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Life-sciences accelerator program selects 11 startups

An accelerator program that provides venture capital, networking and mentoring services to promising life-sciences companies has selected its 11 members.

The University at Buffalo, Launch NY, Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Western New York Incubator Network picked the startups that will take part in the five-month Critical Path program, sponsored by National Grid and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

It’s a follow-up to AOL founder Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour that passed through Buffalo last fall. The VilCap Communities Accelerator Program, supported by Case, is based on an entrepreneurship program offered internationally since 2010 by Village Capital. It was available to life-sciences startups in the 27 counties in Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York and the Southern Tier.

The 11 companies will receive mentoring in finances, intellectual property, federal regulations, fundraising and other matters. They will choose from among themselves two companies that each will receive a $50,000 investment from the Launch NY Seed Fund.

The Critical Path startups, and their locations, are:

• Abcombi Biosciences, Buffalo, develops a “smart” vaccine for complex diseases such as pneumonia.

• AccuTheranostics Inc., Buffalo, develops personalized chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients, relying on a laboratory test that uses the patient’s own tumor cells to determine before treatment begins which drugs have the most, or least, potential to work.

• Coqui3D, Buffalo, creates a virtual reality surgical simulator connected to big data.

• Disease Diagnostic Group, Buffalo, builds a battery-powered device that uses magnets and lasers to detect malaria in a patient’s blood.

• Efferent Labs, Buffalo, a medical technology company developing biosensor systems.

• Garwood Medical Devices, Buffalo, develops programmable electrical stimulation devices, with sensors and communications technologies built in, to treat chronic wounds and control joint-replacement infections.

• Infonaut, Buffalo, uses real-time surveillance technology and data analysis to prevent the spread of infections and improve patient safety in hospitals.

• Ionica Sciences, Ithaca, commercializes an in-vitro diagnostics platform for difficult to diagnose infectious diseases.

• Motion Intelligence, Syracuse, works with top academic institutions, medical researchers and engineers to translate breakthrough findings into thoughtfully developed and scientifically sound assessment applications.

• Nidus Biosciences, Rochester, is an early-stage biotech company that grew out of the University of Rochester.

• POP Biotechnologies, Buffalo, uses nanomedicine to find a more reliable way to deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumors.

Critical Path also announced the members of its inaugural advisory committee, who will guide and mentor the program participants. They are: Ashish Shah, Greatbatch; Brian McIlroy, Buffalo Institute for Genomics & Data Analytics; Cynthia Green, Pfizer; George Grobe, Valeant Pharmaceuticals; Grant Carr, Albany Molecular Research Inc.; Hugh Davies, Praxair; Rory Curtis, AMRI; and Steve Hossenlopp, Mentholatum.


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