OBI & OTRADI April 2021 Newsletter


The OBI Welcomes Thaena, Inc.

In April, Thaena, Inc. joined the OBI as its newest client company. Thaena’s four-person team describes their company’s mission and vision:

“Thaena Inc. is a women-led early stage biotech company. Our mission is to reduce suffering by restoring balance to the microbial ecosystems.

“At Thaena we achieve our mission through research and development of all natural pre and postbiotic products derived containing hundreds of compounds and metabolites that work together to balance and restore native microbial ecosystems. Our main focus is to produce and manufacture effective, safe, and reproducible (cGMP) products that are scientifically proven to support health via the microbial ecosystems of the gut and/or skin.

“Thaena’s vision is to be the leading and trusted manufacturer and supplier of naturally derived pre and postbiotic active ingredient products. We are working towards this goal with a data-driven approach researching the molecules (postbiotics) that are found in healthy human stool. This work is based on the pioneering work of our founders in Fecal Microbiota Transplant as well as an experienced research team. We are pioneers in advancing our understanding of microbiome science by providing a research and development platform that will allow for exploration and discovery of what it means to be ‘healthy’ from the lens of the microbes.”

We are thrilled to have Thaena onboard!

Thank you, Autodesk!

Thank you, Autodesk and Greg Fallon, VP of Platforms and Technology at Autodesk’s Portland site, for becoming an OBI corporate partner and for your support of OBI’s mission to provide resources for health innovation companies that impact human well-being and create jobs for Oregon!

Upward Growth

Two of OBI’s client companies are moving on up! Inherent Targeting is moving from an OBI membership to a spot in our co-working space in Suite 200, and Izon is moving from the co-working space to private office suite and lab space, also in Suite 200. We wish them much success on their continued growth and expansion within the OBI.

OBI Client Company Wins

Join the OBI Mentoring Program:
Applications Open Through April 30

Mentor and mentee applications are open until April 30 for this structured, 6-month mentoring program, so now is your opportunity to get involved!

Would You Like to be a Mentor?
If you have experience working with startups in the bioscience or digital health industry, consider applying to become a mentor. Benefits of mentoring include:

Growing Your Business? Become a Mentee!
We are looking for entrepreneurs who are already in business but would like guidance, accountability, and support from a mentor to help set and reach business goals. Benefits and time commitments for mentees include:

Apply by April 30
For more important dates, details, and link to the applications:

Mentor of the Month
Douglas Kawahara

Douglas Kawahara is the President & CEO of Elex Biotech and has over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience in business development, M&A, in-/out-licensing, technology assessment, strategic marketing/market analysis, patent portfolio management, and R&D management. His work has spanned the spectrum of the life sciences industry: multiple therapeutic areas, discovery to late-stage development, a range of therapeutic classes, therapeutic and preventive vaccines, platform technologies, diagnostics, and research products. In addition, he has an extensive international network in pharma, biotech, and venture capital communities.

Dr. Kawahara holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego, an MBA in finance from California State University, Long Beach, and a Ph.D. in microbiology (immunology) from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

His mentee is very pleased with the mentoring and notes that Dr. Kawahara’s experience in negotiating licensing agreements has been extremely helpful.

OHSU Invent-a-thon Post-Hack

Wednesday, April 21 from 3:00-6:00 PM Pacific

Come cheer on the most promising teams from October’s Invent-a-thon, addressing topics ranging from Alzheimer’s to asthma, aging-in-place to efficient trial recruiting. They’ll pitch live to compete for a share of $40k in prizes plus in-kind investor support. Get inspired by brief keynotes from OBI client company Hemex Health, as well as Kiddo and Xploro. Then enjoy some genuinely fun virtual networking and poster session with healthcare entrepreneurs, investors, and researchers while the judges deliberate.

This is an exciting opportunity to connect and catch a glimpse of the future of digital health and med-tech first-hand. Free, learn more and register at

SBIR/STTR Workshop May 25

The Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are a critical source of non-dilutive financing for early-stage companies. On May 25, NIH National Cancer Institute SBIR program directors Monique Pond and Jonathan Franca-Koh will cover eligibility, resources, investor initiatives and meet 1:1 with pre-selected companies.

This event is a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, Oregon Bioscience Incubator, OHSU’s Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center, and Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.

Biopharma Collaboration is Crucial

As we mark a full year since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, it’s impossible to overstate the significance of collaborations. The coronavirus outbreak has brought new attention to the importance of these innovative cross-stakeholder partnerships. A new report from PhRMA looks broadly at the collaborative ecosystem and illustrates biopharmaceutical industry’s long history and vast experience with a diverse breadth of collaborative efforts.

OHSU Research Week 2021

On May 6, learn more about research and innovation at OHSU, hosted by Technology Transfer and Collaborations & Entrepreneurship.


10-11am: Innovation and Commercialization Keynote

11:30am-12:30pm: A Researcher’s Guide to Partnering with Industry

1:00-2:00pm: OHSU Innovation Showcase

2:30-3:30pm: OHSU Startup Company Showcase

More details and registration here!



Virtual Lunch & Learn:
Funding Your Early Stage Bioscience Business

April 22, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Register here


Accelerate Biotech + Digital Health
Virtual Happy Hour
May 6, 2021
5:00-6:30 PM
Register in advance


Virtual Lunch & Learn:
Counterfeit Medicines & Drug Importation’s
Impact on Bioscience Innovation

May 11, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
More information



TAO Event: Founders Talk Fundraising
April 15, 2021
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Registration link


Zapproved Event: Colonialism in the Workplace
April 15, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Register here


PSBA Lunch & Learn:
Difficult Conversations and Working Through Tensions
April 27, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Register now


TAO Event: Resilience Shapes Reputation
April 28, 2021
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Registration link


VertueLab and Women in Science PDX Event:
Badass Women Entrepreneurs
April 29, 2021
12:00-1:30 PM
Register now