OBI & OTRADI May 2020 Newsletter

Business Oregon Announces Enhanced Innovation Grant Program

The May 6, 2020 memo from Business Oregon states: “The Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC) supports companies with high-growth potential emerging from science and research. In 2018-2019, Oregon InC invested in 27 companies through the Enhanced Phase 0 program, providing critical gap funding between very early research and development funding sources and larger federal grants and/or private investment. These early investments supported innovative companies to scale up in Oregon, develop new technologies and products, create or retain jobs, and move products and services closer to market.

“Given the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, continuing this support of innovation-based entrepreneurship is vital for Oregon’s economic recovery. In recognition of this crisis, Oregon InC is re-launching the Enhanced Phase 0 program, now named the Enhanced Innovation Grant program. The Enhanced Innovation Grants will be awarded to early-stage Oregon companies that:

“Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, May 20th and will go through a formal review process. Full details can be found in the RFP document on Business Oregon’s website.”

OBI Client Company Wins

Health Technology Innovations, HTI, received the NSF Phase1 STTR award for CryoDiscovery ™ : An integrated cryo-EM intelligence solution. CryoDiscoveryTM: A Machine Learning Platform for Automated Cryo-electron Microscopy Particle Classification paper has been accepted to the Microscopy & Microanalysis August 2020 Conference. CryoDiscovery ™ Alpha released and being tested at OHSU. HTI LLC is now HTI Inc. Dr. Gershon Wolfe joined HTI as Director of R&D. HTI is looking for a machine learning development engineer and computer science interns.

On April 6, 2020, Vir Biotechnology announced a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline for research and development of coronavirus solutions. GSK’s investment and genomics expertise, combined with Vir Bio’s proprietary technology, will work to develop therapies and prevention for coronaviruses. Read their full press release.

Hemex Health is partnering with PAI Life Sciences in Seattle to create a rapid COVID-19 test on Hemex’s Gazelle Diagnostic platform. The test is designed for affordable use in remote locations with limited resources. The Portland Business Journal recently reported on this important collaboration. Link to full article here.

Virogenomics Bio Development, VBD, had a big win in April. In collaboration with Arthur Vandenbark at OHSU and the VA, VBD was awarded a three year, $3M Phase IIB SBIR. This project will advance a recombinant protein, DRhQ, that has the potential to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions with neuro inflammatory components. The aims of this project are to transfer production of DRhQ to a GMP manufacturer, determine its potential toxicity in two species and develop assays for evaluating its safety and efficacy after administration. These aims will provide preclinical data for an IND submission, a critical step in creating an FDA approved drug.

Madorra‘s first patent has issued. This is the original patent they submitted while in the Stanford Biodesign Fellowship program. It has broad coverage of the use of ultrasound for treating vaginal dryness. They also presented during Avestria’s women’s health breakfast at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in January. Madorra was featured in the Fogarty Institute’s February Newsletter. And later that month, the Portland Tribune wrote an article about how they are leading a revoluation in women’s healthcare.

OBI’s Mentoring Program Now Accepting Mentee Applications

Last month we told you about our newly expanded Mentoring Program. We are pleased to announce that we’re now accepting applications to become a mentee.

Are you an entrepreneur with an early-stage or developing company in the bioscience or digital health industry? Did you know that mentoring helps you grow your business? A recent survey from Kabbage found that only 22% of businesses had mentors when they started their company, and 92% of business who have a mentor say mentoring has directly impacted their business growth and survival.

OBI’s mentoring program is a 6-month structured program, with our next cohort beginning July 1, 2020.

Apply now to become a Mentee! But act quickly – mentee applications are only open until May 15. Note: This program is open to all; however, priority will be given to OBI client companies.

Please see our Mentoring page for Fast Facts about mentoring, and a link to the application.

Welcome to our new Administrative Assistant, Kaci Garcia!

Ms. Garcia joined OBI in March 2020 as an Administrative Assistant. She is responsible for daily operations, the main point of contact for the companies in the incubator, and will be the office receptionist when we’re back in the office after Governor Brown’s Stay Home order is lifted.

Ms. Garcia graduated summa cum laude in 2019 from Portland State University with a B.A. in Arts and Letters and a minor in Art History. She also has an AAS in paralegal studies and an AGS from Portland Community College. Her professional background includes general office administration and work as a legal assistant in the field of business immigration law.

Upcoming Events

TAO Event: Virtual Lunch & Learn: Preventing Burnout
May 13, 2020
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Details here


VertueLab/BBC Webinar: ABCs of SBIR/STTR Funding
May 13, 2020
12:00-1:30 PM
Register to attend – Free


OEN Event: BYOB May Pubtalk – It’s Time to Build
May 13, 2020
5:30-7:00 PM
Information here

PSBA Virtual Lunch & Learn: What Leaders Need to Know About Negotiation
May 20, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
More information here

PSBA Virtual Lunch & Learn: Conflict to Conversation
June 3, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
More information here


NOW CFO Webinars: Roadmap to Recovery Weekly Webinars
Wednesdays at 2 PM, Fridays at 12 noon
Learn more here


SciEducate Webinars: SBIR Miniseries
Series of 4 webinars
More info here


BIO International Event: BIO Digital
June 8-12, 2020
For 2020, the BIO International Convention will transition to a new, virtual event format, BIO Digital. This virtual gathering of the global biotech industry provides access to key partners via BIO One-on-One Partnering, educational resources to help drive your business, and the insights you need to continue critical research and development.
Register here


OBI Event: Virtual Lunch & Learn – Pivot with Purpose: Build Your Business Around Your Greatest Strength
June 17, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
More information here – Free to attend