RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Southeast BIO (SEBIO) announced the EARLY/Stage and BIO/Plan company winners selected during its 15th Annual Investor & Partnering Forum, which was concluded November 7. The Forum is the Southeast region’s premier life sciences and medical technology conference, connecting emerging companies with potential investors and partners in a forum that provides meaningful networking opportunities.
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the 2013 Forum attracted almost 300 people to Richmond, Virginia, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, corporate executives, university representatives and industry professionals, to discuss opportunities for growth and challenges facing the biotechnology and medical technology sectors in the coming years.
Twenty-two of the most promising life sciences and medtech companies in the Southeast presented their funding pitches to investors from across the country. Growth-stage companies who have completed at least one round of institutional financing presented on the SEBIO MAIN/Stage. Participants in the EARLY/Stage program and BIO/Plan Competition were the beneficiaries of expert mentoring from teams made up of active investors, entrepreneurs and service providers.
The EARLY/Stage program, designed to assist and showcase the best new initial investment opportunities in the region, allowed 15 management teams to introduce their companies to and seek advice from onsite advisory teams, who then chose four of the companies to participate in the EARLY/Stage Shootout on November 6. The four finalists selected to present were Diagnovus (Nashville, Tennessee), Eboo Pharmaceuticals (Durham, North Carolina), Novocor Medical Systems (Raleigh, NC) and ViaMune (Athens, Georgia).
Novocor was selected as the winner of the EARLY/Stage Shootout by a panel of judges representing four venture funds. Novocor is targeting the emergency medicine market, with its first product focused on therapeutic hypothermia. Its novel device enables paramedics to induce therapeutic hypothermia in patients suffering from cardiac arrest, stroke, traumatic brain injury, heat stroke and spinal cord injury by rapidly infusing cold saline into the patient, thereby lowering body temperature.
The company was founded with technology developed at NC State University, and the company is closing its Series A round of financing. It received a grant from NC IDEA and secured a loan from the NC Biotechnology Center, in addition to raising $1 million in August. The company is led by CEO Tony Voiers, Dr. Javier de Ana (VP of Research and Development) and Dr. Andrew DiMeo (VP of Alliances), all co-founders.
BIO/Plan Competition Winner
SEBIO’s annual BIO/Plan Competition brings forward some of the most promising new technologies from the region’s research organizations. Four teams were selected from ten semi-finalists who underwent a rigorous mentoring process over the past four months to develop an executable business strategy and written development plan. The four finalists were Advensys (Florida International University), Constellation Research (University of Florida), Neoantigenics (University of Virginia Medical School) and PleX Diagnostics (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill).
The winner of the 2013 BIO/Plan Competition is Constellation Research, which was created with technology developed at the University of Florida and is based in the Florida Innovation Hub in Gainesville. The company is developing clinical diagnostic tools to help prevent and end blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.
It is currently developing a software platform to enable comprehensive and reproducible assessment of imaging features in the retina in order to improve eye care and disease management in diabetic patients. The company is raising $1.5 million to prepare for initial product rollout. Constellation Research is led by CEO Dr. David Meadows, Dr. Dan Dickrell, III and Rick Clark.
The winning Constellation mentoring team was comprised of Charlotte Hubbert of H.I.G. BioVentures, Sue Washer of AGTC and Stephen MacDonald of King & Spalding.
2014 Investor & Partnering Forum
The 2014 Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum will be held November 11-14, 2014 at the W Hotel in midtown Atlanta, Georgia. For more details, visit www.sebio.org.
Suzanne Cantando, Executive Director