Biotech

NS-LIJ docs to the rescue with new heart pump

North Shore-LIJ doctors saved the life of a 74-year-old patient late last month using a tiny motorized device – just approved by the FDA – that boosts heart function in patients who suffer what’s called cardiogenic shock following a heart attack. The device, the Impella RP, is billed as “the world’s smallest heart pump” by its maker, Abiomed of Danvers, Mass. The Impella received FDA approval in January. “Options that were available prior to this…


Stony Brook startup gets $100K seed investment

By GREGORY ZELLER Investment partners Accelerate Long Island and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund announced a $100,000 infusion into Right Dose Inc., a high-tech startup borne from research conducted in the Department of Radiology at Stony Brook University’s medical school. The emerging technologies fund, a venture vehicle powered by investment firms Jove Equity Partners of Setauket and Roslyn’s Topspin Partners, is putting in $50,000, matching a grant from Accelerate’s $500,000 seed fund. Right Dose’s cloud-based…


Codagenix gets $100K USDA grant for Foot and Mouth vaccine

By GREGORY ZELLER // Codagenix, the Stony Brook biotech startup, has been awarded a $100,000 federal grant to develop a vaccine for the infectious Foot and Mouth Disease Virus. Funding for the project, which will be jointly run by the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, comes through the USDA’s Small Business Innovation Research program, which encourages U.S. entrepreneurs to engage in research and development with commercialization potential. While Foot and Mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals,…


Feinstein eyes $400M center for bioelectronic med

By GREGORY ZELLER // Hundreds of millions of dollars, 250,000 square feet, dozens of laboratories and one throbbing center at the heart of a reinvigorated Long Island economy. Yep. Kevin Tracey thinks big. His vision for a sparkling new Center for Bioelectric Medicine is barely past the drawing board, but already the president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research – the R&D arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System – envisions a…


SetPoint Medical

Feinstein’s vagus research takes plenty of nerve

BY GREGORY ZELLER // What happens in vagus doesn’t actually stay there. Or at least that’s the theory behind electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, a long cranial bundle that extends from the brain to the abdomen. Medical science is just scratching the surface of the therapeutic value of vagus stimulation, but new studies suggest it goes far beyond the treatment of certain forms of epilepsy and depression, two longstanding targets of vagus manipulation. Dr….


In tattoo removal, it’s all about thinking backwards

By GREGORY ZELLER // If you’ve ever wanted a tattoo but balked at that whole, you know, forever thing, hang on. Joseph Miccio is back at the drawing board. In 2013, Miccio – then a freshman in Stony Brook University’s School of Medicine – took third place in SBU’s Dare to Risk Entrepreneurship competition with his invention of  Sonink, a tattoo ink that can be broken down by ultrasonic waves. Although he was bested by…


Symbiotoc Health CEO Gerard Honig

Leading the fight against C. Diff

By GREGORY ZELLER // Researchers battling the insidious clostridium difficile infection are making progress on several new fronts, including a novel “poop pill” developed by Symbiotic Health, a spinoff from North Shore-LIJ’s Feinstein Institute. C. Diff, as it is known, is the most prevalent hospital-acquired infection in the United States and “an immediate public health threat,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. The infection attacks the gastrointestinal tract when broad-spectrum antibiotics fight off infections but…


Serious brain drain: When CSHL considered leaving

Cold Spring Harbor Lab officials considered moving the facility off Long Island in 1948 due to transportation concerns and the fact that local life was not very “rich.” At the time, the LIRR train from Penn Station to Syosset took 50 minutes and required a $4 taxi ride from station to lab, a “sizeable expense for a laboratory assistant to bear frequently.” Penn to Syosset today? An average 59 minutes. The transportation section of the…


Goddard Labs snags biotech honor

Goddard Labs, a Calverton-based startup that has developed breakthrough food and water testing technology, has been named Best in Show of the Mid Atlantic Bio Angels’ 1st Pitch Life Sciences competition. Although the physical prize isn’t much — a polo shirt and a press release — the bragging rights are gold plated and the connections may one day be worth even more: MABA members are active investors from Delaware to Massachusetts with deep backgrounds in…


CSHL's Bruce Stillman

CSHL plans new center to push research to market

BY JOHN L. KOMINICKI // Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory plans a $75 million therapeutic research center that would help speed to market treatments for cancer, autism and other diseases without waiting for the pharmaceutical industry to “catch up,” lab director Bruce Stillman said Tuesday. The center, which would rely on a $25 million grant from New York State and $50 million from the National Institutes of Health, would help cure a persistent problem with commercializing…


Traverse CEO Joseph Scaduto

Traverse Biosciences inks R&D, licensing deal

BY GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook-based startup Traverse Biosciences has inked an exclusive R&D agreement that could lead to an $8 million sublicensing option. Traverse, a resident of the Long Island High Technology Incubator at Stony Brook University, announced today that it has executed a $250,000 cooperative research and development agreement with Kansas-based Aratana Therapeutics to advance Traverse’s leading drug candidate, TRB-N0224, a potential treatment for periodontal disease in dogs and cats. Traverse Biosciences has…


Traverse CEO Joseph Scaduto

Traverse readies the move to market

BY GREGORY ZELLER // Armed with a just-executed licensing agreement for a suite of anti-inflammatory drug therapies, two-year-old Traverse Biosciences is stepping up efforts to land the investors and strategic partners necessary for rapid product development. The licensing agreement with the SUNY Research Foundation gives Traverse rights to compounds developed by Stony Brook University faculty members Lorne Golub and Francis Johnson and known as — science alert — polyenolic zinc-binding agents. Their leading drug candidate,…


DNA discoverer James Watson

Watson makes $1M CSHL gift

A million-dollar donation to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory? Doctor Watson, we presume. And that presumption, of course, is correct: CSHL Chancellor Emeritus James Watson and his wife, Liz, have done it again, donating $1 million to support biomedical research and education at the laboratory, where Watson served as director for decades. That makes a tidy $5 million donated to CSHL, to date, by Watson, a Chicago-born molecular biologist, zoologist and geneticist who led the National…


Feinstein partnering with Australian pharma

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has inked a partnership deal with Novogen, an Australian pharmaceuticals giant and parent company of San Diego-based MEI Pharma, which produces a growing list of anti-cancer drugs already in the clinical stage. The collaboration is intended to develop new pharmaceutical treatments to battle brain cancers, which are currently treated by surgical removal, which traumatizes surrounding healthy brain tissue, and chemotherapy, which is limited by the brain’s natural defenses against…


Sticking it to the Man

By GREGORY ZELLER // Katarzyna Sawicka has authority issues. Not that you can really blame her. Ever since she was an undergrad at Stony Brook University, she was told her cutting-edge ideas about chemistry wouldn’t fly, that the laws governing chemistry and physics were immutable. The “authorities” – a word she uses often in place of “experts” and “the guys signing the checks” – just didn’t think she had the goods. But Sawicka was pretty…