Area Business Leaders, Venture Capitalists Will Meet to Advise WNY Biotech Startups

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) promotes the growth of businesses grounded in research developed at UB, with the aim of having a positive impact on the Western New York economy.

As part of that effort, STOR will host a May 18 meeting of the BioNetwork, a group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and venture capitalists, all former Western New Yorkers, who have worked together for the past eight years to energize the region’s life sciences industry.

At the annual meeting, BioNetwork members again will offer their collective expertise to selected early- to mid-stage start-up companies in upstate New York working with protein delivery, stem cells, and the delivery of peptide therapeutics to help them make a successful leap to commercialization and create jobs and investment.

The meeting will be held at the UB Technology Incubator, Baird Research Park, 1576 Sweet Home Rd., Amherst, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Attendance is by invitation only.

For nearly a decade, the BioNetwork has worked with inventions and technologies developed from both university and community-based research. The group serves as a sounding board for new ventures, asking pertinent questions, offering suggestions, contacts and possibilities for investment, helping to create an environment in which life sciences companies can thrive.

STOR spokesman Jeff Dunbar says the meeting will open with a welcome by UB Interim Provost Harvey Stenger, followed by a presentation by STOR of three technologies developed at UB and discussion about their commercial viability and opportunities for seed stage investment. The first technology is a lipid-based nanoparticle used to deliver protein therapeutics. The primary validation work was done with Factor VIII, a protein used to treat hemophilia. The second technology is a modified form of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), a type of adult stem cell with exciting research and clinical potential. The modified MSC, called MSC-Universal, can be grown continuously in culture while retaining the ability to differentiate into various types of cells.

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