The National Institutes of Health and Industry Leaders Offer Feedback to BioTech Companies at the Cove @UCI

Past Tides
March 13, 2018 By Jackie Connor

On February 26 and 27, UCI Applied Innovation hosted the 13th annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Commercialization Accelerator Program 2018 FeedForward Sessions at the Cove. The two-day event featured industry leaders, investors and life sciences experts who served as mentors for more than 20 biotechnology-based companies that are on a commercialization transition track. Each company presented their products and business strategies in the Cove’s breakout rooms and, in turn, received feedback and guidance from experts.

“It’s marvelous to see how this event has progressed and developed,” said Dr. Neven Karlovac, event mentor and Cellmic CEO. “The companies I’ve seen so far are just amazing—namely their technology and commercialization.”

Below is a snapshot of some of the companies that presented at the event:

Aventusoft LLC
, a software company whose mission is to develop accessible hemodynamic monitoring to advance cardiac assessments, developed Hemotag, a small hand-held device that is placed on top of a patient’s body to take blood flow measurements.
“It opens up a lot of use cases for rapid care,” said Kaustubh Kale, Aventusoft founder and CEO. “You don’t have to wait for a blood test that may take two-to-three hours.”
Currently, to assess a patient for a cardiac event, they are evaluated based on signs and symptoms. Hemotag will measure a patient’s blood flow and the data will be stored on a cloud-based platform where clinicians can access the information in real time. Hemotag would be the first known device to provide point-of-care hemodynamic monitoring via smartphone, which, per Kale, will result in 37-58 % reduction in re-hospitalization.

Contextual Change, LLC
, which provides in-person and online training courses and materials related to behavioral healthcare, has developed a new online interactive program, “ACT on College Life (ACT-CL).” The program allows a student to choose a primary problem pertaining to mental health. Serving as a trans-diagnostic approach to therapy, the program provides a student with guidance and monitoring from a therapist.

QuSpin, Inc., an atomic devices company, featured a new, second generation brain scanner that can be used to detect post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s and traumatic brain injuries as well as for pre-surgical applications and research.
The core technology would feature a super sensitive magnetic field detector that is 10,000 times more sensitive than other room-temperature magnetometers. Currently, magnetoencephalography (MEG), a neuroimaging technique that records magnetic fields from the brain’s electrical activity, is the top technology available, however it requires extreme temperatures to properly function and is very expensive. The new generation brain scanner uses non-invasive technology implemented in a specialized room at room temperature.

QooLabs, a diagnostic lab that develops innovative rapid test to improve lives, aims to develop a point-of-care rapid test at a low cost for patients who have sickle cell anemia, an inherited disorder that causes red blood cells to become misshapen and, therefore, cannot sufficiently carry oxygen throughout the body. In addition, the lab is also focused on completing the first and second phases of NIH funding for rapid testing related to hepatitis B and C.

InnoSense, LLC is currently in phase II of NIH funding in their development of Adnos, an early stage cerebral spinal fluid screening test that identifies early stage Alzheimer’s, which is a projected $900M market opportunity. This test would provide early detection of the disease through cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) via spinal tap that would be placed on a chip and inserted in a reader.

Each day concluded with multiple networking opportunities and light refreshments. For more information about events held at the Cove @UCI, click here.