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News (32)

Pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing company Curia broke ground this fall on a $100 million expansion of its Albuquerque operations, potentially adding nearly 300 new local jobs to its current workforce.

It’s the second major expansion here since 2018 by the biotech company, which already employs about 400 people at two locations, including a 135,000-square-foot facility at the Midtown Business Park at I-25 and Montgomery, plus an 80,000-square-foot facility near Balloon Fiesta Park.

A novel ointment for topical treatment of HPV-induced warts and pre-cancers won first place at this year’s bioscience shark tank for University of New Mexico researchers in mid-November.

A three-member panel of judges, all local entrepreneurs, selected viral oncology professor Michelle Ozbun’s research as the winner in a pitch competition with other UNM investigators who presented on a new microfiber to make face masks more comfortable and effective in filtering viruses, and use of nanoparticles to prevent tooth and gum disease.

In a new collaboration, the New Mexico Start-Up Factory, UNM Health Sciences Center, and the UNM Anderson School of Management have been awarded a $3.25M grant from National Institutes of Health I-RED program to develop an educational product to promote technology commercialization and entrepreneurship by faculty, trainees and students in the western IDeA states, which include New Mexico, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.

The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program was founded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 1993. The program was established to enhance the competitiveness of research institutions in the IDeA eligible states for NIH-funded grants and increase the probability of long-term growth of NIH-competitive funding to investigators at institutions from these eligible states (RFA: RR-94-002). To date, the IDeA program has awarded 221 grants, totaling more than $370 million in research support.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Logo Design Contest

In collaboration with the Proof-of-Concept Network Action Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (PACE), the ASCEND and DRIVEN Hubs are sponsoring a logo design contest.

Today, ASCEND Hub – a member of the National Institutes of Health funded program designed to stimulate entrepreneurship and transition discoveries and technologies from the lab into commercial products that address human health – announced plans to leverage its second phase of NIH funding to intensify its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts to bring more visibility to under-represented groups and encourage the engagement of diverse life sciences students, faculty and innovators at higher-educational institutions within the states it serves.

Montana based drug discovery company Dermaxon has notably received multiple NIH funding awards in recent years. Dermaxon targets the brain-skin connection to discover and develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat life threatening diseases and disorders such as pain, pruritus, and genetic disorders of skin keratinization.

Last month, HealthTechApps was named a rising star of the health technology entrepreneurial sector. The Forbes article, titled “52 Women-Led Startups Driving The Future of HealthTech and FemTech,” highlighted companies around the world developing everything from artificial intelligence platforms for medical decision making to lab grown breast milk.

The ASCEND Hub is excited to share the achievements of one of our program participants, Dr. Jay Evans. Dr. Evans, a Research Professor at the University of Montana, co-founded Inimmune in 2016 and currently serves as the company’s President and CEO.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

A Recap From the Steering Committee

The ASCEND Hub Steering Committee met on July 14, 2021. The committee — which is comprised of representatives from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, University of Hawaii, University of Idaho, University of Nevada-Reno, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of Montana, Montana State University, University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, and University of Wyoming — discussed successes, challenges, and areas for improvement within the Hub alongside representatives from the National Institute of Health (NIH). 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

2021 Business Advising Cohort Graduates

We are thrilled to announce the 2021 ASCEND Hub Business Advising Cohort graduates! Over the past year, these individuals have worked to develop their technologies, business strategies, and pitch decks through discussions with ASCEND Hub mentors. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Sreejayan Nair, Dr. Rita Serda, Dr. Tione Buranda, and Dr. Alexander Hafez on their hard work and entrepreneurial successes!

The ASCEND Hub is excited to share the achievements of one of our program participants, Dr. Sreejayan Nair. Dr. Nair is a professor and Associate Dean of Research in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wyoming. In 2014, Dr. Nair founded Nutriwyo LLC, which focuses on developing novel therapeutic strategies for treating diabetic wounds. Nutriwyo’s goal is to develop a new approach to treat diabetic wounds by using a potent and selective protease inhibitor. To date, Dr. Nair has received:

UAF scientist turned startup-founder Bahareh Barati took her company, Barati Medical, to the finals of the 2020 Alaska Angel Conference on May 21 and won the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Alaska Airlines. Barati Medical participated in the ASCEND 2020 Business Advising Cohort where executives received technology review and pitch preparation.

Inimmune, a biotechnology company based in Missoula, Montana, has accomplished its first outside investment with $22 million in Series A funding. Inimmune participated in the ASCEND Business Advising Cohort in 2019 where executives received technology review and pitch preparation.

With a newly awarded research grant, the GPER G-1 Development Group will continue to develop a novel therapeutic for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.  The technology comes out of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences center with research led by Eric Prossnitz, PhD, a professor in and chief of the Division of Molecular Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant was awarded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Dr. Prossnitz said the funding presents an incredible opportunity to present an innovative approach to treating and preventing diabetes and obesity. GPER G-1 participated in the ASCEND 2020 Business Advising Cohort where executives received technology review and pitch preparation.

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