OBI & OTRADI July 2020 Newsletter

Congratulations to Floragenex!

Floragenex graduated from the OBI last month, after joining the incubator in July, 2013. Oregon‐based Floragenex is a privately-owned biotechnology company providing innovative solutions for genomic analysis in the life sciences. Since 2007, Floragenex has been a leader in genomics and next-generation DNA sequencing. From the early days when generating a million sequence reads was considered impossible to the 200M read runs of today, they have been helping scientists by providing expert guidance and support in genomics research.

Upon graduation, Floragenex relocated their lab and offices from OTRADI’s incubator in the Willamette Wharf building, to Nimbus Corporate Center in Beaverton where their parent company, Sedia Biosciences has a presence. In February, 2020, the Portland Business Journal listed both Floragenex and Sedia Biosciences on the list of the top 41 largest bioscience and health technology companies in Oregon and SW Washington, at rankings 38 and 10, respectively.

Hemex Health and HTI Awarded Business Oregon Enhanced Innovation Grants

OBI companies Hemex Health and Health Technology Innovations (HTI) have some great news! Out of 66 proposals Business Oregon received for their Enhanced Innovation Grant, they were two of the six awardees. Congratulations!

From the Business Oregon press release:
“Hemex Health is a medical diagnostic device company making tests for malaria and sickle cell disease. Enhanced Innovation Grant funds will be used for developing and validating a rapid test to detect COVID-related infection that targets viral proteins.

“HTI is developing digital imaging technologies to capture high-resolution 3D images from the molecular level up to the tissue level. Enhanced Innovation Grant funds will be used to integrate their CryoDiscovery product (Cryo-electron microscope that uses machine learning) with the CryoSPARCTM, a commercial grade software product.”

More OBI Client Company Wins

SUTUREGARD and their product HEMIGARD has been featured in a video on Dermatologist Dr. Dustin Portel’s Tik Tok page. The video received over 10,000 views in the first hour it was posted! Check out the video and feel free to share it with others:


Vir Biotechnology is one of the ARCH Venture Partners companies fighting COVID-19. See ARCH’s news about two new venture funds with $1.46 billion in funding, to assist in these efforts. Vir is focused on combining immunologic insights with cutting-edge technologies to treat and prevent serious infectious diseases.

Hemex Health announced the launch of their Gazelle diagnostic platform. Gazelle is a multi-test platform to test for malaria and sickle cell disease. Its affordability and portability makes it an important tool for use in low resource, remote areas of the world, and it was featured in this Devex article as well as this article in Lancet eClinicalMedicine. Watch the Gazelle video to see it in action. #GazelleTakesOff

OBI Alumni Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. won the Start-Up Stadium pitch competition that was held during BIO Digital in June. Out of the 30 finalists who submitted a pitch presentation, Sparrow was one of five winners. Here’s a link to BIO’s press release. Sparrow Pharmaceuticals is developing novel, proprietary new standards of care for Cushing’s syndrome.

Congrats to all!

New Mentoring Program Begins

July 1 marked the start of our new and improved mentoring program at OBI. This 6-month cohort consists of 7 mentors and 6 mentees. Mentor-mentee pairings are one-to-one or two-to-one. They are all excited to begin working together to set and reach the mentees’ business goals.

Participating Mentors:

Eric Distad, Cerebral Therapeutics

Lynn Sheehan, Evolve Strategic Ventures

Michael McGarry, Forvida

Sandra Shotwell, Alta Biomedical

John Tortorici, Chart Solutions

Curt Jennewine, Asia MedPartners

David Forman, Tonkon Torp, LLP

Participating Mentees:

Connor Barth, Inherent Targeting, LLC

Anil Kumar, RxHomeTest

Pabel Delgado, Asterism Healthcare

Holly Rockweiler, Madorra

Emmanuel Akporiaye, Veana Therapeutics

Heber Michaels, Kamino Care


We will have a new cohort of mentors and mentees in January, 2021. Keep an eye on the mentoring page on our website and newsletter for more information in the fall on how you can participate in our mentoring program.

OBI’s Advisors Help Entrepreneurs

In addition to mentoring, OBI has a list of over 80 Advisors who are ready and willing to help entrepreneurs seeking assistance. If you are an entrepreneur with a question or needing advice in the areas of…

… simply fill out this form and we will match you with an Advisor with expertise in the areas you need assistance in. This service is free of charge, and designed to help entrepreneurs build thriving businesses in Oregon! 

Looking for Seed Capital for Early-Stage Product Development?

NSF’s America’s Seed Fund (SBIR-STTR) invests up to $1.75 million in seed funding for early-stage research and development, and takes no equity in your company. Submit a project pitch now, before September 3, 2020.

Details here.

Upcoming Events

OBI Events

Virtual Lunch & Learn: They Said it Couldn’t be Done!
De-Risk Your Projects
July 22, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
Free – register here

Virtual Lunch & Learn: Valuation of Life Science Companies 
August 11, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
Free – more information

Other Community Events

Bio, Business and Good Beans: Virtual Facilitation with Finesse
July 15, 2020
9:15-10:00 AM
Free to attend – more info here

Oregon Bioscience Association has converted their
BioPro classes to a new virtual format!

The next class begins July 21, 2020
Link to full class schedule

TAO Virtual Lunch & Learn: Marketing in Times of Crisis
July 23, 2020
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
More information here

PSBA Virtual Lunch & Learn: Allyship and Confronting Prejudices in the Workplace
July 23, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
Free to attend

TAO and Catalyte Webinar: Process Resiliency | Keeping Everything
from Hitting the Fan
July 28, 2020
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
More information and registrationSciEducate Webinar: Business Plans are a Research Endeavor
July 28, 2020
1:00-2:00 PM
More info here

Oregon Bio Event: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dialogue
July 30, 2020
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Registration is free

PSBA Virtual Lunch & Learn: Conflict to Conversation
August 4, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
Registration is free

Founders Live PDX
August 5, 2020
5:30 PM-8:00 PM
Free to attend – register here