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The year promises to be a memorable one for investors in UF start-
up companies. From clinical trial launches to recruiting heavy-
hitting executive leadership, our spin-off companies are covering
Three UF companies were recently featured in TechJournal South's
Biotech 15 List: Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC),
AxoGen, Inc., and NovaMin are considered some of the
Southeast's most promising biotech firms. "We look forward to
watching these companies and the Southeast's biotech community
continue to thrive," said Eric Gregg, Publisher of TechJournal
South. This issue details a number of new milestones in the UF
business development pipeline.
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UF Start-Up AGTC Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Clinical
UF start-up Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), a
private clinical-stage biotechnology company, announced last
month the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical study to test the safety of
AGTC-0106, its investigational gene therapy product for patients
with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency ("Alpha-l"). Alpha-1 is a form
of congenital emphysema that causes degradation of a patient's
lung tissue due to inadequate production of alpha-1-antitrypsin
(AAT). Current treatment requires weekly intravenous infusions of
a human blood derived product containing AAT. AGTC-0106 is
designed to replace those infusions by providing patients with a
correct version of the AAT gene in order to restore natural levels of
the AAT protein.
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"We are delighted to take this next step in our development of this
important new product," said Sue Washer, CEO of AGTC. "We all
look forward to a treatment which will provide patients with the
safe and reliable levels of AAT to protect their lungs."
AGTC, a resident of the UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Development
Incubator, is developing novel therapeutics for patients with unmet
medical needs utilizing the non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus.
The company's investors include Interwest Partners, Intersouth
Partners, MedImmune Ventures, and Skyline Ventures. AGTC is
collaborating with Genzyme to develop, manufacture and market a
gene therapy product to treat Wet Age-Related Macular
To read more about AGTC, visit the company website at www.
agtc-fl.com. For more information about this and other UF start-
up companies, go to the Start-Up Companies page at www.otl.ufl.
RegenMed Study May Lead to Novel Therapy for Diabetic
UF start-up RegenMed, a development-stage biotechnology
company, recently announced that its anti-SDF-1 treatment
prevents retinal neovascularization, a condition that can lead to
blurred, distorted vision. Findings from a non-human primate SDF-
1 antibody studies were presented by RegenMed researcher Dr.
Edward Scott at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute sponsored
Angiogenesis meeting for clinical developments in the area of eye
disease. With the completion of this primate study (which follows
studies in mice) RegenMed is now preparing the antibody for use
in humans, and will then seek FDA approval to begin human
"Our treatment is the first that we know of targeting SDF-1, which
may be a better target than the target of other potential
treatments coming to market," said Scott. The study results may
lead to a preventative treatment for diabetic retinopathy and
possibly anti-angiogenic therapies for other diseases like cancer.
RegenMed, Inc. was founded in Gainesville, Florida in 2002, with
the goal of bringing together a world-renown working group of
stem cell biologists with complementary skills to develop new
regenerative medicine therapeutics. The company is advancing
regenerative medicine by developing a broad adult stem cell
platform for the prevention and treatment of human disease. Its
research is focused on new therapies for neural degeneration
(Parkinson's disease), angiogenesis (diabetic retinopathy and
macular degeneration), and cancer (glioblastoma and
"It is exciting to celebrate the successes of our start-up
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companies," says David Day, Director of the UF Office of
Technology Licensing, "but even more exciting to consider the
profound impact this technology will have on people's lives when
the treatment reaches the market."
To read more about RegenMed, visit the company website at
www.regenmedbio.com. For more information about this and
other UF start-up companies, go to the Start-Up Companies page
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Nanotherapeutics Plays Role in War on Terror
UF start-up and BDI resident Nanotherapeutics, Inc. was granted a
$2.4 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract
to develop an improved system to detect improvised explosive
devices (IEDs). The company has developed a unique and
patented method of detecting trace amounts of certain non-
nitrogen-based explosives that can be used to safely detect bombs
by the military and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Nanotherapeutics method uses a unique, portable, rapid gas
chromatography system to detect IEDs. Nanotherapeutics has
received this new, second phase SBIR contract from the Office of
Naval Research to refine, field test and commercialize its
explosives detection system. RF Monolithics, Inc., a 25-year
veteran of the radio frequency wireless industry, will participate in
the contract to add wireless mesh network capability to the system
to create a field-deployable array of explosive sensing devices.
Nanotherapeutics has made new discoveries in the area of
nanometer-scale manufacturing systems and is applying them to
the development of novel pharmaceutical, over-the-counter, and
diagnostic products. Nanotherapeutics has developed four
proprietary nanotechnologies, NanoDRYTM, NanoQUADTM,
NanoCOATTM, and NanoBREATH, which produce valuable
solutions for a variety of products.
To read more, go to www.nanotherapeutics.com.
UF's Lonnie Ingram Cited in Wall Street Journal Letter
In a letter entitled "Oil Substitutes Are a Growing Possibility,"
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published in the Wall Street Journal March 3, 2006, James Woolsey
and Robert McFarlane cite UF ethanol researcher Lonnie Ingram
regarding substantial reductions in enzyme costs to produce
ethanol from cellulose.
Robert McFarlane, national security adviser to President Ronald
Reagan from 1983 to 1985, now chairs an energy development
firm in Washington. James Woolsey, vice-president of Booz Allen
Hamilton, was director of central intelligence from 1993-95.
Ingram is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of
Microbiology and Cell Science, and Director of the Florida Center
for Renewable Chemicals and Fuels. He is also affiliated with start-
up company BC International, which develops and produces
renewable biofuels. Ingram has lobbied for years for ethanol as a
viable alternative to gasoline.
Gainesville Economic Summit April 26, "Capturing
The Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) is inviting all
community leaders and those interested in technology-based
economic development to attend its second economic development
summit. The event will be particularly valuable to developers
interested in collaborating to provide the physical infrastructure
and other resources necessary to foster the growth of early-stage
companies key to diversifying the community's economy.
Speakers from other university communities such as Georgia Tech
and the University of Michigan will share stories of how their
communities worked together to capitalize on innovation for
purposes of economic development. Facilitated discussions will
The event will be held Wednesday, April 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30
p.m. at the Gainesville Country Club. For more information visit
the GAIN website at www.gain-net.org. RSVP to Linda Garcia at
GarciaLinda@cox.net or call (352) 745-6175.
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BioFlorida Annual Conference
BioFlorida's 8th Annual Conference, entitled "Building the Vision:
From Cornerstone to Capstone," was held in Palm Beach February
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21-22 after being rescheduled due to last fall's hurricane activity.
The University of Florida was well represented, with leadership
from the Office of Technology Licensing, Sid Martin Biotechnology
Development Incubator, Center of Excellence for Regenerative
Health Biotechnology, and Florida Sea Grant hosting a booth with
information about UF research.
BioFlorida has been essential in bringing together industry,
academia and government to advance business, education,
technology transfer, workforce development and financial
opportunities in Florida's bioscience industry. BioFlorida is Florida's
independent statewide bioscience organization, focused on
advancing the commercialization of research and working to
further develop existing companies, launch start-up companies
and attract new business to Florida.
BioFlorida's 9 th annual conference will be held in Gainesville this
fall. Plan to attend the event, which features panel discussions on
subjects critical to building the bioscience industry, with tracks on
Bioscience, BioBusiness, and BioDeals. For more information, visit
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Greenwoods Return in April for Semi-annual SBIR/STTR
UF start-up companies have had extraordinary success with
applications for funding through the federal government's Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business
Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. UF companies within
the UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator (BDI) in
Alachua have a win rate of 43% on SBIR and STTR phase I and II
applications, compared to a 10-12% national average success
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One element contributing to this success has been the high caliber
instruction UF strives to provide to its entrepreneurial faculty. Over
the past several years, UF's Office of Technology Licensing (OTL)
and its partners have brought national SBIR/STTR experts Jim and
Gail Greenwood to the community to help start-up businesses
access these excellent funding sources.
The Greenwoods will lead another workshop in Gainesville on April
20. This workshop will cover the basics of SBIR/STTR, including
recent changes to the programs (such as the requirements for
submitting NIH proposals electronically). The Greenwoods will also
discuss a simple but effective four-step process for developing a
competitive Phase I SBIR or STTR proposal.
This promises to be an excellent introduction to the SBIR/STTR
programs for newcomers, as well as a benefit to more experienced
individuals who want to improve their SBIR/STTR proposal
preparation skills. The April 20 event is open to anyone wishing to
attend. Please RSVP to Terry Lemesh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
GTEC Hosts 2006 Roundtable Discussion Series for Early-
Stage Technology Enterprises
The Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN) is presenting a
series of roundtable discussions aimed at potential, new, and early-
stage technology entrepreneurs. The series will provide e expert
tips on organizing, launching and operating an early stage
technology enterprise, and how to avoid pitfalls and mistakes
many entrepreneurs make in the early stages of their technology
On February 16, over 30 entrepreneurs attended the kick-off
session, "Organizing and Launching Your Technology Entreprise,"
which covered issues such as assembling a management team of
business and technical/scientific people, and vesting ownership in
the company over time.
Other sessions include "Obtaining Early Stage Funding from
Family, Friends and Angels" on March 23 and "Operating Your New
Technology Enterprise" on April 20.
GAIN's mission is to encourage technology enterprises to start up
and develop in the Gainesville area by providing them with support
through networking and educational opportunities. GAIN President
Jane Muir, who serves as Associate Director of UF's Office of
Technology Licensing, says "This discussion series goes a long way
toward accomplish our goal of furthering the growth and
maintenance of technology enterprises in the Gainesville area."
For more information about GAIN, visit the website at www.gain-
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Sinmat Welcomes New VP for Business Development
UF start-up Sinmat, Inc., a technology solutions developer for the
semiconductor manufacturing industry, has hired Dr. Pankaj
Agarwal as Vice President, Business Development to commercialize
the company's various CMP processes and to raise non federal
Dr. Agarwal comes to Sinmat with extensive experience in
business development and new technology commercialization. He
founded and was managing director of a startup fuel cell company
in Zurich, Switzerland, which achieved over $1 million in sales in
less than a year. Author of over 25 papers, Dr. Agarwal has helped
energy, alternative power, and new material development
organizations in North America, Western Europe, and South Asia
implement advanced diagnostic solutions. He has a Ph.D in
Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida, an MBA from
the Rotterdam School of Management, and a degree in Chemical
Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
For more information about Sinmat, Inc, visit the Startup
Companies page at www.otl.ufl.edu.
Industry Executive William Wells Joins ViewRay as Vice
UF start-up ViewRay is pleased to announce that accomplished
industry veteran, William "Will" Wells, has joined the Company as
Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Mr. Wells has an extensive executive background in the
radiotherapy industry, including serving as VP of Sales for NOMOS,
Clini-Therm International, BSD Medical, and Elekta Oncology
Systems. He was Director of Radiotherapy North America for
Philips, and has held positions with Varian.
Mr. Wells' first focus is on development of the IGRT Leadership
Alliance, eight carefully selected U.S. cancer clinic sites where
ViewRay's RenaissanceTM System will premier. The RenaissanceTM
is both a device and a process for performing high temporal and
spatial resolution MRI to significantly improve the accuracy of
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radiation doses delivered to patients. The RenaissanceTM system
circumvents heretofore insurmountable engineering and safety
challenges and promises to allow treating physicians, for the first
time in the history of radiation therapy, to know precisely where
the dose is going and if it is actually hitting the intended target.
ViewRay CEO Russell Donda adds, "Not only are we excited to
have Will on the team, but we are looking forward to the
collaborations being created out of the new Leadership Alliance.
Interfacing with some of the best and brightest in the industry will
help make the Renaissance the best it can possibly be."
For more information about ViewRay, Inc., visit the company's
website at www.viewray.com or go to the Office of Technology
Licensing site at www.otl.ufl.edu and click on Startup Companies.
EpicTide Featured in Financial Services Technology Report
EpicTide, Inc., a leading provider of security information
management solutions, is featured in the Financial Services
Technology Report, Q1 2006. The report quotes EpicTide CEO Kurt
Long extensively in a panel discussion of the challenges facing the
financial services industry in terms of compliance. Financial
Services Technology is an online publication of GDS International,
focusing on business issues relating to identity theft, ATMs,
storage, identity and access management, anti money laundering,
and integration. Read the article here.
EpicTide is a leader in solutions that help organizations increase
their security responsiveness, automate compliance and reduce
associated costs. The company is privately held and is located in
St. Petersburg, Florida. To learn more about EpicTide or the
Financial Services Technology Report, visit www.epictide.com or
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Check here for upcoming events:
Calendar of Events
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