Open House on May 1st at the Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center Open House on Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

An Evening Celebrating Entrepreneurship and Innovation;

More than 900 People To Attend

AN EVENING OF PURE INNOVATION (With drinks, music, hors d’oeuvres and prizes thrown in for good measure.)

WHAT: An open house for the Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. More than 26 companies will be hosting events during the open house, featuring food, drinks, and entertainment, including live music, a golf simulator, and much more! A five minute “Power Pitch” session begins at 6:30 p.m. featuring several local entrepreneurs hosted by the Inventures Group.

Learn more about how these diverse companies are growing their businesses in this unique office environment. Industries include life sciences and biotech; creative; technology; talent acquisition; a pharmacy; not-for-profit; patent attorneys; and many more.

This free event is open to the community at large. A full list of Innovation Center tenants can be found here – https://bnmc-old.local/innovation-center-tenant-list/.

WHEN: Thursday, May 1st from 4:00 – 7:00 pm

WHERE: 640 Ellicott Street, Buffalo.  Complimentary car and bike parking in the lot directly across the street; the Innovation Center is two blocks from the Allen/Medical Campus NFTA station.

About the Thomas R. Beecher Innovation Center

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, located at 640 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, is a LEED-certified research and development space with over 55 tenants and 350 people, including life sciences and biotech companies, as well as companies offering support services like IP attorneys, talent acquisition, sales, and marketing. This state-of-the art facility is designed to accommodate small to medium companies seeking office, wet lab and/or research space, on a month-to-month basis or via longer term leases, located in the heart of the thriving Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The Innovation Center is owned and operated by the BNMC, Inc., a self-sustaining social enterprise successfully combining innovation, job creation, and urban revitalization. The BNMC, Inc. serves as the umbrella organization of the anchor institutions that make up the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus located within the 120-acre campus bordering Allentown, the Fruit Belt and Downtown. The BNMC, Inc. fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, its partners and the community to address critical issues impacting them, including entrepreneurship, energy, access and transportation, workforce and procurement, neighborhoods, and healthy communities, with the goal of increasing economic development and building a strong community.

Business Development is Buzzing on the BNMC

Ideas are being tested, perfected, and implemented every day here on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world are choosing to be in the heart of Buffalo, advancing products and technologies here at the Medical Campus. The BNMC continues to grow, creating an environment where a variety of life sciences, biotech, energy, and related support companies can interact with world class researchers and product developers.
We can help with all stages of company development, from “ideation” in our brand new co-work space called “d!g”, a collaborative space with mentors to help take your idea to the next level, to “incubation” in the Innovation Center, a mixed use space with nearly 60 companies that includes wet labs, offices, conference rooms, and light manufacturing bays. We also have plans to bring a new business accelerator online in the next few months. Our director of business development, Vic Nole can help you determine what space would be most wp-contentropriate for your company, and help you to connect to valuable business services and resources.

One of our goals at the BNMC is to help promote “purposeful collisions.” This includes encouraging researchers, physicians, administrators, nurses, business people, and community members to connect and interact through the projects designed to enhance our buildings, streetscapes, workforce, and social environment. Please join us at one of our many networking events to learn how you can “come grow with us.”

Upcoming events:

$250 Million Biotech Project Opening in February on BNMC

The $250 million drug development project first announced a year ago for the BNMC is scheduled to open i small-scale local operation by February 2014.
The plan to bring Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI)  to the Campus,  part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” economic development campaign, has evolved with a second company also now committed to locate here.

PerkinElmer, a Massachusetts company with 7,500 employees, located in over 150 countries and $2 billion in annual revenue, will partner with AMRI and together will become the first two companies to open local offices. The state is investing $50 million to build and equip a high-tech, drug-development facility for them on the Campus.

Cuomo publicized the plan of the AMRI project last December, and academic, business and government leaders spent the past year firming up those plans and deciding where ARMI and its partner should be located on the on the Campus.

The companies will move into temporary space at the Jacobs Neurological Institute, where a small contingent of researchers will work while permanent space for AMRI and PerkinElmer is built within a Conventus. The temporary space at the Jacobs Neurological Institute will employ roughly 40-60 worker and plan to move all workers into their permanent facility in Conventus in early 2015.

Alain E. Kaloyeros, senior vice president and CEO of SUNY Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, stated the Campus the companies will have the most progressive drug delivery and detection lines buzzing with 250 high-tech researchers, innovators, for two top companies in the business.

The state is spending $10 million on construction on the two companies and $40 million to build out the space.

AMRI will conduct drug discovery and development for pharmaceutical clients, and PerkinElmer will supply the equipment needed for the process.

The goal of the drug development project is  to leverage state money and increase the presence of the clinical and research institutions on the BNMC to in turn create private-sector investment and jobs.

Click here for more information.

UB, Empire Genomics Partner with Life Technologies to Accelerate Innovative, Genetics-based Clinical Research in WNY

Collaboration Will Strengthen Regional Life Sciences Industry

Empire Genomics, Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) and the University at Buffalo (UB) will embark on a new partnership to develop world-class gene sequencing facilities for genetics-based clinical research on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The collaboration capitalizes on each organization’s strengths to help establish a new standard for genomic research in Western New York and continue to grow the life sciences sector of the region’s economy.

Life Technologies, a global provider of biotechnology products and services, will provide state-of-the-art genome sequencing equipment enabling UB and Empire Genomics to establish their initial set up of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified sequencing facilities on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The advanced sequencing technology available from Life Technologies, combined with the expertise of UB researchers and the Empire Genomics team, will help clinical researchers develop new diagnostic tests that, in the future, could enable physicians to prescribe treatments tailored to each individual based on genetic make-up.

“We are very pleased that after carefully looking at all of the alternatives, the University at Buffalo and Empire Genetics decided that Ion semiconductor sequencing was the best platform to help them reach their goal of advancing genetics-based clinical research, and ultimately driving growth in the life sciences industry in Western New York,” said Mark Stevenson, president and chief operating officer at Life Technologies.

Achieving CLIA certification will enhance and expand the services Empire Genomics and UB provide to clients across the globe, and holds the promise of spawning new diagnostic tests for a number of diseases or conditions. The results will eventually lead to new tools to deliver better health care while growing new jobs in Western New York.

“This collaboration is a great example of the impact that can be made when industry and academic partners work together toward shared goals,” said Marnie LaVigne, PhD, associate vice president for economic development at UB. “We look forward to continuing to partner with Life Technologies and Empire Genomics on these efforts to support the advancement of genetics-based clinical research and the life sciences as key economic drivers in our region.”

The CLIA-certified laboratories will be set up at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and at the downtown Buffalo headquarters of Empire Genomics, a provider of genetics-based research and testing services.

“Genetics-based diagnostics will play a major role in developing personalized medicine, and that in turn will create new job opportunities in Western New York,” said Norma J. Nowak, PhD, founder and chief scientific officer at Empire Genomics and director of science and technology at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. “Leveraging our combined strengths will ensure that we remain at the forefront of technological and research capabilities while making greater long-term contributions to the public health.”

*All products referenced are for Research Use Only and not intended for use in diagnostic procedures, unless otherwise noted.

Kerry Jones Waring (UB CoE);  kerryjon@buffalo.edu
;716.881.7997

Media Coverage:

Collaboration Brings Genetic Testing to Med Campus

UB, Life-sciences Firms Partner on Gene Sequencing

 

 

Pursuing a Career in Life Sciences in Buffalo Niagara

The Life Sciences Commercialization Lecture Series will feature the “Pursuing a Life Sciences Career in Buffalo Niagara” panel discussion on Thursday, May 23rd from 4 – 5 p.m. in the Zebro Conference Room at the Roswell Park Center for Genetics and Pharmacology (701 Ellicott Street).  Moderated by Steve Kimmel-Hurt from the Superior Group, the panel will consists of companies like AMRI and Harmac Medical Products that will offer insight to individuals looking to learn more about the different life sciences and advanced manufacturing career opportunities.
With the  life sciences sector growing on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and throughout the region, the demand for a highly skilled and trained workforce is increasing. Hear from local life sciences firms about their workforce needs and why this is a great time to pursue a career in these exciting fields. To register to attend this free event, click here.

For more information about life sciences, medical device, and biotechnology companies on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and to learn more the each company’s area of focus, view the list of companies on the BNMC.

To learn more about specific opportunities offered by member institutions on the Medical Campus like Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center, Buffalo Medical Group, P.C., Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Kaleida Health, Olmsted Center for Sight, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University at Buffalo and Unyts, visit each individual website.

Additional resources:

5-23 Flyer

UB Helps to Launch Two Zimbabwe National Programs

UB Helps to Launch two Zimbabwe National Programs in Nanotechnology and HIV/AIDS Eradication

What does it take to launch two major international HIV/AIDS research initiatives involving the University at Buffalo (UB) and the University of Zimbabwe?

It requires attention to issues as diverse as working with government officials, choosing the right scientists, establishing ethics in research, training for quality control and good laboratory practices, transferring paper patient records into electronic formats and understanding how different cultures respond to serious illness and treatment.

And it requires face-to-face information exchange and planning.

Morse-ZimbabweA UB-led research team recently traveled to Zimbabwe to participate in a week-long program of workshops that included the formal launch of two Zimbabwe national programs: the Zimbabwe International Nanotechnology Center (ZINC) and the Zimbabwe Evidence-To-Action (ETA), an implementation project to eradicate HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe.

With 14 percent of Zimbabwe's population living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis as a co-infection, the need for new drugs and new formulations of available treatments is crucial.

UB’s role in the ZINC partnership is to provide training to young scientists and students in Zimbabwe in multiple areas within nanotechnology. The trip to Zimbabwe included identifying research areas of common interest to Zimbabwe and prioritizing them according to the country’s needs.

UB has built a partnership with Zimbabwe over seven years through an NIH Fogarty International Center program.

Paras Prasad, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering; Samuel P. Capen Chair of Chemistry and executive director of UB’s Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB), and Gene Morse, PharmD, professor and associate director of  the UB Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences headthe UB-ZINC collaboration.

“There was an incredible feeling of optimism and high energy toward both initiatives,” said Morse.

The week began with the second Zimbabwe National Nanotechnology Consultative Meeting on March 18 – 19.

Prasad, who will direct the international nanotechnology contributions for ZINC, gave the keynote address.

Morse, who will direct the international nanomedicine component of ZINC, presented the role that UB and the CoE will play in ZINC. Other participating UB faculty included Stanley Schwartz, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Peter Horvath, PhD, associate professor of exercise physiology and nutrition.

Background and details of ZINC were provided during presentations from the minister for science and technology development (MSTD), the Honorable Professor Heneri Dzinotyiweyi, UB alumnus, Chiedza Maponga, PharmD, technical director for nanotechnology (MSTD) and director of the UZ School of Pharmacy, and Josephat Zimba, Technical Consultant to the MSTD on nanotechnology. Additional presentations from Professor Levi Nyagura, UZ Vice Chancellor, and Professor David Simbi, CUT Vice Chancellor, described the leadership roles for their universities.

The week continued with a two-day workshop on March 20 – 21 for the ETA Project.

Hosted by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, the first day summarized:

  • Recent compelling data that provide the rationale for preventing HIV transmission through pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention (TaSP)
  • The national statistics for prevention of mother-to-child transmission and pediatric HIV infection
  • HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 and the dramatic results obtained in discordant couples when the HIV-infected partner was treated early after infection leading to a reduced transmission rate
  • The need for a strategy to provide treatment to key populations with HIV infection including high risk groups such as prisoners, men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers and pregnant women.

At a concurrent workshop, Robin DiFrancesco, manager of the UB Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program (CPQA) and an AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) mentor, provided lectures focused on building laboratory skills and bioanalytical method development.

In a second afternoon workshop, Kathleen Tooley, senior research support specialist in the UB Translational Pharmacology Research Core, and Education and Operations Administrator for CPQA and AITRP, and an AITRP mentor, moderated a group at the UZ College of Health Sciences to address challenges in research ethics and research administration for faculty and students who will conduct research within ETA.

Morse chaired the second day of the workshop and provided a presentation on the progress of the UB-UZ AITRP. Highlights included a review of the Training Advisory Group and the recently established Scientific Advisory Board, new research programs, nutritional and traditional medicine pharmacology, clinical pharmacology and healthcare informatics.

The second half of the morning program was chaired by Morse and focused on Bioinformatics and Health Information Technology (HIT) required for the ETA infrastructure in collaboration with the Zimbabwean health care system.

In the HIV Nutrition Pharmacology working group, Horvath and faculty and graduate students from the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry discussed nutritional considerations for the ETA project.

Horvath also provided a seminar on March 25 for the UZ Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry titled “Nutritional Aspects of HIV Infection and Treatment.”

Morse was pleased with the results achieved during the visit.

“I was very proud that a country that has faced so many challenges to advancing the health of the nation and plan for scientific and economic growth was linked to the UB-UZ AITRP and the efforts that have been put forward over the last seven years.”

Morse said that the UB team’s visit contributed to two Zimbabwean national initiatives and conducted numerous sessions, workshops and small group meetings.

“The outcome created a new level of collaboration, reaching beyond university campuses to the highest levels of government ministries as well as community programs. This extensive spectrum of research and education programs has been built on the strong AITRP link between UZ and UB,” he said.

The events were jointly sponsored by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare; the University at Buffalo – University of Zimbabwe (UZ) AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) and the UZ – UB International Pharmacotherapy Education and Research Initiative (IPERI).

Sara R. Saldi (UB); saldi@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4593

*Photo courtesy of UB: Breakfast meeting with UB-UZ AITRP fellows and families and UB's Gene Morse, Robin DiFrancesco (both upper left), Kelly Tooley (AITRP Education and Operations Coordinator) and Amy Moss (current UB HIV Resident and AITRP Mentor). Dr. Maponga is left next to Dr. Morse.

New Biotech Companies Move Into Innovation Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

The Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center is pleased to welcome Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) spin-off companies Tartis Aging, Inc., and OncoTartis, Inc., as its newest tenants. The companies will occupy a combined 5,700-square-foot of wet lab and office space on the fourth floor of the building. Approximately half of this space will be built up as the companies continue to grow in size. Tartis
OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are discovery-stage biotechnology companies seeking novel anti-cancer and anti-aging drugs. Their proprietary technologies are licensed from the laboratories of Andrei Gudkov, PhD, from RPCI.

Dr. Gudkov was recruited to Buffalo by RPCI and other local partners in 2007. He moved his research lab and his first commercial company, Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (CBLI), from the Cleveland Clinic to serve as Senior Vice President of Basic Science and Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park.

The laboratory building at 73 High Street, shared with Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., had been the first home for both corporations. With 15 employees and a growing portfolio, the two companies have outgrown the space available on High Street but wanted to remain on the BNMC.

“We are very hwp-contenty to find space in the Innovation Center, which allows us to expand our research and at the same time continue to be close to our colleagues at CBLI and Roswell Park,” said Aleksandra Kotlyarova, Director of Operations for both companies.

“OncoTartis and Tartis Aging are perfect examples of what we need to see more of here in Buffalo,” said Patrick J. Whalen, Chief Operating Officer of the BNMC, Inc., which owns and operates the Innovation Center. “Dr. Gudkov and Cleveland BioLabs moved to the BNMC several years ago to better collaborate with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and thanks to the groundbreaking research at Roswell Park, they continue to grow and spin off companies, creating more jobs and economic-development opportunities in Buffalo as they evolve.”

Kari Bonaro (BNMC, Inc.); kbonaro@bnmc-old.local; 716.218.7157

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