog-free) APDM, which makes wireless wearable devices used in research into neurological conditions and to optimize performance in sports Circle Media, which created ways for parents to more easily monitor children through Internet-connected devices Citifyd, which created an app that helps drivers more easily find parking spaces Collexion, which helps collectors share their wares online Hubb, which helps enable better meeting planning La Maquina, which offers roasted chile products Portland Garment Factory, which makes [...]

The future is now: developing the Oregon bioscience landscape

The annual Oregon Bioscience Association’s conference, held October 20-21, is queuing up futurists and innovative thinkers, researchers and entrepreneurs to ask how we can build and grow Oregon’s bioscience landscape (Portland, Ore.) - Life-saving cures, pioneering medical innovations and groundbreaking health technologies will frame the conversation at Oregon Bio 2016: The Bioscience Landscape, which will bring together the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds for its two-day annual event. “The local bioscience landscape is changing with the fast pace of device and drug development and digital health in Oregon,” said Denise McCarty, executive director of Oregon Bioscience Association. “This is the only event of this size offered in Oregon to examine how emerging biotechnologies positively impact capital flow, collaboration across sectors, the industry’s growing workforce and the rapidly-evolving life sciences environment.” Innovative leaders from Columbia Sportswear, Cambia Health Solutions, Genentech, Zoetic Data, Inc. and Modern Edge will speak before an anticipated sell-out crowd at Oregon Bio’s signature event on Oct. 20-21 at Reed College. The roster of keynote speakers includes: - Charles Austen Angell, president and CEO, Modern Edge - Woody Blackford, vice president of Innovation and Design, Columbia Sportswear - Brodie Dychinco, general manager of Convenient Care Delivery, Cambia Health [...]