News Article | April 19, 2017
Fusion-driven rockets, remote control systems for space robots, and satellites that build themselves up in orbit are among the made-in-Washington projects getting a share of $49.9 million in NASA grants. Seven businesses in Washington state will benefit from NASA’s latest round of Small Business Innovation Research grants and Small Business Technology Transfer grants, announced today. The two programs, known as SBIR and STTR, are aimed at encouraging the development of commercial innovations that could come in handy for NASA’s space missions. “The SBIR and STTR program’s selection of nearly 400 proposals for further development is a testament to NASA’s support of American innovation by small businesses and research institutions,” Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for space technology at NASA Headquarters, said in today’s announcement. In all, 399 proposals from 277 small businesses and 44 research institutions across the U.S. were chosen for Phase I funding, out of a total of 1,621 submissions. The next step is for NASA to negotiate contracts with the winners. SBIR contracts last for six months, while STTR contracts last for 12 months, both with maximum funding of $125,000. Ten contracts will go to the seven Washington-based teams. One of the companies, Bothell-based Tethers Unlimited, had four of its SBIR proposals accepted: Six awards were made to these other Washington state teams: For the full list of winning proposals and their sponsors, including a plan to design drills capable of probing the hidden oceans of icy Europa and Enceladus, check out NASA’s lists for the SBIR and STTR programs.
News Article | April 19, 2017
"Data obtained from flight tests like this one with TVA and NASA, combined with testing at different atmospheric compositions, allows us to build design tools with higher confidence for entry into other planetary atmospheres such as Venus, Mars or Titan," he continued. "Partnering with a small business to get flight data for a developmental material is a very inexpensive way of achieving multiple goals." The TPS Venkatapathy and his team are designing uses newly emerging materials called conformal PICA (C-PICA) and conformal SIRCA (C-SIRCA), short for Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator and Silicone Impregnated Reusable Ceramic Ablator, respectively. The probe is essentially a hard aeroshell covered with the TPS and outfitted with sensors called thermocouples. To measure temperature during atmospheric entry, the thermocouples are embedded within the heat shield's C-PICA and the back shell's C-SIRCA to capture data for understanding how the materials behave in an actual entry environment. With funding through STMD/GCD, NASA's Ames Research Center led the work providing conformal ablative materials and TPS instrumentation installed on Terminal Velocity's probes. Terminal Velocity is also working with NASA's Johnson Space Center with funding from STMD's Small Business Innovation Research program for miniaturizing and improving the data acquisition and transmission system as well as providing support for ISS flight certification. Through the ISS Exploration Flight Project Initiative, Johnson certified three TVA probes for flight. One probe uses the conformal ablative materials, another has the Orion heat-shield material and the third probe uses shuttle tile material for reference. TVA delivered the assembled probes to the Cargo Mission Contract group for this flight. After Orbital ATK's resupply services launch arrives at the ISS, the probes will remain on the cargo ship awaiting their opportunity to go to work. Projected to be released from the ISS in June, once the cargo ship reenters Earth's atmosphere and breaks up, the probes will deploy and then begin capturing data through the thermocouples embedded in the TPS. "The probes are designed to be released from the metallic shell and once they are released, they start to get heated. The thermal response data are collected from the various locations where thermocouples are embedded within the TPS," explains Robin Beck, technical lead for the conformal TPS development. "The probe includes an antenna that allows it to communicate with an Iridium satellite. As the probe descends into the atmosphere and slows to the speed of sound, the data are collected and stored, then transmitted to the Iridium satellite above, which in turn transmits the data to researchers on the ground." Once the flight test's data are collected, TVA's probe is allowed to fall into the ocean and is not recovered; however, these tiny spacecraft will contribute in a very big way to ensure the predictive models developed based on testing in ground facilities are valid and applicable in space. "There are known and unknown risks, but both NASA and TVA are motivated to be successful as the benefits also translate to the larger community that wants to have on-demand access to space," says Venkatapathy. "This technology has the potential to lower the cost of access to space for small payloads while making it attractive for universities and the non-aerospace community who may be novices to flight testing—a challenge in and of itself and not risk free." Because there is no backup for a spacecraft's TPS, it is critical to understand and develop prediction capabilities that allow safe, robust entry system design. A successful flight test at this scale will increase confidence in the conformal ablator and allow mission planners to consider C-PICA and C-SIRCA for use in future programs such as New Frontiers or Orion.
News Article | May 2, 2017
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tim Cross is well respected for his leadership of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture within the state of Tennessee, and that admiration extends across the southern United States. Cross is the recipient of the Southern Extension Service Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED). The award recognizes those who have served Southern Extension Services, ASRED, and the national land-grant university system with exemplary distinction. Cross received the award at the group's April 24-27 meeting in New Orleans. "This award means a lot to me because it's from a group of outstanding leaders who have taught me a great deal during my time as an Extension administrator," Cross says. "The members of ASRED are people I admire, respect and trust, and this recognition serves to further inspire and motivate me in my role as chancellor." In nomination materials, Cross was praised for work at the national level in areas such as the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, the Southern Region Program Leadership Network's Resource Development Committee, the USDA's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers and its Small Business Innovation Research Program, and the National Women in Agriculture Advisory Committee. Dr. Delton Gerloff, Interim Dean for UT Extension, Dr. Edwin Jones, Associate Dean and Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech University, and Dr. Jimmy Henning, Associate Dean for Extension for the University of Kentucky, nominated Cross for the honor. "The service appointments and accomplishments by Dr. Cross place him in a small group of people who continue to make a difference in fulfilling the land-grant mission," says Gerloff. "Tim exemplifies the best in Extension and has distinguished himself at every level and in every role he has ever taken on," says Henning. "His knowledge of economics, of farm management and Extension was all utilized in the development of policies and procedures that became national policy." Cross was named UT's Chancellor for Agriculture in December 2016 after having served the institution 23 years, including a stint as Interim Chancellor last fall. He was later confirmed by the UT Board of Trustees to assume the job permanently, and began his new appointment the first day of 2017. He has also served as Dean of UT Extension and Professor in Agricultural Economics. From upstate New York, Cross has spent time as a student and faculty member at Oklahoma State, Fort Hays State in Kansas and Oregon State universities. He and his family live on a farm in east Knox County where they raise livestock, and all four Cross children have been active in 4-H. Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.
News Article | April 27, 2017
Humanity has kindly shared the horrors of war with our animal-kin for thousands of years, so it's heartening to see the Department of Defense is finally focused on creating the ultimate Good Boy—a proud pupperino ready to serve with the utmost of canine courage. The United States Special Operations Command is in the market for pharmaceuticals to boost the performance of its working dogs (not officially designated fighting fluffers, but rather 'multi-purpose canines'). Police forces have already turned doggos into cybernetic hunters, but a new bio-medical tender specifically asks for an nutraceutical or pharmaceutical that can ramp up the vision, hearing, and scent abilities of a dog, alongside enhancing the animal's endurance and hydration. As this is US Special Forces, under which dogs operate in dangerous war zones, the tender also asks for the drugs to decrease the adverse effects of trauma caused by blood loss. "The optimization of [a dog's] ability to perform at very high levels for long durations and to process the operational environment under high levels of stress and distraction will significantly improve their operational effectiveness and recovery," explains the tender, viewable here on the DoD's Small Business Innovation Research portal. Not content with just super floofs for Special Forces though, the US Army is also fielding applications in the same SBIR round for a military working dog 'hearing protection and active communication system'. Essentially, earplugs and a radio link for hooman-to-pupper communication. "A functional active Military Working Dog hearing protective/handler communication device will greatly extend canine health and long term mission performance," explains the DoD brief. "In an effort to protect this valuable trained asset and prevent hearing loss acquisition, USAMRMC seeks to develop a functional canine hearing protection system with an active communication component for use in the military environment. Currently a system of this capability is not available for DoD use." Of course, where there are good boys, there are also bad borkers. The final DoD request in a trio of canine tenders is for a 'canine response inhibitor''—aka, something that can stop the enemy borks when the soldiers are moving through enemy territory. Special Forces, by nature of their deployments, "must be able to walk or run undetected through rural and urban areas without alerting adversarial domesticated and feral canines," says the tender. Acceptable anti-doggo tools can inhibit barking, howling, whining, and even induce unconsciousness. Better make sure you're all h*ckin' good boys and girls or else a frighten's about to be done. Subscribe to Science Solved It, Motherboard's new show about the greatest mysteries that were solved by science.
News Article | April 28, 2017
Autism, paralysis, and persistent, medication-resistant pain are among the challenges that emerging companies and organizations hope to alleviate through neuromodulation therapy. Neuromodulation therapy, sometimes referred to as bioelectric medicine or electroceuticals, is one of medicine's fastest-growing fields, driven by rising neurological disease in an aging population, and the need for non-pharmacological approaches to manage symptoms. The first use of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) to treat chronic pain of neuropathic origin was reported in 1967 by C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. Neuromodulation devices, such as SCS and deep brain stimulation systems, leverage technology developed for cardiac pacemakers and cochlear implants to re-balance neural activity. Neuromodulation therapies help relieve chronic pain or restore function. Existing and emerging devices operate through targeted application of electrical, magnetic, chemical, or optical stimulation. Current or emerging neuromodulation therapies address deficits in vision, hearing, breathing, mobility, grasp or gait, motor function, mood, memory, and digestion. Three panels of innovators will present emerging therapies in a daylong preconference before the International Neuromodulation Society 13th World Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Innovations Day preconference on May 28, 2017 also includes discussion by commercialization experts and financiers about capturing data to support reimbursement. BioInduction Ltd. CEO Ivor Gillbe and neurosurgeon Nik Patel, M.D. will present Picostim, a compact neurostimulator with a volume of 7 cc, designed for implantation in the skull in a single procedure. The device is awaiting clinical trial. The company plans for this neurostimulator to initially be used in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. The device is being designed to offer stimulation steering, local field potential recording and wireless charging. The privately held company is funded by its founders, angel investors and U.K. government grants. Winifred Wu, chief officer for translational research at the Clearly Present Foundation, will present its aim to accelerate discovery of non-invasive brain stimulation, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The founder, Kim Hollingsworth Taylor, formed the foundation in 2014 after her son, who she said has high-functioning ASD, participated in a 10-week clinical study of intermittent rTMS. She said he "exhibited remarkable improvements in ASD impairments such as work completion speeds, vastly reduced repetitive behaviors, and increased empathy and flexibility." However, the effect waned over a year. That experience, and the foundation, appear in a chapter of the book Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening by autism advocate John Elder Robison. Sjaak Deckers, CEO of G-Therapeutics, will present the Go-2 implantable spinal cord stimulation system that is being developed to improve functional recovery of people with spinal cord injury. The initial aim is to provide gait support for people with an incomplete paraplegic injury. Eight patients are being recruited for a feasibility study in Switzerland, under study co-chairs Grégoire Courtine, Ph.D., director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Prof. Armin Curt, M.D., who is chairman of the Spinal Cord Injury Center at the University of Zurich and medical director of the Paraplegic Center at the Balgrist University Hospital. The clinical trial, called STIMO: Epidural Electrical Simulation (EES) With Robot-assisted Rehabilitation in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury, will combine stimulation with movement rehabilitation. Chi-Heng (Rex) Chang, GiMer Medical general manager, will present NeuroBlock, a wirelessly charged device that was spun out of the biomedical engineering labs at National Taiwan University. NeuroBlock is an ultra-high-frequency spinal cord stimulation (SCS) device entering its first-in-human pilot study. The initial application will be to address chronic pain through intermittent stimulation of the dorsal root ganglion. The small implantable pulse generator (11 cc in volume) operates without creating tingling sensations of paresthesia like conventional SCS. The development received two National Innovation Awards in Taiwan (in 2016 for best start-up, and in 2014, for outstanding academic research spinout). GiMer derives its name from a fictional Star Wars wooden cane that provided the aging character Yoda supplemental nutrition and pain relief. The company has received private seed funding from two publicly traded companies and a venture fund. Jonathan Sackier, chief medical officer at Helius, will discuss a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of the Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) 4.0 device for cranial nerve noninvasive neuromodulation (CN-NINM) training in subjects with a chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury. A clinical trial of CN-NINM began at 4 US and Canadian sites in 2015 to investigate if the PoNS therapy, Helius' investigational medical device and physical therapy regimen for relief of neurological symptoms of disease or trauma is effective. Data collection for the primary outcome measure is anticipated to be complete by July 2017. Helius is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mainstay Medical president and CEO Peter Crosby will present the company's ReActiv8 implantable restorative neurostimulation system as a treatment for patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP) of primarily nociceptive origin. ReActiv8 is designed to electrically stimulate the nerves of the muscles that dynamically stabilize the lumbar spine, to help restore muscle control and allow the body to recover from CLBP. ReActiv8 received CE mark in May 2016 and sales have begun in Germany. The current ReActiv8-B Trial is an international multi-center prospective randomized sham-controlled triple-blinded clinical trial designed to gather safety and efficacy data. Complete enrollment is anticipated in late 2017, with results available in 2018. Up to 27 centers will enroll 128 subjects who suffer from long-term disabling CLBP, are not candidates for and have not previously had spine surgery, are not candidates for SCS, and have failed conventional medical management such as drugs and physical therapy. Frank McEachern, MicroTransponder CEO, will present the company's Vivistim system that provides vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). The system is nearing the end of a U.S. clinical study in 17 patients who are undergoing rehabilitation for upper limb mobility after stroke. Previously, a safety-and-feasibility clinical trial of 20 stroke patients in Glasgow and Newcastle in the U.K. indicated rehabilitation was more successful with VNS than without. Pairing VNS with a specific movement strengthens motor circuits, which may help the patient regain upper limb function. Jens Schouenborg, Ph.D., a professor at Lund University, will present a new generation of matrix-embedded 3-dimensional, flexible neural interfaces. They are designed to be precisely implanted and spread out locally in target brain nuclei for deep brain stimulation (DBS). Preclinical studies indicate that by selecting appropriate biocompatible materials as the embedding matrix material, local injury including loss of neurons and immunological reactions can be minimized. The "3D Cluster Electrode" is intended to significantly improve stimulation specificity in DBS and widen its scope. Clinical studies are to commence during 2019. Daniel McDonnall, Ph.D., the president of Ripple, will present an implantable prosthetic device to restore eyelid motion to patients with unilateral facial paralysis. The wirelessly powered device is intended to prevent painful dry-eye complications and re-animate facial expression. After suffering paralysis due to tumor surgery, trauma, or disease, these patients do not currently have options for dynamic restoration of eyelid motion. The device would pair a detecting electrode on the healthy eyelid to detect the onset of a blink with a stimulating electrode on the paralyzed side to evoke a simultaneous blink. Proof-of-concept studies have been conducted, and component technologies have been developed. Preclinical testing is nearing completion. Sources of funding include the National Eye Institute's Small Business Innovation Research Phase I and II grant awards, as well as a grant from the U.S. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. WISE CEO Luca Ravagnan, Ph.D. will present the company's foldable, polymer-based electrode platform that can be applied to neuromonitoring and neuromodulation devices. The company is concluding the CE certification phase for its first product for acute use: cortical electrodes for intraoperative monitoring. The company is developing foldable paddles for SCS to combine the strengths of paddle leads with the ease of percutaneous leads to overcome trade-off between leads' performance and invasiveness of the surgery. Prior to becoming founding director of the Wyss Center in 2015, he coordinated the multidisciplinary team behind the groundbreaking prototype neural interface known as BrainGate while he was the founding chairman of the Department of Neuroscience at Brown University in Rhode Island. The Wyss Center tackles remaining challenges in brain-computer interfaces, such as development of a miniaturized wireless version of the existing BrainGate brain computer interface technology. The system should be suitable for long-term implantation and able to decode and transmit brain signals that signify intended movement. The Wyss Center works alongside collaborators of the next-generation BrainGate2 in a clinical trial to develop assisted communication and restore movement to people with neurologic disease, injury, or limb loss. In March, Donoghue and BrainGate collaborators reported that a paralyzed man in Cleveland used a BrainGate interface, connected to a functional electronic stimulation system, to move his hand and arm to feed himself, drink from a mug, and scratch his nose. The Wyss Center was established with funding from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss. Guri Oron, CEO of BlueWind Medical, will present the company's miniature wireless and battery-less microstimulator, RENOVA iStim, which delivers targeted peripheral stimulation for a variety of clinical indications. BlueWind Medical, founded in 2010 by Rainbow Medical Group, has successfully completed several clinical studies and is focused on bringing its RENOVA platform to market.
News Article | April 17, 2017
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today recognized Baratunde "Bara" A. Cola of the Georgia Institute of Technology and John V. Pardon of Princeton University with the nation's highest honor for early career scientists and engineers, the Alan T. Waterman Award. This marks only the second time in the award's 42-year history that NSF selected two recipients in the same year. Bestowed annually, the Waterman Award recognizes outstanding researchers age 35 and under in NSF-supported fields of science and engineering. In addition to a medal, awardees each receive a $1 million, five-year grant for research in their chosen field of study. "We are seeing the significant impact of their research very early in the careers of these awardees," said NSF Director France Córdova. "That is the most exciting aspect of the Waterman Award, which recognizes early career achievement. They have creatively tackled longstanding scientific challenges, and we look forward to what they will do next." Cola pioneered new engineering methods and materials to control light and heat in electronics at the nanoscale. He serves as an associate professor at Georgia Tech's George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. In 2015, Cola and his team were the first to overcome more than 40 years of research challenges to create a device called an optical rectenna, which turns light into direct current more efficiently than today's technology. The device could lead to highly efficient solar cells with the potential to power new generations of cell phones, laptops, satellites and drones. The technology uses carbon nanotubes that act as tiny antennas to capture light. Light is then converted into direct current by miniature, nanotechnology-enabled mechanisms called rectifier diodes. The research has the potential to double solar cell efficiency at one-tenth the cost, according to Cola. "Ultimately, we see the Waterman as fueling the final leg of our long-term effort to be the first to truly bring transformational applications of carbon nanotubes to the market," Cola said. "As of now, we know that there will be a substantial investment in engineering another breakthrough in carbon nanotube optical rectenna science." Cola also works to commercialize other novel nanotechnology-based innovations. In 2015, he participated in NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) at Georgia Tech, a program that immerses scientists and engineers in entrepreneurial training, teaching them to look beyond the lab and consider the commercial potential or broader impacts of their research. I-Corps participants interview prospective customers and identify market needs for federally funded innovations. In addition, Cola and colleagues were responsible for engineering breakthroughs, including the first thermally conductive amorphous polymer, the first practical electrochemical cell for generating electricity from waste heat and the first evidence of thermal energy conduction by surface polaritons. Cola, 35, is the founder of Carbice Nanotechnologies, Inc., a company that uses a carbon nanotube-material to remove heat from computer chip testing stations, allowing for faster and cheaper testing of chips during production. The technology could eventually result in smaller, faster, more powerful computer chips for use in everything from smartphones to supercomputers. Carbice Nanotechnologies received support from NSF's Small Business Innovation Research program. He also is co-founder of the NSF-funded Academic and Research Leadership Network, a group of more than 300 Ph.D. engineering researchers from minority groups underrepresented in academia, industry and government laboratories. Pardon is a Clay Research Fellow and professor of mathematics at Princeton University. His research focuses on geometry and topology, the study of properties of shapes that are unaffected by deformations, such as stretching or twisting. He is known for solving problems that stumped other mathematicians for decades and generating solutions that provide new tools for geometric analysis. In 2013, Pardon published a solution to the Hilbert-Smith conjecture, a mathematical proposition involving the actions of groups of "manifolds" in three dimensions. Manifolds include spheres and doughnut-shaped objects. The conjecture originates from one of the 23 problems published in 1900 by German mathematician David Hilbert, which helped guide the course of 20th century mathematics. American topologist Paul Althaus Smith proposed a stronger version of the problem in 1941. This problem has connections to many other areas of mathematics and physics. Pardon's publication was notable for proving this longstanding conjecture, a major achievement in mathematics. Prior to that publication, as a senior undergraduate at Princeton, Pardon answered a question posed in 1983 by Russian mathematician Mikhail Gromov regarding "knots," mathematical structures that resemble physical knots, but are closed, instead of having any ends. Gromov's question involved a special class of knots called "torus knots." He asked whether these knots could be tied without altering or distorting their topology. Pardon figured out a way to use the distortion between two properties of knots -- their intrinsic and extrinsic distances -- to control their topology. He showed that torus knots are limited by their geometric properties, and can be tied without altering their topology. Pardon's solution has important applications in fluid dynamics and electrodynamics, calculating forces involved in aircraft movement, predicting weather patterns, determining the flow of liquids through water treatment plant pipelines, determining the flow of electrical charges, and more. Pardon, who received his doctorate in mathematics in 2015 from Stanford University, has been a full professor at Princeton since fall 2016. Among other awards, Pardon earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his graduate studies at Stanford. As of October last year, Pardon had published 11 papers on such subjects as contact homology, virtual fundamental cycles, the distortion of knots, algebraic varieties, and the carpenter's rule problem.
News Article | May 2, 2017
Small business owners waiting to hear if they won federal research grants Monday received a different message than they were expecting. The Department of Energy did not reveal the latest round of awardees for the long-running Small Business Innovation Research program. Instead, an email from the program office, obtained by Greentech Media, notified applicants that the early-stage research awards had been held up "until Secretary Perry has an opportunity to be briefed on research projects that will take place under his administration." "Award notifications will therefore be delayed until that review has taken place," the email explains. "At this time our office has not been provided with a timeframe for completion of that review." This delay deviates from the previously published timeline, under which applications were due February 7 and awardees were to be announced May 1. The calendar notes that the announcement date is preliminary and subject to change. The window for change, though, is limited by an act of Congress, which gives agencies a firm deadline to notify applicants. Congress first created the SBIR in 1982 to carve out more space for innovative small businesses in federal research. Agencies that spend more than $100 million on R&D annually must dedicate a set amount of that budget to SBIR -- 3.2 percent for fiscal year 2017. The legislature subsequently created a related program, STTR, which funds technology transfer via partnerships between small businesses and research institutions. The DOE administers these two programs jointly. The most recent list of awardees includes companies working on membranes and materials for energy efficiency, companies working on advanced materials and components for solid-state lighting, and companies working on biofuels and bioproduct precursors from wet organic waste streams. Small businesses that choose to compete for this funding must dedicate time to a rigorous application and line up available staff and facilities to carry out the project, if accepted. Not knowing whether those resources will be dedicated to the proposed project creates uncertainty for these companies and could limit their ability to pursue other work and make timely business decisions. As such, Congress amended the program's language in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (look for Section 5126) to stipulate that a decision on each proposal can come no later than 90 days after its solicitation closes (except for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, which get a year to decide). Agencies have delayed SBIR/STTR funding decisions in the past, but for different reasons than in the current case, said Rick Shindell, a nonpartisan advocate for the program who authors the "SBIR Insider" newsletter. "Most of the time it was based on the fact that we were running our government on continuing resolutions rather than an appropriated budget," he noted. When faced with budget uncertainty, departments sometimes have to freeze less urgent programs to ensure the continued operation of critical efforts. The government was facing a funding deadline, but that was averted by a bipartisan spending deal finalized Sunday. The DOE message did not cite financial concerns for delaying the awards, and instead referred to Perry's desire to hear more about the research underway in the organization he now leads. Monday marked the 83rd day since this particular solicitation closed. It is unclear whether Perry intends to complete his review within the 90 day deadline. The department did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. The details of this scenario mirror reports in April that the DOE had ceased processing paperwork for grants awarded by ARPA-E, the agency's energy innovation organization. Like the SBIR, ARPA-E came into life by an act of Congress, and Congress allocates the budget. The current administration, in both cases, has delayed spending that budget without offering a scientific or financial justification. Over the weekend, Congress approved a $15 million budget increase for ARPA-E through September. Under President Trump's proposed budget, the program would have been eliminated.
News Article | April 24, 2017
The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs are the nation's largest source of early stage/high risk R&D funding for small businesses. The SBIR/STTR programs fuel thousands of innovative high-growth companies through non-dilutive funding totaling almost $2.5 billion a year. The highly competitive SBIR/STTR programs together account for more than 150,000 awards totaling approximately $40 billion. These awards have helped U.S. innovators advance new technologies that help make the U.S. more globally competitive. The SBIR/STTR programs have provided seed funding to companies including Qualcomm, iRobot, Symantec and Genzyme. Conference attendees will learn how to compete for funding and participate in these two programs, which encourage small businesses to access Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) and to commercialize technological innovations. The National SBIR Conference is co-located with the National Innovation Summit which draws 3,000+ attendees representing small businesses, entrepreneurs, and research institutions from across the globe. The National SBIR/STTR Conference offers a platform for small businesses and research institutions to interact with government program managers and industry leaders to learn how to be successful in the SBIR and STTR programs. The National SBIR Conference is just one of the SBA's SBIR outreach events. Now in its third year of the Small Business Innovation National Road Tour, it aims to encourage high growth R&D and connect innovators with money available from the 11 other SBIR participating federal agencies. The details for the 2017 National SBIR Conference are as follows: May 15-17, 2017 National Innovation Summit Gaylord National Harbor 201 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745 Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a schedule of states for the road tour and participating agencies, should visit: www.sbirroadtour.com. For more information about SBIR/STTR programs, please visit . About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012, has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sba-administrator-to-kick-off-national-sbir-conference-300444491.html
News Article | April 20, 2017
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carnot Compression LLC is pleased to announce it has been awarded a Phase II Grant of $750,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This grant is a follow-on Grant to the Phase I Award Carnot received in December 2015, bringing total funding from the NSF to $900,000. This award will provide research and development funding to advance Carnot’s isothermal compression technology to commercial readiness. Carnot's patented isothermal compression process uses a gas/liquid micro-emulsion to compress gas in a centrifugal field. Liquid absorbs the heat of compression, therefore Carnot’s process requires less energy input to deliver comparable compression output versus conventional compressors. “We are honored to have the support of the National Science Foundation to advance this ground-breaking technology,” said Todd Thompson, Carnot CEO. “This grant will enable our technical team led by Mark Cherry, Hans Shillinger, and Chris Finley to accelerate our product development plan to further validate the tremendous energy savings potential of our technology.” Carnot’s technology will drive energy and cost savings across a broad base of compression applications including industrial air compression, multiple oil and gas compression applications, CNG fueling, refrigeration, HVAC, and energy storage. For more information, please visit carnotcompression.com. At the National Science Foundation (NSF), Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) is an approximately $180-million program that catalyzes the commercialization of high-risk technological innovations via R&D grants to small businesses and startups. Through SBIR/STTR, NSF seeks to transform scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit. NSF is an independent, $7-billion federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
News Article | April 20, 2017
TEL-AVIV, Israel, April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL) (Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange:RDHL) (“RedHill” or the “Company”), a specialty biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development and commercialization of late clinical-stage, proprietary, orally-administered, small molecule drugs for gastrointestinal and inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced the publication of an article describing the positive results from the Phase I clinical study with YELIVA® (ABC294640)1 in advanced solid tumors. The article2, entitled “A Phase I Study of ABC294640, a First-in-Class Sphingosine Kinase-2 Inhibitor, in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors”, was authored by scientists from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center and Apogee Biotechnology and was published in Clinical Cancer Research. The article is available online on the journal’s website3. YELIVA® is a Phase II-stage, proprietary, first-in-class, orally-administered sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor with anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities, targeting multiple oncology, inflammatory and gastrointestinal indications. By inhibiting the SK2 enzyme, YELIVA® blocks the synthesis of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid signaling molecule that promotes cancer growth and pathological inflammation. The open-label, dose-escalation, pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) first-in-human Phase I study with YELIVA® treated 21 patients with advanced solid tumors, most of whom were gastrointestinal cancer patients, including pancreatic, colorectal and cholangiocarcinoma cancers. The Phase I study was conducted at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and led by Principal Investigators Melanie Thomas, MD, and Carolyn Britten, MD. The primary objectives of the study were to identify the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and to evaluate the safety of YELIVA®. The secondary objectives of the study were to determine the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) properties of YELIVA® and to assess its antitumor activity. Final results from the Phase I study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced solid tumors confirmed that the study successfully met its primary and secondary endpoints, demonstrating that the drug is well-tolerated and can be safely administered to cancer patients. There was one partial response in a patient with cholangiocarcinoma and six patients had stable disease as their best response. The study included the first-ever longitudinal analyses of plasma S1P levels as a potential PD biomarker for activity of a sphingolipid-targeted drug. The administration of YELIVA® resulted in a rapid and pronounced decrease in S1P levels over the first 12 hours, with return to baseline at 24 hours, which is consistent with clearance of the drug. A Phase II study with YELIVA® for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is ongoing at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. The study is supported by a grant from the NCI, awarded to MUSC, which is intended to fund a broad range of studies on the feasibility of targeting sphingolipid metabolism for the treatment of a variety of solid tumor cancers, with additional support from RedHill. A Phase Ib/II study with YELIVA® for the treatment of refractory or relapsed multiple myeloma is ongoing at Duke University Medical Center. The study is supported by a $2 million grant from the NCI Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awarded to Apogee, in conjunction with Duke University, with additional support from RedHill. A Phase I/II clinical study evaluating YELIVA® in patients with refractory/relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Kaposi sarcoma patients is ongoing at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. The study is supported by a grant from the NCI awarded to Apogee, with additional support from RedHill. A Phase Ib study to evaluate YELIVA® as a radioprotectant for prevention of mucositis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing therapeutic radiotherapy is planned to be initiated in the third quarter of 2017. YELIVA® recently received FDA Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. RedHill plans to initiate a Phase IIa clinical study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced, unresectable, intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in the third quarter of 2017. A Phase II study to evaluate the efficacy of YELIVA® in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis is planned to be initiated in the second half of 2017. About YELIVA® (ABC294640): YELIVA® (ABC294640) is a Phase II-stage, proprietary, first-in-class, orally-administered, sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor with anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. RedHill is pursuing with YELIVA® multiple clinical programs in oncology, inflammatory and gastrointestinal indications. By inhibiting SK2, YELIVA® blocks the synthesis of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid-signaling molecule that promotes cancer growth and pathological inflammation. SK2 is an innovative molecular target for anticancer therapy because of its critical role in catalyzing the formation of S1P, which is known to regulate cell proliferation and activation of inflammatory pathways. YELIVA® was originally developed by U.S.-based Apogee Biotechnology Corp. and completed multiple successful pre-clinical studies in oncology, inflammation, GI and radioprotection models, as well as the ABC-101 Phase I clinical study in cancer patients with advanced solid tumors. The Phase I study included the first-ever longitudinal analysis of plasma S1P levels as a potential pharmacodynamic (PD) biomarker for activity of a sphingolipid-targeted drug. The administration of YELIVA® resulted in a rapid and pronounced decrease in S1P levels, with several patients having prolonged stabilization of disease. YELIVA® received Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. FDA for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. The development of YELIVA® was funded to date primarily by grants and contracts from U.S. federal and state government agencies awarded to Apogee Biotechnology Corp., including the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the U.S. Department of Defense and the FDA Office of Orphan Products Development. About RedHill Biopharma Ltd.: RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:RDHL) (Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange:RDHL) is a specialty biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Israel, primarily focused on the development and commercialization of late clinical-stage, proprietary, orally-administered, small molecule drugs for the treatment of gastrointestinal and inflammatory diseases and cancer. RedHill has a U.S. co-promotion agreement with Concordia for Donnatal®, a prescription oral adjunctive drug used in the treatment of IBS and acute enterocolitis, as well as an exclusive license agreement with Entera Health for EnteraGam®, a medical food intended for the dietary management, under medical supervision, of chronic diarrhea and loose stools. RedHill’s clinical-stage pipeline includes: (i) RHB-105 - an oral combination therapy for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection with successful results from a first Phase III study; (ii) RHB-104 - an oral combination therapy for the treatment of Crohn's disease with an ongoing first Phase III study, a completed proof-of-concept Phase IIa study for multiple sclerosis and QIDP status for nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections; (iii) BEKINDA® (RHB-102) - a once-daily oral pill formulation of ondansetron with an ongoing Phase III study for acute gastroenteritis and gastritis and an ongoing Phase II study for IBS-D; (iv) RHB-106 - an encapsulated bowel preparation licensed to Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.; (v) YELIVA® (ABC294640) - a Phase II-stage, orally-administered, first-in-class SK2 selective inhibitor targeting multiple oncology, inflammatory and gastrointestinal indications; (vi) MESUPRON - a Phase II-stage first-in-class, orally-administered protease inhibitor, targeting pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors and (vii) RIZAPORT® (RHB-103) - an oral thin film formulation of rizatriptan for acute migraines, with a U.S. NDA currently under discussion with the FDA and marketing authorization received in two EU member states under the European Decentralized Procedure (DCP). More information about the Company is available at: www.redhillbio.com. 1 YELIVA® is an investigational new drug, not available for commercial distribution. 2 The article was authored by Carolyn D. Britten, Melanie B. Thomas, Elizabeth Garrett-Mayer, Steven H. Chin, Keisuke Shirai, Besim Ogretmen, Tricia A. Bentz, Alan Brisendine, Kate Anderton, Susan L. Cusack, Lynn W. Maines, Yan Zhuang and Charles D. Smith. This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may be preceded by the words “intends,” “may,” “will,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “estimates,” “aims,” “believes,” “hopes,” “potential” or similar words. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, and cannot be predicted or quantified and consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with (i) the initiation, timing, progress and results of the Company’s research, manufacturing, preclinical studies, clinical trials, and other therapeutic candidate development efforts; (ii) the Company’s ability to advance its therapeutic candidates into clinical trials or to successfully complete its preclinical studies or clinical trials; (iii) the extent and number of additional studies that the Company may be required to conduct and the Company’s receipt of regulatory approvals for its therapeutic candidates, and the timing of other regulatory filings, approvals and feedback; (iv) the manufacturing, clinical development, commercialization, and market acceptance of the Company’s therapeutic candidates; (v) the Company’s ability to successfully market Donnatal® and EnteraGam®, (vi) the Company’s ability to establish and maintain corporate collaborations; (vii) the Company's ability to acquire products approved for marketing in the U.S. that achieve commercial success and build its own marketing and commercialization capabilities; (viii) the interpretation of the properties and characteristics of the Company’s therapeutic candidates and of the results obtained with its therapeutic candidates in research, preclinical studies or clinical trials; (ix) the implementation of the Company’s business model, strategic plans for its business and therapeutic candidates; (x) the scope of protection the Company is able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering its therapeutic candidates and its ability to operate its business without infringing the intellectual property rights of others; (xi) parties from whom the Company licenses its intellectual property defaulting in their obligations to the Company; and (xii) estimates of the Company’s expenses, future revenues capital requirements and the Company’s needs for additional financing; (xiii) competitive companies and technologies within the Company’s industry. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the SEC on February 23, 2017. All forward-looking statements included in this Press Release are made only as of the date of this Press Release. We assume no obligation to update any written or oral forward-looking statement unless required by law.