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WBBA Newsletter Article [Commercialization Corner] [Fall 2013] [09/12/13]
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 The Life Science Innovator 
  A WBBA Publication

In this issue...

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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.

Join the group!

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 the WBBA programs you need:

Commercialization Consulting
Non-Dilutive Capital
Seed and Early Stage Capital
Sponsor Commercialization Programs and Events
Consulting Team Roadshow to Spokane

Life Sciences Commercialization Consultant, Chris Porter, and Vice President of Commercialization, Christiana DelloRusso, traveled to Spokane for a full day of meetings with entrepreneurs and other local commercialization experts on September 5th.  The response to this trip was so well received that the team plans to make the “Commercialization Roadshow” a more frequent occurrence!  If you are in or near Spokane and would like to meet with the team during a future visit, please contact Brady Ryan, who works tirelessly with entrepreneurs to schedule all of our commercialization consults!

Company Successes!

More than 220 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>150), the data demonstrate that life science startups in Washington state are making solid progress:

  • About 80% of the companies are still in operation
  • Over 60% have raised working capital ($230M+) and hired full time equivalent employees (~400)
  • Nearly 25% 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.  WBBA members are eligible for unlimited consulting, 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 like these?  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, ProvenOps Consulting, and the Life Sciences Discovery Fund.

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Funding for your startup from the NIH 

As a follow-up to our two recent grants-related events, SBIR & STTR experts from the National Institutes of Health will be in Seattle on Thursday, October 31 to explain the now-effective new rules governing SBIR/STTR funding, timelines, and granting mechanisms, as well as secrets to success.  Following the presentation, Drs. Greg Evans (NCI), Natalia Kruchinin (NIAID), and Lawrence Prograis  (NIAID) will meet with WBBA members one-on-one to discuss specific grant opportunities and proposals.  Last year’s event with the NCI drew nearly 100 attendees, and  Dr. Evans met with 20 companies, entrepreneurs and researchers interested in SBIR/STTR grant and contract mechanisms.  Dr. Evans called last year’s event “excellent, easily one of the best SBIR outreach events I have done." We thank Product Creation Studio for supporting this upcoming event!

Don’t miss out of gaining valuable information or meeting 1:1 with the NIH experts.  Register for the informational session here.  Apply to meet with Drs. Evan, Kruchinin or Prograis by sending a brief (1-2 page) executive summary and your availability on October 31 and November 1 to by 5 PM on October 9.

Do you have an NIH Phase I SBIR?  Get a FREE Technology Niche Analysis!

The NIH’s SBIR/STTR Niche Assessment Program (NAP) is a nationwide program to help jump-start an SBIR/STTR Phase I awardee's commercialization efforts.  Technology Niche Analyses® are provided by Foresight for 138 NIH SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees.  These analyses are often awarded on a first come, first served basis and assess potential applications for a technology and then for one viable application, it provides an assessment of the:

1.    needs and concerns of end-users;
2.    competing technologies and competing products;
3.    competitive advantage of the SBIR/STTR-developed technology;
4.    market size and potential market
5.    barriers to market entry (pricing, competition, government regulations, manufacturing challenges, capital, etc.);
6.    market drivers;
7.    status of market and industry trends;
8.    potential customers, licensees, investors, or other commercialization partners; and,
9.    the price customers are likely to pay.

Each participant receives an in-depth report.  Oftentimes the small business can use this information in their commercialization plans for their Phase II applications. For more information, see Notice NOT-OD-13-109 that was placed in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on August 28, 2013.


The 2014 Omnibus NIH/CDC SBIR Contract Solicitation (PHS 2014-1) has been posted. Please see the NIH SBIR website for details and solicitation materials in our Funding Opportunity Table near the top of the page. The solicitation is also posted in fedbizopps.

A NIH Guide Notice (NOT-OD-13-108) was also released today, which describes the solicitation and also provides the necessary links and information.

The deadline for contract proposal submissions is Wednesday, November 13, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. EST and submissions must be on paper (not electronic, not through Please follow the directions in the solicitation very carefully. You must respond exactly to a topic in the solicitation.

Life Sciences Discovery Fund Update

The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) is now accepting applications from Washington state organizations for Proof of Concept and Entrepreneur Mentoring Program grants:

  • Proof of Concept grants (up to $250,000 per award) are awarded to for-profit and non-profit organizations 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. Up to $3 million is available for Proof of Concept grants through August 2014, with no specific allocations or quotas by applicant organization type (for-profit vs. non-profit).
  • The Request for Proposals, application documents, grant competition calendar, and balance of available funds are available here. For more information about LSDF’s 2013-2014 granting programs, call 206-456-9577 or email


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, 43 companies have been selected to present at 14 Investor Meetings from 158 deals screened. To date, WINGS is responsible for $7 million of investment in 11 Washington med tech companies.

WINGS held its third Investor Meeting of 2013 on July 17th with three company presentations from Impel Neuropharma, Carewave and Valant Medical Solutions, and updates from dBMEDx and Cardiac Insight. Impel NeuroPharma develops and licenses pharmaceutical delivery technology that enables drugs to pass the blood-brain barrier.  Carewave is developing an over-the-counter consumer pain device utilizing pulsed heat.  Valant Medical Solutions has developed electronic medical record software for use in the private practice behavioral healthcare market.

The WINGS network is already gearing up for its next meeting on October 15th.  For more information on how to apply to present, to become a WINGS investor or to sponsor WINGS, visit or email WINGS Project Manager Brady Ryan or WINGS Managing Director Christiana DelloRusso.

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 would also like to thank our newest sponsors, Ernst & Young and Fenwick & West LLP.

Upcoming VIP Forum: LongTech Medical Technology

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.  Second, 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, and multiple discussions are ongoing. Based on a recent follow up survey, over 60% of these meetings have led to a second meeting or follow up discussion.

We look forward to welcoming Tianlong Zhou of LongTech Medical Technology to Seattle for a VIP Forum on September 27-30 for a Plenary Session and 1:1 meetings with local companies, entrepreneurs and research groups. LongTech Medical Technology is an international business accelerator located in Jiangsu Province (near Shanghai), China. LongTech has established connections to capital, industry know-how and a manufacturing/distribution network across China and the Asia-Pacific area.

Register today for the Plenary Session on the morning of September 27th and hear about how LongTech enables US companies to access the vast Asian markets and navigate the regulatory bodies in the region.     

VIP Forums are generously supported by Cooley LLP, PWC, 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 220 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, creating an instant connection to your unique services. For more information on this valuable opportunity, see the Commercialization Consulting Sponsorship, or contact Vice President of Commercialization Christiana DelloRusso.

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 entrepreneurs can be found online.

Salal Credit Union

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