Denise McCarty

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Portland wearables maker gets $1.6M grant for physical therapy system

Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal The system is a fraction of the cost of traditional rehab systems, such as instrumented treadmills, which run $80,000, according to APDM. STOCKSTUDIOX A Portland wearables developer has landed $1.6 million as it helps older adults achieve independent movement. The National Institute on Aging grant will help APDM Wearable Technologies commercialize a real-time biofeedback system. The SBIR Phase II grant could help APDM develop the industry’s first over-ground gait biofeedback rehabilitation system using both visual and auditory biofeedback. The system is a fraction of the cost of traditional rehab systems, such as instrumented treadmills, which run $80,000, according to APDM. Such treadmills restrict patients to walking at a fixed speed. The APDM system allows patients to walk in diverse “real world” settings at their own pace, the company said. The project marks APDM's first foray into intervention, as opposed to assessment, said APDM General Manager Matthew Johnson. "Now we're making a natural progression into how do we intervene through the therapeutic process, instead of objectively assessing where the patient is, but helping the physician be better than they would otherwise be," Johnson said. APDM will recruit 300 patients with various gait issues for a clinical trial [...]

Portland wearables maker gets $1.6M grant for physical therapy system 2018-06-19T13:25:41+00:00

How a $600M jolt could get OHSU’s promising AIDS vaccine to market

Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal ANDREW TOWNSEND OHSU VACCINE & GENE THERAPY INSTITUTE When TomegaVax Inc. spun out from Oregon Health & Science University in 2011, it had the makings of a future bio-star. The startup would commercialize the research from the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, where Dr. Louis Picker and his colleagues were developing a vaccine to combat some of the greatest global health crises in the world — HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The basis of the preventative vaccine is the common herpes virus, or cytomegalovirus, a novel approach. TomegaVax not only had the intellectual firepower, but it had also secured the necessary intellectual property protections. Then in 2013, Picker became a global sensation, with a scientific paper revealing that his vaccine candidate had cleared the simian form of HIV from the bodies of monkeys. Yet for a variety of reasons not tied to the science, TomegaVax struggled to gain traction with investors, a crucial step in the process of taking promising research to the next level. Clinical trials cost tens of millions of dollars and are best sponsored by an industry partner outside the university setting. But the company lacked a credible CEO with prior experience and couldn't hire one without the capital in [...]

How a $600M jolt could get OHSU’s promising AIDS vaccine to market 2018-06-15T09:33:41+00:00

Madison High graduate to attend Brown University as first-generation college student

Corlyn Vorhees, The Oregonian/Oregon Live                       Madison High graduate Cynthia Bui will be attending Brown University in September. Cynthia Bui, who graduated from Madison High this week, started preparing for college when she was only 10. She was the "really annoying know-it-all kid," she said. "I genuinely enjoyed learning. I don't think that's changed. It's gotten worse as I've gotten older." Bui learned three languages: Vietnamese by speaking it at home with her parents, English by watching PBS Kids and listening her dad read stories before bed and Spanish through the school Spanish immersion program her parents put her in when she was in kindergarten. In high school, Bui took eight Advanced Placement classes, served as secretary of her school's National Honor Society, helped design a device to detect E. coli in water and was one of 19 valedictorians of her graduating class. The only child of Vietnamese immigrants who moved to America before she was born, Bui will be the first in her family to go to college. Her mother is a manicurist and her father owns a construction business, she said, and they often weren't around because of work. Learning Spanish was [...]

Madison High graduate to attend Brown University as first-generation college student 2018-06-11T08:09:14+00:00

Eugene firm employs worms to transform drug research

Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal The following story is part of this week's package on the winners of the Portland Business Journal's Small Business Innovation Awards. Eugene-based NemaMetrix uses nematode worms to help scientists save money and time as they determine if a drug has therapeutic value or potentially dangerous side effects. The startup’s ScreenChip System collects data after DNA from a human patient is injected into the worm, an excellent living proxy for a human. “Honestly, I believe we’re building a platform that will transform access to living animals for basic research and applied research, figuring out what it means for humans,” NemaMetrix CEO Matt Beaudet said in January. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the number of labs we can get in.” NemaMetrix’s system is currently used in 100 labs around the world, including Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, the University of Washington, Stanford University and Bayer. Beaudet hopes to get into 200 more in short order. So far, NemaMetrix has garnered $4.5 million in grant funding from NIH, Oregon Best and other entities and $3.5 million in three funding rounds, led by Cascade Angels Fund and Oregon State Venture Fund and Rogue Partners. The Obama administration recognized [...]

Eugene firm employs worms to transform drug research 2018-06-05T14:08:03+00:00

AbSci raises $12 million in Series C financing

Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal AbSci, which developed a technology to drive down the cost of insulin for treating diabetes, said Wednesday it has raised $12 million. The oversubscribed Series C financing round will fuel commercialization of AbSci's protein expression platform. SaluPro can accelerate biopharmaceutical discovery and development and reduce manufacturing costs. The Vancouver, Washington-based company also announced that AGC Biologics President and CEO Dr. Gustavo Mahler will join AbSci’s board of directors. AGC, the parent company of Seattle-based AGC Biologics, led the round. AGC Biologics is a global contract development and manufacturing organization with 850 employees worldwide. “We are excited to have so much interest in this round,” AbSci founder and CEO Sean McClain said in a written statement. “Having a strategic partner such as AGC Biologics opens a number of opportunities.” Two years ago, AbSci closed a $5.1 million funding round led by Phoenix Venture Partners, then completed a Series B round, the amount of which was undisclosed, last year. AbSci currently employs 24 workers and plans to add 11 more by 2019. It expects to employ as many as 50 by late 2019. It recently expanded its downtown Vancouver space and plans to expand again at its current facility. SoluPro is a synthetic [...]

AbSci raises $12 million in Series C financing 2018-06-05T14:05:13+00:00