May 5, 2011 Program
Introduction: Seth Pinsky, President New York City Economic Development Corporation
Guest Presenter: Osage University Partners: Robert Adelson, Marc Singer and Louis Berneman.
Osage University Partners closed a $100m Fund to invest in university startups. Osage University Partners has partnered with the California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Duke University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Michigan , University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University.
Vivaldi Biosciences, (privately-held) is a biotechnology company developing advanced vaccines for prevention of common seasonal influenza (“flu”) and emergent pandemic flu. The company is deploying world-class science leadership and patented technologies in the development and production of novel live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) with a unique mode of action. Vivaldi’s initial focus is development of a LAIV for seasonal flu that provides improved protection for adults age 50 and over.
William Gerber, MD, Investment Partner of Bay City Capital and a member of Vivaldi’s Board of Directors, said, “Vivaldi’s founding and financing represents the culmination of an extensive, multi-year search by Bay City Capital across the spectrum of opportunities in the infectious disease field for novel vaccine and therapeutic modalities that target areas of significant commercial potential. Peter Johann, PhD, Managing General Partner of NGN Capital and a member of Vivaldi’s Board of Directors, commented, “NGN is excited about the opportunity Vivaldi presents, and thus has made a rare exception to invest in an early-stage company. We are impressed with Vivaldi’s proprietary technologies, strong management team and development plan for innovative and highly differentiated vaccines for influenza.
AltheRx Pharmaceuticals –Solabegron is a highly selective and potent beta3-adrenoceptor agonist in development for the reduction of symptoms of Overactive Bladder (OAB) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The Philadelphia-area biotech acquired Solabregon from GlaxoSmithKline, it relaxes bladder smooth muscles by stimulating beta-3 receptors, a novel mechanism as compared to currently available treatments, anti-muscarinics, which sell over $ 4 Billion annually. It appears that solabegron provides symptom relief in OAB withoutthe side effects associate with the antimuscarinics use, such as dry mouth, constipation and cognition issues. Using funds from an unnamed backer, a 2,000 patient phase III study of the drug for OAB will begin towards the end of the year. AltheRx Pharmaceuticals is privately held, and is seeking commercial partners for both of the solabegron programs.
QRS Systems, Inc.
QRS Systems, Inc. is a development stage company, makes implantable medical devices designed to automatically monitor for early rejection in heart and/or kidney transplant patients. Patients with these transplants are on immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory medications which can have their own serious side effects if not well titrated. The QRS Systems IRAMâ„¢ provides daily monitoring rejection status and can be used to titrate the lowest level of immunosuppressant and steroid medications, just above the threshold needed to prevent rejection. A Clinical study was performed at the Berlin Heart institute with 558 heart transplant patients included in the study. None of the patients died due to rejection. 273 underwent endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) at least once. QRS is planning to perform an IDE study with initial expectation of an HDE approval for heart transplant monitoring in early 2013 followed by a clinical study for PMA for both heart and kidney transplant monitoring.