Fast pitch: Bioscience startups to share their progress

Sept. 26, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by South Dakota Biotech.

Get caught up on the fast-changing bioscience scene in just 20 minutes at the Oct. 4 Breakthrough Summit from South Dakota Biotech.

The day will start with a breakfast featuring seven South Dakota biotech companies that will deliver two-minute pitches on their businesses.

Each has received an i6 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of its Regional Innovation Strategies program.

“These are all active i6 projects awarded within the last year,” said Mel Ustad, i6 project director and director of the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

“You’ll hear a lot in 20 minutes.”

The companies featured are:

Immutrix, partnering with Ovis and Sanford Research

Immutrix is a medical technology company that developed a device for cleansing blood.

“They will be representing a variation of their product for the veterinary market, using the same technology, that they plan to bring to market,” Ustad said. “They already have interest in it and are doing safety testing at Sanford Research ahead of starting sales.”

Inanovate, partnering with USD

Inanovate, which is working with Sanford Research, developed a blood test that uses a patient’s immune system to detect breast cancer early and monitor treatment.

“In their i6 project, they are identifying proteins or tests that could be used in food processing and within the ag sector,” Ustad said. “They’re interested in talking to potential customers in the ag space.”

GlycoScience Research, partnering with USD

GlycoScience Research is based in Brookings and uses a unique flock of sheep to produce and promote ovine GM1 ganglioside as a treatment for Huntington’s disease and other neurological diseases.

“They are now going to use the cGMP facility at the GEAR Center in Sioux Falls to process and package the ganglioside for sale to researchers around the world,” Ustad said. “Ideally, one of those researchers finds out if it works as a treatment for Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s disease.”

Antimicrobial Materials, partnering with USD

Antimicrobial Materials, through a Department of Defense SBIR project, is developing a product to prevent athlete’s foot and is working to scale up production of the biological component used in it.

“They’re looking for additional funding, so they might make an investment pitch or just tell their story to raise awareness,” Ustad said.

Halth, partnering with USD

Halth is a joint venture between Antimicrobial Materials and a conveyor belt manufacturer. It would use the antimicrobial polymers produced in the plastic that’s used to make conveyor belts for food processing, so they’re antimicrobial surfaces.

“They’re scaling up production of the antimicrobial polymers,” Ustad said. “And they’re starting a pilot project at a Sioux Falls meat processor.”

Foss & Harmon, partnering with USD

Foss & Harmon is working with USD’s computer science department to create software focused on helping companies meet and remain compliant with changing federal regulations.

“This is a software project for the biotech industry and will help companies trying to move a product through the regulatory process, so they can more easily identify regulations and get information related to them,” Ustad said. 

Nanopareil, partnering with South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

Nanopareil’s patented nanofiber technology provides filters for separating biochemicals and viruses during the production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines.

“They are trying to scale up production of nano materials to be commercial versus laboratory scale,” Ustad said. “I don’t anticipate a funding pitch as much as create more awareness of the technology for companies where there might be an application.”

While the breakfast presentation will be brief, the companies will have a poster on display and be at the summit all day, Ustad added.

“Our hope is during breaks others will come by, talk with them and get to know more about the work they’re doing.”

Only have the morning free? You can register just for the breakfast or spend the day at Breakthrough. To learn more and register, click here.


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Fast pitch: Bioscience startups to share their progress

Get caught up on the fast-changing bioscience scene in just 20 minutes at the Oct. 4 Breakthrough Summit from South Dakota Biotech.

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