ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: BioDistrict New Orleans is focused on creating and sustaining an economic development engine for our community through globally competitive bioscience and environmental research and development. By enhancing opportunities for commercialization and innovation, we will strengthen seed and venture capital, as well as create incentives to encourage investment. This economic development will create an estimated 22,000 new jobs for the city of New Orleans over the next eight to ten years, not only in the biosciences, but also in banking, law, construction and a plethora of other service industries that stand to benefit. Already, the BioDistrict is continually working to provide technical assistance, grant writing and other means of facilitation to encourage growth. By encouraging public-private partnerships and collaboration between our cornerstone institutions, the BioDistrict will create a sustainable and resilient innovation economy for the greater New Orleans region.
There is no stronger driver in the race towards life-science economic development than the transformation of innovation into self-sustaining commercialization. A major piece of this puzzle in the BioDistrict is the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, which provides a critical link that turns university research into privately commercializable enterprises. This involves seeking out viable research projects, creating business plans, providing intellectual property assistance and patent filing, attracting sources of venture and seed capital funding, then finally providing incubator wet-lab and office space to successful emerging companies. Such commercialization work is absolutely essential to sustaining and expanding opportunities for economic development in the New Orleans BioDistrict.
New Orleans BioInnovation Center Startup Companies
NuMe Health is a biotechnology company with a focus on medical foods. Medical foods represent a rapidly growing alternative to pharmaceuticals. Many believe they have a stronger medical and scientific basis than functional foods and supplements for addressing the needs of patients. Medical foods are prescribed by physicians and are designed to address particular dietary requirements of patients at risk of, or currently suffering from, a particular disease. The medical food product category is expected to continue to be a growing fraction of the total market for pharmaceutical therapies and functional foods. NuMe is licensing a portfolio of medical food technologies associated with activated plant extracts and botanicals invented by scientists at the USDA, Tulane University, Xavier University and the University of Toledo.
Current status: NuMe has recently started operations and has recruited a team of 6 people. The company has currently raised investor capital. NOBIC is continuing to assist with due diligence moving forward.
Meta-Logos Inc. is a device company based on a nanopore technology platform focusing on the areas of signal processing related to binding strength (e.g. single molecule interactions for drug discovery), bio-defense related detection of toxic agents, and next generation genetic sequencing. Meta-Logos has procured an exclusive license from the Louisiana State University for a suite of over 14 patent filings by Dr. Winters-Hilt related to nanopore technology and machine learning signal analysis methods, including a suite of software that has been deployed in the lab.
Current status: NOBIC has assisted Meta-Logos in raising seed funding and the company has submitted 3 SBIR grant applications. The company is currently finalizing ordering and setting-up the equipment.
NanoFex, LLC is an advanced materials startup leveraging a nanoparticle technology developed at Tulane University. Due to increasing regulation of dangerous groundwater pollutants, billions of dollars will be committed over the next several decades to clean up contaminated sites. NanoFex is a for-profit company that addresses the demand by providing an affordable, effective method for remediating common, yet extremely dangerous materials in groundwater. NanoFex is positioned as a Tulane University spinout, to be incubated at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. The company has competed in four business plan competitions, won an award at the Rice Business Plan Competition and reached the finals at the New Day Challenge.
Current status: With the help of the NOBIC commercialization team, NanoFex has submitted a Broad Agency Announcement with the U.S. Navy, has submitted SBIRs through the EPA and NSF and is working with two strategic partners to secure a testing site, design the scale-up process and provide the product through existing distribution channels.
NOvate Medical Technologies is a Tulane spinoff company focused on decreasing the cost of healthcare delivery and improving quality of life through innovative medical devices. Designed by a group of Tulane University biomedical engineers, in collaboration with public health practitioners and clinical physicians, SafeSnip is the first NOvate product encompassing a comprehensive unit that simultaneously sterilizes, clamps and cuts the umbilical cord while enclosing the severed ends to reduce the likelihood of infant infection and blood splatter. NOvate Medical Technologies has obtained funding from the Clinton Global Initiative and the MTVu Movers and Changers competition. Furthermore, the company recently obtained 3rd place in the Wake Forest Elevator Competition in both the judged and fan favorite categories. The NOBIC commercialization team has driven NOvate through a series of nationwide business plan competitions.
Current status: NOvate has identified management talent and seed capital to move its business forward.
Orthopeptide Biotechnology, LLC (OB) is a New Orleans-based life sciences company specializing in the rational design and production of bioactive peptides. OB’s portfolio includes peptides designed to address various inflammatory diseases, especially inflammatory diseases of the kidney and nervous system. The peptide drugs protect against cellular damage and are applicable to a wide range of diseases.
Current status: OB has recently incorporated and is administratively housed at NOBIC. The NOBIC commercialization team is assisting OB with market analysis and business plan support.
enVivatech, LLC is a New Orleans based life sciences venture specializing in the rational design and production of peptide compositions and methods for inhibiting herpes virus infection, such as human cytomegalovirus infection. The peptides invented by enVivatech are useful for impairing the fusion of the virus with cells.
Current status: The NOBIC commercialization team is assisting enVivatech with business plan writing, market analysis and marketing research.
Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies, LLC is a start-up located in New Orleans based on technologies from Tulane University’s Center for Polymer Reaction Monitoring and Characterization. The first two technologies of focus involve advanced and efficient monitoring technologies of polymers used in many industries. These tools are high throughput and aim to analyze stability and degradation. NOBIC has assisted in quantifying the market for this venture, and hopes to house them in their new facility.
Current status: Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies has filed its first SBIR and plans to file its second by August 2010.
Opportunities in Local Biosciences Clusters
Enhancing and expanding the already prolific research and innovation happening in New Orleans’ facilities are some of the BioDistrict’s fundamental goals. The science in our current and future cornerstone facilities will perpetuate our global competitiveness, and exponentially create new jobs and opportunities for New Orleaneans.
Centers of Excellence
All of the medical fields and academic components at the BioDistrict’s cornerstone facilities will propel the success of the District and the New Orleans region. By surveying and nurturing the areas of programming that are particularly world-class centers of excellence, New Orleans will emerge as a superior specialized hub to drive our future. Some of these areas include:
1. Sports Medicine
3. Hyperbaric Research
6. Infectious Disease
7. Cancer Research