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WBBA Newsletter Article [Commercialization Corner] [Summer 2013] [06/13/13]
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 The Life Science Innovator 
  A WBBA Publication

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WBBA Industry Working Groups

Connect with your peers to meet the unique challenges your Organization faces.

Communicators Group
(Open to ALL WBBA Members)

The goal of this group is to give people who are responsible for “getting the word out” for their respective organizations a closed-forum to discuss the unique issues, problems and challenges that face the people within these organizations who are charged with fulfilling the role of communications, public relations, marketing, community outreach and investor relations, whether by specific title or by having it as one of their responsibilities.

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HR Group
(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member HR professionals, no service providers)

You are invited to join over 50 of your HR colleagues from WBBA member companies, as we network, share ideas and exchange information about the challenges and issues we encounter while working in the biotechnology and biomedical fields. The Human Resources Group offers a variety of ways to connect with your colleagues. This is an excellent way to learn up-to-date information from professionals within our industry. You do not need to have an HR title in order to attend these meetings; you simply need to perform the human resources function for your company.

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Clean Science Group
(Open to any WBBA member interested in clean science and sustainability)

The goal of the WBBA Clean Science Group is to have a variety of representatives of the region's life science community dialoguing about solutions to minimize the impact of our scientific pursuits on the region. We also want to educate each other on the systems that are currently available to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the associated costs of such systems. Biotech is an industry reliant on sterile, one-use products to ensure high quality research. This process generates a lot of waste. Is biotech doing everything it can to reduce waste, and increase recycling? Are we sacrificing the health of our planet for the health of people? Is there a way to create science that is clean and healthy for both the planet and for the people we are trying to heal? Are you interested in dialoguing about creating clean science? If so, then join the WBBA Clean Science Group on LinkedIn. We would like to have participation from various groups in the lab including facilities, operations, and lab managers. Together, we can help heal people, progress science and have a healthy place to live.

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Supply Chain Group
(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member Supply Chain/Purchasing professionals, no service providers)

This group offers supply chain, purchasing, and sourcing professionals an opportunity to network and discuss the challenges they face and share best practices. If interested, please contact Blythe Price at

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Facilities/Engineering Group
(Open to WBBA Core & Institution Member Facilities/Engineering professionals, no service providers)

This group offers Facilities and Engineering professionals an opportunity to network and discuss the challenges they face and share best practices. If interested, please contact Blythe Price at

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Commercialization Corner

Making Your Innovation Our Business

Quick Links to all WBBA Programs You Need
Commercialization News
Non-Dilutive Capital
Seed and Early Stage Capital
Venture Capital and Strategic Partnerships
Sponsor Commercialization Programs and Events



More than 200 new life science startup companies and entrepreneurs have utilized WBBA’s pro bono Commercialization Consulting since we began offering the service in 2009.  We’ve been keeping track of their progress with emails, phone calls and follow-up surveys.  If you or someone from your organization came in to WBBA for a consult with Dick Haidduck (March 2009-May 2010), Stewart Parker (May 2010-March 2011) or Chris Porter (March 2011-present), and have not yet filled out our survey, please do so today.

Based on the responses so far (n>130), the data demonstrate that life science startups in Washington state are making solid progress:

  • About 80% of the companies are still in operation
  • Nearly 60% have raised working capital (~$200 million) and hired full time equivalent employees (300+)
  • Nearly a third of these companies have achieved revenue

Do you want to schedule a pro bono consultation with our Commercialization Team? We have created a Commercialization Resource Packet that includes a detailed Bio-Entrepreneur Startup Kit.  The highlight of this kit is a Map to Financing that outlines the sources of capital available to life science startup companies, and explains the characteristics of successful fundees at each stage of fundraising.  All groups that utilize our consulting program receive the Resource Packet and Kit.  Contact to set up a meeting today.  WBBA members are eligible for unlimited consulting, while non-members can take advantage of an initial pro bono consult.

Are you a service provider who wants to connect with early stage companies and entrepreneurs?  Sponsor our consultation services and get instant exposure to up to 100 early stage life science companies. WBBA’s Commercialization Consulting program is generously supported by Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund and ProvenOps Consulting.

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Looking for Grant Money?

The Grant Opportunities page at is an invaluable resource for any life science company seeking non-dilutive funding. We feature a number of Grant Making Organizations on the right hand side of the page, as well as individual new Grant Opportunities as they become available. Get the most up-to-date information about grantors such as the NIH SBIR & STTR program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Defense, Washington Global Health Alliance and more.

This quarter, we are highlighting the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) from the Department of Defense.  Seventeen new funding topics have been announced in the last month, including but not limited to: ALS, autism, lung cancer, breast and ovarian cancer research, bone marrow failure, neurofibromatosis, and MS.  

Life Sciences Discovery Fund Update

LSDF is now accepting pre-proposals on a rolling basis from Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations for the following types of grants:

  • Proof of Concept grants (up to $250,000 per award) to enhance the commercial viability of intellectual property developed by non-profit organizations or enhance the competitiveness of early-stage companies for private equity investment. This grant mechanism combines the Commercialization and PreCede mechanisms offered in prior years.
  • Opportunity grants (up to $1.4 million per award) to fund extraordinary research and development proposals having the ability to significantly leverage LSDF dollars against those from other sources.

All applicants must submit a pre-proposal to be considered for a grant. Up to $7,000,000 is available for award through June 2013. Pre-proposals must be received by July 2 to be considered for the September funding round.  More information is available at


WINGS Angels Continue to Invest in Washington’s Med Tech Startups

WINGS, The Washington Medical Technology Angel Network, is a joint initiative of WBBA and the medical technology community. WINGS’s mission is to close the gap in early stage funding to accelerate the translation of medical technology innovation from the lab bench to patients. Since the inception of WINGS, 40 companies have been selected to present at 13 Investor Meetings from 160 deals screened. To date, WINGS is responsible for $5.8 million of investment in eleven Washington med tech companies.

WINGS held its second Investor Meeting of 2013 on May 15th with three company presentations from Precision Image Analysis, Aqueduct Critical Care and MedRock.  There were also updates from three previous companies: Viket Medical Corporation, Mobisante and Cadence BioMedical

WINGS Co-Chairman Wayne Wager announced a changing of the guard at the May Investor Dinner with the transition of Co-Chairman Kirby Cramer to Chairman Emeritus and the ascension of Tom Clement from Director to Co-Chairman of the Board.  The WINGS organization would like to sincerely thank Kirby Cramer for his years of dedicated service and the truly integral part he has played in the recent growth and recognition of WINGS by the med tech community.  A special thank you and congratulations goes to Tom Clement as well, for being an important part of the organization’s formation and for committing to continued support of WINGS as its Co-Chairman.

The WINGS network is already gearing up for its next meeting on July 17th. For more information on how to apply to present at upcoming WINGS dinners, to become a WINGS investor or to sponsor WINGS, visit or email WINGS Project Manager Brady Ryan at or WINGS Managing Director Christiana DelloRusso at

WINGS thanks the generous support of its sponsors: WBBA, Perkins Coie, RBC Wealth Management and Capital MarketsWRF Capital, University of Washington Center for Commercialization, Silicon Valley Bank, SonoSite, Stratos, Varitrex, Philips, Physio-Control, JP Morgan, the Coulter Foundation at the University of Washington, and The Rainier Club.

WINGS also welcomes and thanks its newest sponsors Fenwick & West and Ernst & Young!


VIP Forum Updates: Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation and Innovation

During WBBA’s Venture Investment and Partnering (VIP) Forums, venture investors and multi-national strategic partners (VIPs) travel to Seattle to participate in two related events.  First, the VIP gives an overview of their firm at a Plenary Session and Networking Reception open to the life science community.  Then, the VIP participates in a customized, day-long schedule of 1:1 meetings with the region’s most promising life science companies, entrepreneurs and researchers who are pre-selected during an application process.  Since this program began in 2009, 137 local companies and research groups have met 1:1 with visiting VIPs. Thus far, a number of research contracts have been negotiated from these meetings and multiple discussions are ongoing.   

On May 16-17 we welcomed leadership from Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) to Seattle for our most recent VIP Forum.  Johnson & Johnson is a well-known global giant in the health sector.  Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, the venture capital subsidiary of J&J, invests in life science and technology businesses that focus on traditional healthcare sectors such as pharmaceuticals, companion diagnostics and medical devices.  The JJDC executives also met with earlier stage research groups and companies on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, which focuses on identifying early-stage innovation at academic institutions, start-up biotech companies and venture capital firms, and provide integrated capabilities to scout, evaluate, fund, guide, and onboard new science.

At the Plenary Session, Dr. Asish Xavier, Vice President, Venture Investments, and Dr. Jeff Calcagno, Principal, Venture Investments, spoke about both JJDC and the new Innovation Centers, describing the need for highly innovative and portfolio-relevant technologies.  J&J Innovation Centers recently opened in Menlo Park, Boston, London and Shanghai.  Also in Seattle for the JJDC VIP Forum and meeting with WBBA-member groups was Renee Compton Ryan, Vice President, Venture Investments.

J&J’s wide range of interests (available here) allowed for our largest VIP Forum yet; 35 member companies across a diverse range of therapeutic areas met with the JJDC executives over two days of meetings held at Cooley LLP.  

We are also happy to announce our next VIP Forum with Eli Lilly and Company on September 3-4.  Lilly, a top-10 pharmaceutical company, is a global leader in oncology, diabetes, neuroscience, cardiovascular health and more.  Keep an eye out for more details and information as we approach this date.

VIP Forums are generously supported by Cooley LLP, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Knobbe Martens. If your organization is interested in sponsoring VIP Forums in 2013, information can be found in the WBBA’s Sponsorship Prospectus.


Sponsor the WBBA’s Commercialization Programs

Since 2009 the Commercialization Team has provided consulting services to over 200 new emerging life science companies, entrepreneurs and research groups as they sought advice on matters relating to company formation, intellectual property, capital sources, investor pitches, research studies and clinical trials, product design, development and manufacturing, regulatory strategy, accounting/finance, and management.  Often these companies are in the very early stages of formation and development, and thus have no website or public presence.  We are offering service providers with expertise in these areas a unique opportunity to connect with these early stage companies that we support.  This exciting, win-win program offers service providers visibility and connection with these early stage life science companies, and at the same time, provides the startups and entrepreneurs with some crucial, initial services and information for no cost.  

The Commercialization Team has created a Commercialization Resource Packet that includes a detailed Bio-Entrepreneur Startup Kit. The highlight of this kit is a Map to Financing that outlines the sources of capital available to life science startup companies, and explains the characteristics of successful fundees at each stage of fundraising.  All groups that utilize our consulting program receive the Resource Packet and Kit.  Your company can be featured in the Packet as a sponsor of the Consulting program. Your company one-pager will describe your area of expertise, service offerings and the offer of at least two hours of initial pro bono services.  

We envision that more than 100 early stage life science companies will receive this packet in 2013, creating an instant connection to your unique services.  For more information on this valuable opportunity, see the Commercialization Consulting Sponsorship fact sheet, or contact Vice President of Commercialization Christiana DelloRusso.  

We would like to thank and welcome the newest Commercialization Consulting Sponsor, ProvenOps Consulting. ProvenOps has successfully led laboratory teams in many environments, including academia, startup and industry. With over 20 years of experience, ProvenOps can help companies and research groups navigate obstacles big in small in all areas of laboratory operations.

Sponsor the Commercialization Resource WIKI website

This integrated resource for life science entrepreneurs and companies in Washington State provides prominent, year-long visibility to a multitude of audiences.  New expanded content reflects the results of a grant project funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce in partnership with the UW Center for Commercialization and the Washington Global Health Alliance. More information about the opportunity to Sponsor this important resource for entrepreneuers can be found online.



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