Finalists Selected For The BioWest 2008 Venture Showcase Competition

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New therapeutic small molecule drugs ; devices made of unique materials; a highly-sensitive biosensor; advanced DNA immunotherapies; high-protein, low-cost fish food; and, new materials for use in perio-plastic surgical procedures comprise the six finalists in this year's BioWest Venture Showcase competition. The finalists were selected from a group of 22and will be presenting at the BioWest Venture Showcase on November 13 at the Grand Hyatt-Denver, 1750 Welton. The winner will receive the $10,000 Dorsey & Whitney Venture Showcase award at the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) Annual Awards Dinner, the evening of November 13.

New therapeutic drugs for life threatening disease and trauma; devices made of new materials that work with the body; a highly-sensitive detector of trace amounts of biological and chemical agents in real time; new DNA immunotherapies for HIV infection; high-protein, low-cost fish food; and, new materials for use in perio-plastic surgical procedures comprise the six finalists in this year's BioWest Venture Showcase competition. The announcement is made by Christine Shapard, Interim Director of the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA).

"During our Venture Showcase competition, it's extremely rewarding to review so many exciting bioscience companies in the region that are innovatively advancing their technologies refining their business plans and successfully raising capital for growth," Shapard says. "This year's finalists were selected from a group of 22 and will be presenting at the BioWest Venture Showcase, November 13, at the Grand Hyatt-Denver, 1750 Welton. The winner will receive the $10,000 Dorsey & Whitney Venture Showcase award at the Colorado BioScience Association (CBSA) Annual Awards Dinner, the evening of November 13."

To attend the Venture Showcase presentations and/or awards dinner, registration information is available at

An overview of each finalist follows:

Accuthera LLC (Conifer) - A privately held company developing first-in-class proprietary, small molecule drugs for the treatment of acute, life-threatening pulmonary and systemic complications resulting from trauma and an array of infectious diseases. The company's compounds inhibit the critical enzymes (neutrophil elastase and proteinase 3) responsible for amplifying the inflammatory response and causing tissue injury. Accuthera's technology addresses key unmet needs in critical care medicine, pandemic preparedness and biological defense. By addressing these areas simultaneously, the company has been able to secure significant non-dilutive federal funding while developing products with very large sustainable, commercial markets. Because the initial drug development program is focused on acute, life-threatening clinical indications that have no effective therapies currently available, this program is expected to qualify for "Fast Track" status within the FDA.

Aqueous Biomedical Inc. (Colorado Springs) - A privately held biomedical device company that has made new discoveries about how cells respond to chemical interactions and physical forces caused by biomedical implants. Using this knowledge, they are developing unique biocompatible materials and geometric designs that work with the body. This revolutionary approach can be applied across a wide range of technologies, including stents, shunts, artificial organs, and drug delivery devices, to make these implants more effective and longer lasting. Their first product is the Oculieve™ shunt, uniquely designed to control over-pressurization inside the eye caused by glaucoma and prevent the onset of blindness. They are also currently developing bio-friendly coating materials for cardiovascular stents that prevent restenosis, and modifications for implanted drug delivery devices to prevent scarring and clogging.

Bioptix LLC (Boulder) - A privately held bioscience company that has developed a highly-sensitive biosensor for detection of trace amounts (~pg/mm2) of bacteria, viruses, proteins, nucleic acids, antibodies and other biological and chemical agents in real-time and with minimal human intervention. Recently, their scientists used the prototype biosensor to detect clinically significant levels of human micro RNAs in experimental samples, opening an avenue for early and robust diagnostics of a variety of cancers. The unique patented biosensor design relies upon the common path interferometric detection principle in combination with non-resonant surface plasmon excitation. This design was conceived by BiOptix Chief Scientific Adviser, Dr. John Hall, 2005 Physics Nobel Prize Laureate. The new instrument has attracted significant interest from the U.S. military, medical diagnostic industry, and pharmaceutical companies. The company's R&D efforts are backed by seed funding from a group of highly experienced chnology investors and multiple SBIR grants.

ImmunoGenetix Therapeutics, Inc. (Lenexa, Kansas) - A privately held biotechnology company developing advanced DNA immunotherapies for HIV infection. The company's lead product candidate, GenePro™, is a DNA therapeutic vaccine incorporating a proprietary DNA composition that yields high levels of gene expression and non-infectious HIV protein production, inducing a robust antibody and cellular immune response in non-human primates. The company has raised $1.8 million to date from angel investors, the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, the Kansas Bioscience Authority and the Precede Fund. The company has minimized cost and dilution to date by taking advantage of available NIH funding in the field of HIV. They are seeking $3M to complete IND enabling studies, file an IND and launch a Phase I/IIa clinical trial on GenePro™ to establish its safety and immune reconstitution activity in patients infected with HIV. The company's executive management team has extensive experience in clinical research, strategic planning, business operations, finance, law and the establishment, funding and management of new biotechnology companies.

Oberon FMR, Inc. (Idaho Springs) - Oberon FMR is preparing to produce a cost-effective, sustainable protein meal to serve as a replacement ingredient for fish meal in the production of feeds for the aquaculture industry - a consumer of more than $4 billion in fish meal. The company has developed the only known economically attractive process for producing high quality single cell protein (SCP) meal from un-utilized food processing by-products. A preliminary patent application has been filed with the USPTO, protecting this solution with claims on both process and business methods for the production of nutritional SCP.    The experienced management team has begun establishing long-term relationships with existing food and beverage processors as a material source. On the customer side, they are conducting feeding trials with several species with large feed manufacturers. The company has raised $900,000 to date.

Snoasis Medical (Denver) - The privately held company is focused on the development and commercialization of regenerative tissue and medical device products for the use in perio-plastic surgical procedures. The core technology behind the company's current product offering is placental tissue of which the amnion is the innermost layer of the amniotic sac and is composed of collagen types IV, V and VII and bioactive factors including fibronectin and laminins which allow for cellular adhesion of gingival cells. Amnion is avascular, non-immunogenic, and its anti-inflammatory properties are well-documented. The company's lead product is ReNu™ a dehydrated, amion laminate developed specifically for use as a wound covering in perioplastic surgery. Based on early clinical results, Snoasis expects ReNu™ to possess efficacy comparable to autograft in a select number of indications in perioplastic surgery. ReNu™ and near-term follow-on products are classified by the FDA as a human cell tissue product and does not need to obtain a 510(k) clearance or pre-market application approval to begin commercial distribution. The company intends to launch the product on a commercial basis in early 2009.

About Colorado BioScience Association

CBSA is a not-for-profit corporation providing services and support for Colorado's growing biosciences industry. With more than 400 members, the CBSA actively works to promote the growth of the industry by advocating for a better business environment, by promoting programs that grow the state's bioscience workforce, by fighting for policies that support a strong bioscience industry in the state and by speaking with a single voice on behalf of the companies in the state. For more information, visit

About Dorsey & Whitney LLC

Dorsey's patent group lawyers combine their expertise in patent law and business acumen with their solid technical backgrounds to provide their clients the advice they need to stay competitive in global and regional marketplaces. Dorsey attorneys are committed to helping their clients maintain that competitive edge by advising them on the most effective methods for protecting their technology and assisting them in patent portfolio strategic issues, patent preparation, prosecution, licensing and related activities in patent offices in the U.S. and around the world. For more information, visit


Christine Shapard, Interim Director, Colorado BioScience Association -- 303-592-4089

Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR, Absolutely Public Relations - 303-984-9801


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