Life Science, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals

ONAMI’s Life Science, Healthcare & Pharmaceutical companies represent many segments – from devices to drugs. Some already have successful products in the marketplace. Others are advancing their inventions in the lab. Still others are actively seeking investors and/or commercial partners.

 

If you’re an inventor, you might find technologies like yours. If you’re an investor, you can be assured these companies have been thoroughly vetted by the ONAMI Team. Call or email us if you have quesitons.


AbSci

AbSci

Project Title:  Expression and Characterization of Clinically Relevant Proteins Produced Using an Optimizable E. coli Expression System

Prinicipal Investigator: Larry David, Oregon Health & Science University

Company Principal: Sean McClain, AbSci, LLC

Project Description:   AbSci has developed a proprietary engineered E. coli expression system, SoluPro™ that will allow for an easily optimizable and scalable production of soluble recombinant proteins.  Utilizing ONAMI Gap funding and advanced analytical methods available from the Oregon Health & Science University, AbSci is working to use this novel engineered expression system to efficiently produce and perform extensive characterization of three clinically relevant proteins.

Company status: AbSci has continued to develop the SoluPro™ product, an all-in-one protein expression platform, which produces complex proteins ranging from full-length antibodies to insulin using the simplest, best studied, and least expensive organism, E. coli.

AbSci advantages include:

  • >20g/L UNPRECEDENTED FERMENTATION TITERS. The SoluPro™ expression platform produces complex disulfide bonded proteins in a properly folded, soluble form.
  • >75% PURITY PRIOR TO CHROMATOGRAPHY.  AbSci's SoluPure™ ‘no-column’ purification technology eliminates downstream chromatography steps.
  • 10-20x INCREASE IN PLANT PRODUCTIVITY. SoluPro™ and SoluPure™ increase manufacturing flexibility and enables multi-product facilities.
  • Up to 75% REDUCTION IN DRUG SUBSTANCE COSTS. SoluPro™ and SoluPure™ enable dramatic cost savings compared to existing biomanufacturing processes

AbSci currently collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies to enable step-changes in productivity to their bio-pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing.  The company is supported by a syncidate of experienced investors including AGC, Oregon Venture Fund and Phoenix Venture Partners.

Company Website: abscibio.com


Cascade Prodrug

Cascade Prodrug

Project Title: Nanosystem for the delivery of Hypoxia-Activated-Prodrugs

Prinicipal Investigator: Adam Alani, Oregon State University

Company Principal: August Sick, Cascade Prodrug

Project Description: Cascade Prodrug, working with researchers from Oregon State University, is working to examine the key molecular mechanisms involved in the activation and function of lead anti-cancer compounds, specifically targeting tumor hypoxia using prodrugs.  By selectively targeting tumor hypoxia for activation, the prodrugs are less toxic to normal cells than the corresponding parent drugs thereby providing a safer, more effetive cancer treatment.  Data generated in this project will provide Cascade Prodrug with a clear path for drug development, attracting investors who need this critical information in order to provide the capital for Cascade Prodrug to build a product development team in Oregon.

Company Update: Since completing the ONAMI Gap project, the company has introduced its Trifecta Chemotherapy™ Solution, offering three key therapeutic enhancements that will provide patients with improved chemotherapy options for treating a variety of solid tumor types: efficacy, safety and enhanced tumor penetration. Read more about Cascade Prodrug and this solution here.

Company Website: cascadeprodrug.com


DesignMedix

DesignMedix

Project Title: Manufacture and Toxicological Evaluation of Preventive Malaria Drugs based on Nanotechnology

Principal Investigator: David Peyton, Portland State University

Company Contact: Lynnor Stevenson, Ph.D., CEO, DesignMedix, Inc.

Description: DesignMedix, Inc. is a drug development company focused on overcoming drug resistance, one of the major challenges impacting human health and drug development today. The DesignMedix approach offers both a mechanism to overcome resistance, and the ability to develop an ongoing series of novel drugs. DesignMedix has designed and synthesized a library of novel candidate drugs called reverse chloroquines (or RCQ's) to combat several important infectious diseases. In this project the DesignMedix / PSU team will select the nanocarriers most appropriate for preventative delivery of malaria drugs, and develop a scale-up process for the cost-effective synthesis of drug candidates in sufficient quantities for safety and oral availability testing.

Company Update: In September 2012, DesignMedix was awarded an SBIR grant by the National Institutes of Health for manufacture of malarial drugs related to this ONAMI Gap grant. In March 2009, DesignMedix won the Oregon Entrepreneur's Network "Angel Oregon" competition, to receive additional investment of $150,000. (See here for more details.)

In September 2018, the company announced its lead product, experimental anti-malaria medicine DM1157, has begun human clinical trials. Read more about this announcement here.

Company Website: designmedix.com


Dune Sciences

Dune Sciences

Project Title: Anti-microbial Fabric Treatment using Nanosilver

Prinicipal Investigator: Kurt Langworthy, University of Oregon

Company Principal: Richard Geiger, Ph.D., Dune Sciences, Inc.

Project Description: Dune Sciences, working with researchers from the University of Oregon and with access to facilities and equipment at the Lokey Laboratories, is working to develop a protocol for increasing the manufacturing scale of their wash-on, durable, antimicrobial fabric treatment that prevents bacterial contamination of treated textiles.  The product can be safely and economically applied to virtually any textile at any step in the textile manufacturing process from treating thread to treating finished products at home by consumers in their own laundry.  The company is also using ONAMI funds to gather the data required to gain EPA regulatory approval for their antimicrobial treatment.

Company Update: In 2015, while working to increase the durability and effectiveness of new textile coatings, Dune’s scientists invented technology that has been used on an entirely new line of high-performance and environmentally friendly cleaning and deodorizing products. This technology was launched under the Defunkify® brand name in mid-2016 and is now available nationally in grocery, specialty retail, industrial cleaners, and online.

Company Website: dunesciences.com


Floragenex

Floragenex

Project Title: Development of a microreactor based Automated Library Construction System for DNA sequencing systems

Principal Investigator: Eric Johnson, The University of Oregon and The Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology

Company Contact: Nathan Lillegard, CEO and President, Floragenex, Inc.

Description: Floragenex and the University of Oregon are partnering to revolutionize gene sequencing process with the development of an automated system for preparing DNA samples for analysis by next generation DNA sequencing systems. Utilizing microreactor technology in partnership with the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute at Oregon State University, the team is working to develop sample preparation methods which provide higher throughput, lower cost and greater repeatability than existing methods of DNA sample preparation. Since receiving this ONAMI Gap grant, Floragenex has developed into a company specializing in applications using Restriction site Associated DNA Sequencing. RAD Sequencing (RAD-Seq), a breakthrough technology enabling scientists to efficiently discover and genotype large amounts of genetic information, in any plant or animal system, at a competitive cost.

Company Update: Floragenex is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sedia Biosciences Corporation. Sedia (www.sediabio.com) is a U.S.-based healthcare company focused on the development and commercialization of novel in vitro diagnostic and epidemiological tests including the Sedia™ LAg-Avidity EIA and BED HIV-1 Incidence EIA. The company is dedicated to advancing access to medical care by developing innovative diagnostic and monitoring products that enable more cost effective and expanded testing for infectious diseases and other conditions. Based in Portland, Oregon, Sedia develops, manufactures, licenses and sells in vitro diagnostic and epidemiological tests as well as specimen collection devices.

Company Website: floragenex.com


Home Dialysis Plus

Home Dialysis Plus

Project Title: Microchannel Kidney Dialysis Demonstration

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kevin Drost, Oregon State University

Company Contact: Mr. Michael Baker, Home Dialysis Plus

Description: HD+ and Oregon State University are demonstrating fabrication and performance of a microchannel dialyzer for the multi-billion dollar market for hemodialysis. The dialyzer allows for continuous flow treatment which enables a patient to undergo treatments up to 8 hour a day, a situation which more closely simulates natural kidney function and is expected to enable use of the dialyzer for home dialysis. The system design is intended to perform favorably against current solutions with lower blood damage, reduced volume of blood outside the body at a given moment, excellent dialysis functionality, and lower cost.

Company Update: Since receiving this ONAMI Gap grant, HD+ has received investment from Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing, and The Vertical Group, a venture capital firm that manages private partnerships with a “vertical” range of investments in the medical technology and biotechnology fields.  This investment is likely the largest Series A investment ever completed in Oregon.  Home Dialysis Plus is now part of San Francisco, CA based Outset Medical.


Lipidomics

Lipidomics

Project Title: Lipidomics in AD subjects for skin barrier restoration and disease prevention 

Prinicipal Investigator: Dr. Arup Indra, Oregon State University

Company: Lipidomics, Inc.

Project Description:

Working with the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy under the direction of Associate Professor Arup Indra, and start-up company Lipidomics, ONAMI has provided Launch funding to develop of a simple one-step method to battle eczema / atopic dermatitis in individuals in a non-invasive way.  The objective of the current study is to identify the skin lipids that correlate to skin infections and/or contribute to barrier disruptions leading to skin inflammation and pathogenesis of AD, and to validate the identified skin lipids for their potential to mitigate bacterial skin infections.

Following isolation of the skin surface lipids, a methodology has been developed to characterize >100 skin lipids (metabolites) including (saturated and un-saturated ceramides, free fatty acids, cholesterol, cholesterol-sulfate, triglycerides, sphingosine and sphinganine) by Ultra-performance LC- MS/MS (Mass Spectroscopy) using the untargeted lipidomic approach.


LuxRay Dental Systems

LuxRay Dental Systems

Project Title: Developing a Dental Imaging Product

Principal Investigators: Prof. Jack L. Ferracane, PhD (OHSU) & Prof. Thomas J. Hilton, DMD, MS (OHSU)

Company Contact: Peter Lovely, VP and CTO

Description: LuxRay Dental Systems, Inc. is an early stage company focusing on products which dramatically improve dental imaging and aid in the trend for minimally invasive dentistry.  With support from ONAMI, LuxRay is working with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) on a proof-of-concept project that will help to position LuxRay for commercializing the resulting product.  The project is aimed at two crucial goals that the product must achieve to be competitive: ease of use and good image quality.


NemaMetrix

NemaMetrix

Project Title: Microfluidic Devices for Drug Discovery: Electrophysiological Measures in Nematode Worms

Principal Investigator: Dr. Chris Doe, University of Oregon

Company Contact: Shawn Lockery, NemaMetrix

Description: The NemaMetrix / University of Oregon team is working to achieve ultimate proof-of-concept for a microfluidic device designed to accelerate drug discovery using the microscopic nematode C. elegans as a model organism. With ONAMI Gap funding, NemaMetrix has demonstrated a recording system that monitors EPGs in eight nematodes at once while simultaneously applying minute quantities of drugs to each one. This device has the potential to transcend a key bottle-neck in the anthelmintic discovery pipeline: the determination of mode of action.

Company Update: Since completion of their project, Nemametrix has proven to be an effective leader in Transgenic and Phenotyping Products and Services.  In 2014, Matt Beaudet joined the company as CEO to accelerate and guide commercialization efforts.  In 2017, NemaMetrix added the capability of creating custom transgenics by joining forces with Knudra Transgenics, a pioneer and an expert in providing transgenic C. elegans and zebrafish based in Salt Lake City. The combined company believes it is in a strong position to provide expertise and solutions to answer genome-to-phenome questions.

Company Website: nemametrix.com


NeuraMedica

NeuraMedica

Project Title:  Dural Clip Commercialization

Prinicipal Investigator: Justin Cetas, MD, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University

Company Principal: Rachel Dreilinger, NeuraMedica, LLC

Project Description:   Utilizing ONAMI Gap funding for product development and market research support, with technology initially developed at the Oregon Health & Science University, Neuramedica seeks to commercialize a proprietary Dural Clip & Applicator surgical device. The device is a bioabsorbable clip and applicator system for use in neurosurgery to close incisions of the Dura Mater (durotomy). This Dural Clip & Applicator device may be used by neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons in the closure of spinal dural openings saving the hospital significant costs by reducing operative time. This system will make closure of the dura much quicker as the application of several Clips in a row will take seconds to apply.

Company Update: In August, 2018 NeuraMedica Inc. received a $1.5 Million Grant from the National Institutes of Health.  This SBIR Phase II grant was awarded in June 2018 through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and provides 24 months of funding for continued research and development of the Dural Clip.

Company website:  www.neuramedica.com


Northwest Medical Isotopes (NWMI)

Northwest Medical Isotopes (NWMI)

Project Title: Material Process for Medical Grade Isotopes

Principal Investigator: Steve Reese, Oregon State University

Company Contact: Nick Fowler, CEO, Northwest Medical Isotopes

Description: Northwest Medical Isotopes and Oregon State University are working to alleviate the shortage of medical grade isotopes in the United States. Their novel target design seeks to use Low Enriched Uranium targets in TRIGA reactors for this purpose, yielding optimized fission production of medical isotopes such as 99Mo for diagnostic and therapeutic imaging.

The ultimate objective of their work is to create a license amendment to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in support of experimental irradiation of a single target in a TRIGA reactor, followed by experimental validation of the team's design.

Company Website: nwmedicalisotopes.com


OmnEcoil Instruments, Inc.

OmnEcoil Instruments, Inc.

Project Title: Novel fixed curved array multichannel device for MRI targeted prostate biopsy 

Prinicipal Investigator: Dr. Fergus Coakley, Oregon Health and Sciences University

Company: OmnEcoil Instruments, Inc.

Project Description:

OmnEcoil is developing a new biopsy device – funded in part by ONAMI Launch and Gap Grants – which combines an MRI endorectal coil and biopsy needle guide into one instrument, allowing for the simultaneous conduct of two procedures (diagnostic MRI and MRI-guided biopsy). When used in tandem with MRI-guided biopsy, OmnEcoil’s biopsy device could be a win-win, providing tumor localization and increased accuracy, reduced costs to patients and the healthcare system, and a more convenient and comfortable procedure for prostate patients.


Quantiport, Inc.

Quantiport, Inc.

Project Title:  Rapid and Accurate Blood Volume Determination

Company Contact: Dr. Theodore Hobbs, Oregon Health and Sciences University, and QuantiPort, Inc.

Description: QuantiPort, Inc. is developing a point-of-care medical device that quickly, accurately, and safely measures blood volume. Blood volume is an important physiological parameter in the assessment of blood loss due to trauma, major surgery, or GI ulceration. Results are expected to be generated within minutes and may be repeated several times an hour to allow assessment of ongoing blood loss or to assess the effects of therapeutic interventions such as blood transfusion. The QuantiPort device is intended to provide physicians with diagnostic power to save more lives and reduce health care costs for millions of patients.

Company website: http://www.quantiport.com


TomegaVax

TomegaVax

Project Title: CMV vectored vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and characterization of their immune responses in Rhesus macaques

Principal Investigator: Klaus Früh, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences University

Company Principal: Eric Bruening, Ph.D., TomegaVax, Inc.

Description: TomegaVax is a biotechnology company focused on developing vaccines for critical unmet medical needs. It was founded by a world class team of scientists with expertise in virology, immunology, and vaccine development to commercialize the Cytomegalovirus vaccine platform developed at OHSU’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI).  Antigens delivered by CMV vectors induce a continuous low level stimulation of the immune system that results in an active T-cell mediated immune shield.  The platform technology is ideally suited to address targets such as HPV which can take decades to progress to cervical cancer, while remaining otherwise hidden from the immune system. CMV-based vaccines have demonstrated pre-clinical efficacy in some of the most debilitating diseases known to man including HIV, Ebola, and tuberculosis.  This proposal, combined with ongoing SBIR funded preclinical development of CMV vectors against HPV, will help establish the utility of the TomegaVax platform as a therapeutic cervical cancer vaccine.

Company Update:

In January 2017, VIR Biotechnology, a San Francisco-based biotech company acquired Tomegavax.  Vir lead investors include ARCH Venture Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ARCH Venture, whose co-founder Robert Nelson led the formation of Vir, has committed to invest $150 million.  Learn more about Vir Biotechnology, its strategy to address serious infections diseases, and the role of Tomegavax, here.


Valliscor

Valliscor

Project Title: Development of Commercialized Process for Brominated Fluorohydrocarbons

Principal Investigator: Rich Carter, Oregon State University

Company Contact: Michael Standen, Valliscor LLC.

Description: Valliscor and Oregon State University are developing a process for the manufacturing of bromofluorinated hydrocarbons for use in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. Fluorine-containing pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals provide superior chemical properties such as a longer half-lives toward metabolism and improved solubility. Existing processes for synthesizing fluorinated building blocks (such as bromofluorinated hydrocarbons) often require toxic reagents and/or generate considerable chemical waste. The Valliscor process uses environmentally friendly reagents and greatly reduces the amount of chemical waste produced. The ultimate objective of their work is to demonstrate the capability of producing brominated fluorohydrocarbons on a commercial scale with a least one commercialized chemical entity.

Company Update: Since completion of their ONAMI Gap project, Vallisco has excelled in product development with the introdution of more than 10 new fluoroalkyl products.  Valliscor is now located within the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute in Corvallis, OR, which offers a modern, well-equipped facility with access to extensive instrumentation services. Valliscor was awarded 2015 Oregon Manufacturer of the Year in its size category from the Portland Business Journal and was one of three finalists for the 2015 Launch Stage Award from the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN). In addition, founders Rich Carter, Ph.D. and Mike Standen, Ph.D., were recognized as the 2015 Entrepreneurs of the Year by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce. More recently, the founders were recognized by the Willamette Angel Conference (WAC) as 2016 Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Company Website: valliscor.com