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  • 14 Sep 2022 11:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BIO Alabama CEO Headed to Oklahoma

    September 14, 2022

    BIO Alabama CEO Rachel Lane, PhD, RD steps down from the association at the end of September to transition her efforts to the Tulsa Innovation Labs Canopy Virtual HealthTech program in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Under Dr. Lane’s leadership, BIO Alabama and the state’s bioscience industry grew significantly, marked by the following key accomplishments:

    • Annual Conference | This in-person, two-day meeting gathered over 200 statewide industry partners and featured leaders and speakers from across the US.
    • Inaugural RALLY | This reverse-pitch event was supported by the AL Department of Commerce and connected local and national industry companies with Alabama academic institutions for collaboration.
    • Workforce Development | This initiative in collaboration with the AL Department of Commerce and AIDT charts a path for upscaling Alabama’s bioscience workforce.
    • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Tech Transfer Research (STTR) Award Workshops | The workshops are sponsored by the Innovation Corporation and connect innovators with federal agencies and information about nondilutive funding.
    • Platforms | BIO Alabama’s advocacy on behalf of Alabama bioscience companies create opportunities for innovators to be showcased on regional, national, and international stages.

    BIO Alabama held their first in-person conference in six years in April 2022.

    “Dr. Lane applied her vision and knowledge to take our industry to new, innovative levels,” said Chairperson Kacee Sims, PhD, director of marketing and technical services at Avanti Polar Lipids, Inc. “Losing her leadership is a disappointment, but I know she will continue to be an ambassador for us beyond our state’s lines.”

    Dr. Lane expressed gratitude to the Alabama bioscience and innovation community, stating “We have made significant strides toward our vision for the industry, thanks to the collaborative, welcoming spirit of this community. There is still work to be done, and it must be done together. The Alabama spirit that fueled our progress these past two years will continue to propel momentum forward.”

    Dr. Lane presents at the EDAA 2022 winter conference with panelists Vince Perez (AL Department of Commerce), Amy Sturdivant (58, Inc), and Blair King (Alabama Power).

    The BIO Alabama executive committee is strategizing a transition plan to ensure the continuation of Alabama’s forward progress in the industry.

    “BIO AL is a critical catalyst for our state’s industry,” stated Bill Dean, executive director of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation and member of BIO AL’s executive committee. “We are evaluating Dr. Lane’s thoughtful transition plan and are committed to continuing the momentum we have gained over the last two years.”

    BIO Alabama was founded in 1998 by industry leaders from across the state and is the state affiliate for BIO International. Bioscience companies in Alabama feed, fuel, and heal the world. BIO Alabama is committed to developing and fortifying the ecosystem that promotes the success of these companies by ensuring these companies have the intellectual property, people, space, capital, and business environment to complete their mission.

    Learn more about BIO Alabama at bioalabama.com.

  • 7 Sep 2022 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Birmingham, AL / September 2022 – Reliant Glycosciences, LLC (Reliant) is pleased to announce that the company has been awarded an Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant for $247,500. This grant is one of the first of its kind in the state of Alabama and will support the company’s National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Award.

    As stated in a press release by Gov. Kay Ivey, “The Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program is the latest way our state is creating an attractive business environment for pioneering ideas that will change our world. Alabamians have the grit, determination, and creativity to make these ideas a reality, and with Innovate Alabama’s supplemental funding, these small businesses will take their ideas from concept to commercialization.”

    With a SBIR Phase II Award, Reliant was eligible to apply for matching funds to their award.

    Dr. Kathy Nugent, the executive director of the UAB Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, commented in an UAB News Article, The Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program is a fantastic opportunity for UAB-based start-ups who have already received SBIR and STTR funding to continue to develop their innovative technologies. These technologies have already passed muster with scientific experts, making them strong investments for state funding.

    Reliant was formed with the mission to develop assays for biomarkers of IgA nephropathy with the diagnostic and/or prognostic value that will enable the development and monitoring of future disease-specific therapies. IgA nephropathy is a kidney disease that often leads to kidney failure.

    Reliant Co-Founder, Dr. Matthew Renfrow stated “This is a great opportunity for us and the state of Alabama. We are a local spin-off from UAB and we are so grateful to Governor Kay Ivey, Chairman Bill Poole, and all of the members of the Alabama Innovation Corporation Board of Directors for the vision and foresight of a program like Innovate Alabama to promote and support a small business that has the potential to have a big impact in the biotechnology sector.”

    https://www.reliantglycosciences.com/

    https://innovatealabama.org/

    Written by: Tatum Street, MBA

  • 25 Aug 2022 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Serina Therapeutics announced that it was recently awarded $250,000 by the State of Alabama’s Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant.

    The funding helps support the development of SER-227, a medication that can be administered in a hospital room by a physician to provide immediate and prolonged pain relief over a period of 3-5 days. The prolonged nature of the medicine is to prevent the need to use potentially addictive opioids such as morphine in the immediate post-op period. 

    Dr. Tacey Viegas, Serina’s chief operating officer and project director, said the grant will be used to complete the product development and pre-clinical studies required to support the initiation of clinical trials.

    “We’re grateful to Governor Kay Ivey, Chairman Bill Poole and all the members of the Alabama Innovation Corporation Board of Directors”, Viegas said. “The Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant helps small businesses like us take our ideas from concept to a path for commercialization and ultimately helps improve the quality of life here in Alabama, and we hope, around the world.”

    Serina is a Huntsville-based pharmaceutical research and development company that has developed a proprietary drug delivery technology platform. The new grant supplements another grant the company received in 2019 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) through the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) program. 

  • 14 Jul 2022 7:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Higher Orbits will launch its final event of the BRPH Series, Go For Launch! Alabamanext week running July 20-22, thanks to stellar support from their Series Sponsor.

    The hands-on flagship program of Higher Orbits spotlights the wonders of spaceflight and space exploration to provide students across the country the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills in STEM, teamwork, communication, research design, and leadership. While focusing on spaceflight, Go For Launch! students work alongside a featured astronaut at each event to learn and develop important skills that can be applied in any professional field.

    Read the full article HERE.

  • 5 Jul 2022 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Eurofins Discovery acquired DiscoveryBioMed for its expertise in leveraging primary and immortalized human diseased and normal cells to develop novel, customized bioassays supporting clients from HTS to lead optimization. DiscoveryBioMed achieves this through its focus on biologically relevant cellular models for the renal, skin, taste, ophthalmic, liver, respiratory, oncology, and other therapeutic areas. The addition of DiscoveryBioMed supports Eurofins Discovery's strategy to have the most complete, highest quality portfolio of drug discovery services and products, and further strengthens its ability to support translational biology for drug discovery research and development.

    Read full article here.

  • 27 Jun 2022 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Good news for our members who work on developing innovative cancer-detection technologies. Rep. Terri Sewell announced on June 23 that the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act (H.R. 1946) has achieved a significant milestone, earning the support of a bipartisan majority of members in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

    The legislation clears the way for coverage of Multi-Cancer Early Detection blood tests, which have the potential to shift how cancer is screened for and detected. 

    Many thanks to Rep. Sewell, the legislation’s lead sponsor, for leading the charge on H.R. 1946 and being a champion for innovation!

    Check out the full article below.

    https://sewell.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-sewell-s-legislation-ensure-access-groundbreaking-cancer-detection

  • 20 Jun 2022 5:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A University of Alabama at Birmingham biotech startup received $1.2 million to continue research toward treating a chronic kidney disease.

    Reliant Glycosciences LLC received a National Institutes of Health Small Business Innovation Research Phase II award to continue the development of its IgA nephropathy-related biomarker assays. The award runs through spring 2024.

    Read full article HERE.

  • 14 Jun 2022 3:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    UAB start-up SunFire Biotechnologies LLC was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Defense to continue advancing an assay to support the development of Shigella vaccines.

    The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant is for approximately $1 million over two years, and will assist SunFire researchers in qualifying and validating the assay so that SunFire can function as a contract research organization for other companies that are developing Shigella vaccines.

    Read full article HERE.

  • 14 Jun 2022 3:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A local ag tech firm recently raised $5.78 million in seed round funding. 

    Chonex will use the funds to expand production capacity and meet rising demand as well as to file patent applications for its proprietary process. Funding was led by undisclosed Alabama finance, manufacturing and engineering leaders.

    Read full article HERE.

  • 14 Jun 2022 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Astound, a Birmingham-based startup, has successfully secured $1m in seed funding to develop the first marketplace to allow research institutions and universities to easily find corporate sponsors for important scientific research.

    Read the full article here.

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