Tag Archives: BioInspire

bioscience

BioInspire earns ‘Excellence in Innovation’ award

BioInspire, the Peoria-based incubator for medical device companies, accepted an “Excellence in Innovation” award at WESTMARC’S Best of the West award ceremony this week.

The award is the latest recognition for BioInspire, whose goal is to help start-up companies in the competitive field of medical device innovative gain a competitive edge.

The BioInspire facility is a joint effort between Plaza Companies, the City of Peoria and BioAccel.   The Plaza Del Rio campus is the home of BioInspire is operated by BioAccel and is the brainchild of the City of Peoria Economic Development Office and Sharon Harper, the President and CEO of Plaza Companies. BioAccel offers first-class working space, technical and business assistance and collaborative opportunities.

A partnership between Plaza Companies, City of Peoria and BioAccel/BioInspire has produced results in the form of new jobs in the West Valley and in positioning Peoria and the West Valley as a hub for innovation and technology.

WESTMARC’s Best of the West Awards is the West Valley’s most prestigious business recognition event, celebrating the best in Western Maricopa County for more than two decades. The event, on Nov. 5, was held at Phoenix International Raceway and honors outstanding contributions to the economic development, innovation and quality of life in the West Valley. A diverse panel of outstanding leaders, specifically chosen for their community and business expertise and located outside of the West Valley, determines the winners from a large selection of deserving entries.

Awards are presented in the categories of Economic Engine, Excellence in Innovation and Quality of Life.

“BioInspire is especially deserving of an award that has the word ‘Innovation’ in it. BioInspire gives companies the chance to tap into business, marketing, research and development and other resources that give them the best opportunity for success,” Harper said. “With health care emerging as one of the country’s most important issues, now more than ever we need companies that can truly innovate in the medical field and this is what BioInspire is helping companies to do. It also means more jobs in the West Valley and will help to attract even more companies and more jobs.”

“We want Peoria to be a signature destination not only for visitors but for businesses,” said Scott Whyte, economic services director for the City of Peoria. “BioInspire reflects our message that we are looking to grow our economic base and that we will pursue partnerships, projects and initiatives that make sense and  help further this goal. BioInspire adds vibrancy and symbolizes the essence of innovation. It’s a perfect symbol for Peoria’s aspirations. We thank WESTMARC for recognizing the importance of this initiative with this award.”

“Great partnerships help foster innovation and drive economic success,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “That’s what we have with BioInspire, which is helping to bring jobs, products and ideas to Peoria in the form medical innovation.”

Plaza Companies, with office locations in Peoria and Scottsdale, Arizona, is an award-winning leader in the development and management of medical office properties, technology and bioscience facilities, and senior housing communities. Founded in 1982, Plaza Companies is a full service firm with a portfolio of more than 5.5 million square feet valued at more than $1 billion. For more information about Plaza Companies, visit www.theplazaco.com.

BioAccel is a unique, fully independent, non-profit organization created to provide funding and business expertise to develop early stage life science technologies that drive local economic development efforts. BioAccel accelerates the development of new companies, drives economic development, and creates new biomedical products, which over time will become available to the general public. For more, go to www.bioaccel.org.

The City of Peoria boasts 160,000 residents. To regular vacationers and smart home buyers, Peoria has long been one of the most desirable locations in the Grand Canyon State. 
The city of Peoria provides excellent municipal services by anticipating community needs, creating partnerships, promoting sustainability and embracing diversity.

medical.research

City of Peoria honors BioAccel

BioAccel has received the City of Peoria’s 2013 Economic Development Award for the development and management of BioInspire, a medical device-focused accelerator program. MaryAnn Guerra, BioAccel’s CEO, and Thomas Rainey, Director of BioInspire, will accept the award on behalf of BioAccel’s staff, Board and advisors at the Peoria Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Celebration, May 22, 2013.

A City of Peoria-funded initiative, BioInspire was launched by BioAccel on September 25, 2012. To date, it has supported the recruitment of six new portfolio companies providing advisory services, funding, individual and common laboratory space and support services at the 6,800-square-foot facility in Peoria. Arizona Medical Systems, Hildeez, Kulira Technologies, Nasseo, Yolia Health and Stimwave Technologies are located at BioInspire.

“The next several years will be exciting as the City continues to execute its Economic Development Implementation Strategy and nurture this public-private partnership to support the region’s bioscience industry,” said Scott Whyte, the City of Peoria’s economic development services director. “As the clients at BioInspire grow and prosper, they will graduate from the resource rich accelerator program into their own commercial space within the City. BioAccel was chosen for this award based on their leadership and execution in assisting us in stimulating the local and regional economy, and planting the seeds for future growth.”

BioInspire’s goal is to create knowledge industry jobs and entrepreneurial wealth by supporting viable new medical device companies.

“Portfolio companies will play a vital role in Peoria’s economic development through their scalable businesses and the products derived from their innovative research. BioAccel provides critical support for that effort by providing proof-of-concept and seed funding, flexible office and lab space, and business and regulator advisory services. This significantly increases their chances of success,” Guerra said.

BioAccel’s interdisciplinary team manages a rigorous client selection process complemented by an expert advisory council that approves final selection of prospective company applications. The Council of Advisors includes senior managers from Medtronic, Covidien, West Valley Bancorp, HLM Partners, the City of Peoria and capital sources among others.

BioAccel was established to stimulate the development of technologies and spin-off companies based on research conducted at other public and private institutions and by local entrepreneurs.

BioAccel is a nonprofit organization dedicated to translating life science discoveries into new business opportunities that drive economic development. Since its founding in 2009, it has invested close to $2.5 million into companies and projects that have secured over $12.6 million in follow on funding thus far. For more information visit www.bioaccel.org.

Translatinal Accelerator looks to invest in Arizona bioscience companies, 2008

BioAccel Challenges Entrepreneurs to Solve Healthcare Problems

BioAccel, a 501(c)3 non-profit and Arizona’s premier resource for healthcare innovation, is announcing the BioAccel Solutions Challenge to solve medical and health delivery problems in Arizona, stimulate new company formation and increase investment in the industry.

BioAccel will publicly release a vetted list of key healthcare problems, or “needs,” identified by industry practitioners and leaders, aimed to challenge entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions to solve them. The needs are expected to focus on improving patient care and health outcomes by using medical devices, molecular diagnostics and potentially health IT, and will be released this summer.

Qualified applicants will receive a $50,000 investment from BioAccel if they succeed in receiving matching funds from investors during a competitive and lively Investment Day event. Successful groups will then have $100,000 in proof-of-concept dollars to form companies to address these patient care needs.

“Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. There are a lot of very talented entrepreneurs in Arizona whose are poised to solve difficult challenges that face the healthcare system. They simply need to be informed about well qualified healthcare needs, so they can apply their creativity to finding solutions to real problems,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “The BioAccel Solutions Challenge program unlocks the innate nature of entrepreneurs to innovate new products as well as provide the capital and support they need for early-stage success.”

Upon announcing the needs, BioAccel will be hosting Q&A sessions across the state as well as a webinar to support the groups.

“We’re encouraging groups across the state to form in anticipation of the release and to start thinking about how they will create innovative solutions,” said Kelvin Ning, Associate Director of Business and Technology Development at BioAccel.

The final Investment Day event is targeted for the end of 2013.

“The BioAccel Solutions Challenge is bringing together innovators and investors across the state to drive economic development, while at the same time addressing critical needs that face our medical community. Our focus is to catalyze this interaction and stimulate the growth of new enterprises and novel products,” Guerra said.  The BioAccel Solutions Challenge organizes problem, solution and market need, along with the resources needed to support validated outcomes.

As part of the BioAccel Solutions Challenge, winners will receive mentorship and support from BioAccel’s extensive business and financial network. Winners will also have access to BioInspire, BioAccel’s device incubator in Peoria, which provides affordable space and support for medical device technologies.

“BioAccel’s objective is to create sustainable companies that produce valuable products that are needed in the marketplace. Our hope is that these companies progress into our commercialization programs and beyond,” said Dr. Ron King, Chief Scientific and Business Officer at BioAccel.

In addition to creating jobs and new companies, the BioAccel Solutions Challenge will drive the organization’s Technology Advancement Program (TAP) that is focused on creating a more robust and qualified technology pipeline.

The TAP and New Venture Development Programs are commercialization programs unique to BioAccel, which are designed to specifically address the well-known Valley of Death that separates discovery from commercialization. Beyond access to BioInspire and capital, embedded within these programs is BioAccel’s due-diligence process, network of local and national subject matter experts, and healthcare business expertise.

 

pharmaceuticals

Arizona bioscience job growth outpaces nation

Arizona’s bioscience sector added jobs at nearly four times the national rate over the past decade and experienced double-digit job growth during the economic recovery, a new report shows.

Since Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap was launched in 2002, Arizona’s bioscience jobs have increased by 45 percent to 99,018 in 2011. Nationally, the growth rate during this time was 12 percent. While hospitals dominate Arizona’s bioscience jobs, the state’s non-hospital subsectors grew 14 percent in 2011 alone.  During the economic recovery years of 2009-11, the state’s bioscience jobs increased 11 percent while there was no gain across the state’s private sector.

The new performance analysis of Arizona’s bioscience sector, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation, also found that the number of bioscience establishments in Arizona continues to grow faster than the national average and bioscience wages in the state are outpacing those in other private-sector industries.

The 10th-annual study, released Feb. 5 by the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, did reveal funding challenges for the state.  In 2012, Arizona fell to its lowest venture capital investment level since 2009 and suffered a drop in National Institutes of Health funding while the top-10 funded states advanced.

“Arizona’s bioscience sector continues to significantly outperform the nation in terms of job and establishment growth and has made impressive gains in building a more concentrated industry base,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice.  “However, more attention must be paid to academic research performance and venture capital investment to continue the trend in years to come.”

Plosila added that progress has been made over the past decade on all 19 actions recommended by Battelle in 2002, including substantial progress on nine.

The Roadmap was launched in 2002 as a long-range plan to make the state’s bioscience sector globally competitive. The Roadmap was commissioned by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation, which committed to 10 years of major funding of Arizona biosciences and formed a network of committees involving statewide experts to implement its recommendations.

There was also a major increase in bioscience establishments, rising 31 percent since 2002 to 892 firms, which is above the national growth rate of 23 percent.

Bioscience jobs in Arizona pay an average salary of $56,328, or 28 percent higher than the $44,098 for all private-sector industries. Since 2002, bioscience salaries have increased 44 percent.

“After 10 years, Arizona has carved a niche in the highly lucrative and competitive biosciences field,” said Martin Shultz, chair of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee. “We’re one of the nation’s top emerging bioscience states, and our growth in high-wage jobs continued during both good economic times and bad.”

In terms of research dollars, NIH funding in 2012 was $174 million, or 19 percent greater, than the 2002 figure. This is a decrease from $184 million in 2011. While NIH funding, the gold standard for biomedical research funding, did increase slightly faster than the national average of 18 percent over the past decade, Arizona is no longer meeting its goal of obtaining funding at a growth rate higher than the top-10 funded states. In addition, its share of the funding pool remains nearly the same as it was in 2002.

The latest data also shows:
•    The largest non-hospital bioscience subsector continues to be research, testing and medical laboratories. This group now boasts about 8,900 workers across 466 establishments, roughly a 60 percent increase in both employees and firms since 2002. The other subsectors are drugs, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics; hospitals; medical devices and equipment; and agricultural feedstock and chemicals.
•    Venture capital investment was $22 million in 2012, which is the lowest figure since 2009. This was a drop of 68 percent from 2011, compared with a national decline of 49 percent.
•    Bioscience-related academic research and development expenditures at Arizona’s universities reached a record $452 million in 2011, a 55 percent increase since 2002. Arizona’s growth had outpaced the nation until 2009, but now trails the overall U.S. growth rate of 74 percent.
•    Arizona universities spun out seven bioscience companies in 2012. University discoveries have now led to 67 new bioscience startups since 2002 as well as 180 bioscience patents.

There were a number of major developments in 2012 that showed the collaborative nature of Arizona biosciences, including the completion of major projects, the approval of future pursuits, and an emphasis on education.

The University of Arizona opened its new Health Sciences Education Building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus that enabled the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix to increase enrollment and for Northern Arizona University to begin Phoenix-based physician assistant and physical therapy programs. In addition, final approval was granted by the Arizona Board of Regents for the UA Cancer Center-Phoenix to be built on the same campus in partnership with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

A number of incubators and accelerators opened or expanded with more in the planning stages. BioInspire, an incubator for medical-device startups, opened in Peoria; GateWay Community College in Phoenix opened the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation; the Arizona Center for Innovation at the UA Science and Technology Park in Tucson opened upgraded facilities and launched new programming; Flagstaff received funding for a planned accelerator; and the statewide Arizona Furnace accelerator began awarding seed money and access to incubation space.

Among other major developments, the inaugural Arizona SciTech Festival attracted 200,000 participants from across the state during February and March 2012, making it one of the largest in the nation; Banner Alzheimer’s Institute launched a $100 million trial to prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease; a new skin-cancer drug first tested by Translational Genomics Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare received expedited approval from the Food and Drug Administration; Arizona State University began leading the first national algae biofuel testbed; Mayo Clinic announced plans for a new cancer center on its north Phoenix campus; and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert announced a $63 million expansion.

On Dec. 4, 2012, the Flinn Foundation and bioscience leaders from across Arizona came together at the Arizona Biltmore to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launching of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap. The Foundation announced it has committed to continue funding Arizona biosciences and coordinating the Roadmap as it enters its next chapter.

“We recognize this is a long-term pursuit,” said Jack Jewett, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “We will continue to strive to improve the lives of Arizonans today and tomorrow through new medical discoveries, access to clinical trials and the recruitment of top researchers, while also attracting high-wage jobs that will strengthen Arizona’s economy.”

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based, private, nonprofit philanthropic endowment. It was established by Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn in 1965 with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The nonprofit philanthropy supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

back.pain

BioAccel Adds Stimwave Technologies To Incubator

BioAccel and the City of Peoria announced that BioInspire has accepted a sixth company, Arizona based medical device startup Stimwave Technologies, Inc., into the medical device incubator facility in Peoria,.

Stimwave Technologies has received a $300,000 investment from BioAccel’s New Venture Development Program and will be a resident of the new incubator facility in Peoria, where it will utilize BioInspire’s exceptional laboratory spaces and advisory services.

Stimwave Technologies is a medical device company that develops that has developed  novel wirelessly powered microimplantable stimulators for the neuromodulation field for pain relief.  The company’s first novel device is a microstimulator placed through a needleless implantable device designed for patients suffering from chronic back and leg pain. Currently only wired solutions are available. The new device is 99% smaller in volume that the next smallest commercially available wired product on the market, and takes 75% less time for the clinician to place.

BioInspire, managed by BioAccel in partnership with the City of Peoria, is designed to foster and facilitate the development of medical device companies and to stimulate the development of products and spin-off companies in Peoria based on research conducted at other academic, public and private institutions.

“We are extremely pleased to be welcomed into the Bioinspire incubator to continue to apply our innovative technology to research new indications and support our transition to commercialization for our pain relief product,” said Laura Tyler Perryman, Founder and CEO of Stimwave. “Our commitment to superior patient care is unparalleled, and our goals are aligned with BioAccel to achieve the vision and purpose of BioInspire,” she said.

“The goal is to create knowledge-industry jobs and new companies that will drive and accelerate local economic development as well as bring novel medical devices more efficiently through the commercialization process,” said MaryAnn Guerra, CEO of BioAccel. “Stimwave is the kind of company that will drive job creation and growth through their scalable business plans and the products derived from their innovative research and accelerated commercialization.

“BioAccel is proud to be able to provide critical support for that effort through BioInspire, by providing funding, flexible office and lab space, business and regulator advisory services and expert mentoring critical to early stage companies.”

BioInspire’s Director Tom Rainey said that adding another company to the incubator space is a great sign of early success.

“We’re very excited to add a sixth company to the BioInspire family,” he said. “Considering that the incubator only opened in September, we are pleased with the number and quality of companies that have located within our space. It shows that BioInspire is achieving the goal of bringing growth and innovation to Peoria through these important medical device companies.”

Scott Whyte, City of Peoria Economic Development Services Director, said he is pleased with the success of BioInspire and glad to see more companies taking advantage of its resources.

“We’re delighted to welcome Stimwave to Peoria, and to see the BioInspire initiative take flight,” Whyte said. “As the client companies at BioInspire grow and graduate from the incubator program we are prepared to support their move into other commercial space within Peoria,” Whyte said. “This will serve as a significant economic engine for our local and regional economy, planting the seeds for future growth.”

Plaza Companies - Margaret Lloyd

Plaza Companies Promotes Lloyd To VP Brokerage Services

Margaret Lloyd, previously the Plaza Companies’ medical leasing specialist, has been promoted to vice president of Brokerage Services.

Responsible for some of the most significant properties in the Plaza Companies portfolio, Lloyd also represents additional important institutional and privately owned properties throughout Arizona.

With more than 29 years of experience, Lloyd had previously worked with Grubb & Ellis Commercial Brokerage and later was recruited as VP of leasing for The Pederson Group. Since joining the Plaza Companies in 2010, she has focused on leasing and sales of more than 1 MSF of medical office properties.

She graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Communications, serves on the Healthcare Leadership Council for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and is an active member of Lambda Alpha International.

The following properties are just a few listed within her portfolio:

  • Plaza Del Rio Campus: Medical Center I, II, III, V – Peoria;
  • Plaza Town Center – Peoria;
  • Boswell Hospital Campus (11 buildings) – Sun City;
  • Thunderbird Medical, Glendale;
  • Baptist Medical, Phoenix;
  • Paseo Village, Glendale;
  • Plaza Medical and Research I
  • Estrella Medical Plaza

A signature accomplishment under Lloyd’s leadership was BioInspire.  A collaborative effort and partnership between the City of Peoria, Plaza Companies and BioAccel, BioInspire is a major commitment to the medical device industry in Peoria.

Coupled with innovative incentives from the City of Peoria, and in conjunction with BioAccel, the operator, Lloyd successfully coordinated the efforts to finalize a state-of-the-art wet lab space build out to accommodate six medical device incubation companies and she is part of the leadership team recruiting medical device companies from around the country to the City of Peoria and to her buildings.

“Margaret has represented some of the finest developers, owners and tenants in the medical, retail, and office industries,” said Sharon Harper, president and CEO of Plaza Companies. “Her experience in landlord and tenant representation for both leasing and sales is just superb.”

“I am excited to grow in my new position within Plaza Companies,” Lloyd said. “I strive to provide exceptional service to our clients and tenants and will continue to work diligently on behalf of Plaza and the companies we partner with to create tremendous value for our clients in my new role.”

For more information on Plaza Companies, visit their website at www.theplazaco.com.