Biotech

Chembio misses on drop in Latin American biz

By GREGORY ZELLER // An oversupplied Latin American market put a dent in Chembio Diagnostic’s 2015 earnings, but coming battles with the Zika virus may turn fortunes around. That was the message to investors Tuesday as CEO John Sperzel III reported the Medford firm’s financials for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015. While the company’s science – point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases – is in increasing demand, the numbers were not great. Chembio’s reported…


Chembio lands $550K grant for Zika test

Chembio Diagnostics has been awarded a $550,000 “catalyst grant” to develop a rapid test for the Zika virus and similar maladies. The grant comes from Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, who has a long history of supporting Chembio’s research efforts, most recently surrounding the Ebola outbreak. Company officials said Chembio will develop a test to detect Zika alone, and another to detect Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. The company also will add Zika to a six-virus…


Diversification nips Applied DNA numbers

It wasn’t a record quarter, but Applied DNA Sciences maintained momentum and stayed true to its ongoing diversification strategy in the first quarter of Fiscal 2016. That according to James Hayward, president and CEO of the Stony Brook-based biotech firm, which this week reported results for the quarter ended Dec. 31. While Applied DNA Sciences snapped its streak of consecutive quarters with record-setting revenues at four, reported revenues were up compared to 1Q FY2015, reflecting…


Hairpin tops $1M in RNA licensing deals

A Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory spinoff with less than a year under its belt has sped past $1 million in licensing revenue on the lab’s patented “short hairpin RNA” technology. Ronkonkoma-based Hairpin Technologies was launched in 2015 to expand the commercial distribution of, and develop new research uses for, shRNA, a versatile biomedical research and drug-discovery tool invented by Gregory Hannon, a CSHL professor and former researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland….


Codagenix preps for fight against Zika virus

By GREGORY ZELLER // A Stony Brook startup that digitally recreates viruses in order to reprogram their genomes is preparing to take on the Zika virus, which World Health Organization officials said Thursday is “spreading explosively” through the Americas. Codagenix, a 2012 startup cofounded by Farmingdale State College biology professor J. Robert Coleman and former Stony Brook University assistant research professor Steffen Mueller, is keeping a close eye on the migration of the virus, which…


The Debrief: Linda Amper is breathing life into the life sciences

The Long Island Association has hired former OSI Pharmaceuticals exec Linda Amper to help launch Long Island Bio, a business-development platform to be co-chaired by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory chief Bruce Stillman and Canon USA Executive VP Seymour Liebman. The biotech, pharma and life sciences platform is right in Amper’s wheelhouse: The PhD (healthcare administration, Columbia Southern), who also holds a master’s in public administration from LIU Post, spent years in senior-executive positions with OSI…


Codagenix making all the right moves

By GREGOERY ZELLER // A seven-figure Regional Economic Development Council award is set to push an innovative influenza vaccine toward human trials. Codagenix, a 2012 startup cofounded by Farmingdale State College biology professor J. Robert Coleman and former Stony Brook University assistant research professor Steffen Mueller, received $2.25 million through the 2015 REDC awards, which were announced in December. All told, 121 Long Island projects collected $98.3 million through the fifth-annual REDC process, many focused…


DepYmed wins Accelerate funding

By Gregory Zeller // A Cold Spring Harbor biotech startup is the 10th and final recipient in the first co-funding round backed by Accelerate Long Island and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund. DepYmed, a joint venture of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and New York City-based biotech giant Ohr Pharmaceutical, will receive the 10th matching investment, with $50,000 coming from the regional business booster and $50,000 from the LIETF, a venture vehicle powered by Setauket…


The Debrief: Getting Broad Hollow out of park

A Long Island lifer – he earned an undergraduate degree at C.W. Post and an MBA at Adelphi University before serving as president of the Lake Success-based subsidiary of Norwegian biotech firm Invitrogen Dynal AS – Greg Blyskal knows better than most what makes the Island’s economy tick. His life’s lessons, including his faith in innovation and technology as LI’s best economic hopes, have been reaffirmed at the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park at Farmingdale State…


Biohub awards $900K in research funding

Thirteen grants totaling $900,000 have been awarded by the Long Island Bioscience Hub in its first-ever funding round. The hub – a National Institutes of Health-supported partnership between Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory designed to help commercialize technologies created at the member institutions – is funded by a $3 million NIH award and over $5 million in contributions from its members, the SUNY Research Foundation and Empire State Development….


NYC exec named to bioentrepreneur program

A business-development expert with a biomedical background has been named the Long Island Bioscience Hub’s latest bioentrepreneur-in-residence. Derek Brand, who most recently served as vice president of business development at New York City-based biotech firm Enumeral Biomedical Corp., will be the eighth bioentrepreneur-in-residence since the program launched in 2013, according to the LIBH. He’s also the third to join the mission in less than a month, following the November appointments of Brian McCarthy and Lian…


Another, yawn, record quarter for Applied DNA

Another quarter, another revenue record for Applied DNA Sciences. Chief Executive Officer James Hayward’s Stony Brook biotech firm, which provides unique DNA-based anti-theft and product-authentication solutions, announced FY2015 fourth-quarter earnings highlighted by a 76 percent jump in revenues over the company’s fiscal third quarter and a noteworthy 571 percent earnings increase over 4Q 2014. The revenues increase was attributed primarily to sales to textile-industry companies looking to secure global cotton-supply chains, as well as revenues…


A fix for malfunctioning mitochondria

By GREGORY ZELLER // A tri-state connection may soon unravel the mystery of mitochondrial disease – a potential breakthrough for patients with type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and a host of other life-threatening conditions. Headquartered in South Dakota, MitoGenetics LLC – brainchild of former Iowa State University researcher William Switzer – is knee-deep in lab work at Broad Hollow Bioscience Park in Farmingdale, where it enjoys the benefits of Empire State Development’s Start-Up NY tax-incentives…


Symbiotic Health, Goddard Labs eye Brooklyn move

By GREGORY ZELLER // Two of Long Island’s most-promising biotech startups are packing up their R&D and heading for greener pastures. At least for now. Symbiotic Health and Goddard Labs – both jointly funded by regional business booster Accelerate Long Island and the venture-backed Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund – are gearing up to move to Brooklyn, where affordable, short-term lab space is readily available. Spun out of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Symbiotic…


Bio Hub names newest resident entrepreneurs

A “biotechnology strategist” and a longtime Big Pharma executive are throwing their weight behind the Long Island Bioscience Hub as its newest bioentrepreneurs in residence. The hub is a National Institutes of Health-supported partnership between Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory designed to promote commercialization of technologies created at member institutions. Now supporting that mission are Brian McCarthy and Gian Luca Araldi, the sixth and seventh resident bioentrepreneurs to sign…