Biotech

Symbiotoc Health CEO Gerard Honig

Symbiotic Health gets $100K in funding

By GREGORY ZELLER // A spinoff of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has snagged a critical $100,000 stake from Accelerate Long Island and the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund – good news for anyone suffering from the most prevalent hospital-based infection in the United States. Symbiotic Health, which does battle against the insidious Clostridium difficile infection, announced today that Accelerate Long Island has matched the $50,000 investment the LIETF fund made in June –…


Debrief: Diane Fabel, Center for Biotechnology

As honcho of the 30-year-old Center for Biotechnology – a catalyst for the development of biomedical technologies and companies located on the Stony Brook University campus – Diane Fabel wears many important hats: facilitator, organizer, manager, sometimes even referee. And since the center is the lead administrative organization behind the three-headed Long Island Bioscience Hub, uniting SBU and the Cold Spring Harbor and Brookhaven National laboratories, she also plays a critical role in the development…


Bioscience Hub readies $8.4M funding effort

By GREGORY ZELLER // The Long Island Bioscience Hub has announced plans to award $8.4 million in grants to local startups bringing bio-medical breakthroughs to market. The hub is a coalition led by the state’s Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University and includes SBU, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Lab. It was launched in April with a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Since then, the group has added…


With Topspin round, Codagenix steps on the gas

By GREGORY ZELLER // Last year, when local venture firm Topspin chipped in on a $100,000 infusion for Stony Brook-based biotech Codagenix, it gave the startup a fairly clear idea of what to do with the money. “We had suggested to them that they needed to tighten up some aspects of their clinical data, and in fact they used the money to do just that,” said Steve Winick, Topspin’s managing director. “The tests came out…


Almost 60 years later, still very much a startup

By GREGORY ZELLER // “Innovative” is often associated with “new,” but when it comes to Long Island’s innovation economy, the region’s oldest biopharmaceutical company is leading the pack. With a five-person staff and a market cap over $300 million, Lynbrook’s BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. is one lean, mean biotech machine – and the most profitable days for the firm, which launched in 1957 among the nation’s first batch of biotech startups, may lie ahead. Consider the…


Ackman foundation gives $10M to Cold Spring

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has received a $10 million endowment from the Pershing Square Foundation, the philanthropic venture of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and his wife, Karen. The money will go to support the lab’s biology and genetics research and education programs. The principal of the fund will be managed by Ackman’s firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, with CSHL receiving an annual payment of 5 percent of the principal. In 2040, the appreciated fund…


DEBRIEF: Leo Guthart, Topspin Partners

A Harvard man through and through (BA physics 1958, MBA 1960, doctorate in business administration 1966), Leo Guthart held leading positions at several national corporations before launching private equity fund Topspin Partners in 2000 – just in time for 9/11. With its trademark think-before-you-leap mantra, Topspin survived the Great Recession to become a key player in Long Island’s burgeoning innovation economy, including several joint investments with regional booster Accelerate Long Island through the Long Island…


Feinstein, Battelle partner on ‘Neural Tourniquet’

North Shore-LIJ’s Feinstein Institute is partnering with Ohio health giant Battelle on a so-called Neural Tourniquet that will reshape the way doctors staunch blood loss, from the battlefield to the operating room. The technology is an outgrowth of research pioneered by Feinstein director Kevin Tracey, whose discoveries have helped fuel the bioelectronic medicine field, which combines molecular medicine, bioengineering and neuroscience to develop nerve-stimulating and sensing technologies to regulate biological processes. Tracey’s discoveries have already…


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…