Next month in San Diego at the BIO International Convention, BIO will be partnering with the National Science foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)to host the first-ever BIO Innovation Zone. The Zone will feature Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funded early-stage biotech companies.
The SBIR/STTR program provides U.S. federal funding to small businesses engaged in research with the potential for commercialization. Companies are rigorously vetted through the NIH and NSF SBIR review process prior to receiving the funding. The majority of participating companies in the Innovation Zone have received SBIR Phase II grants, which provide up to $1 million dollars in funding to engage in R&D that has the potential for commercialization.
Over the new few weeks, we will feature snapshots of a few of the companies who will participate in the Zone. This week, we interviewed Anton Iliuk, the President of Tymora Analytical, a West Lafayette, Indiana-based small business supported by NSF’s SBIR program.
What is your company’s lead product or technology?
Tymora Analytical provides new research products and reagents to Research and Development (R&D) organizations within the life sciences market. Tymora has developed a set of highly effective technologies for the analysis of protein phosphorylation that relates to the onset of numerous diseases, most notably cancer. Tymora’s flagship research product, pIMAGO, greatly enhances an organization’s ability to discover and develop new therapies that combat disease.
How has the NSF SBIR program helped your company grow?
The NSF SBIR has been extraordinarily helpful to our company in terms of technology development, optimization and product launch. The initial technological idea was quite risky, so the support received from the NSF and our Program Director was encouraging and instrumental for success. The funding offered further validation to our idea. Now, the supported project has turned into a commercial product that offers our company sustainability in the future.
What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?
Our initial product offerings focus on pre-clinical laboratory R&D activities. We plan to take the success achieved with this product development and utilize it for future applications in the cancer diagnostics area. As a more short-term goal, we are working on recruiting distributors and commercialization partners to help further disseminate our technologies and allow wider access to them.
What do you hope to gain out of your participation at the 2014 BIO International Convention?
Through engagement at the BIO Innovation Zone, we hope to be able to find the potential commercialization partners to take our products to the next level. We will be looking for other innovative companies that can incorporate our technologies and co-develop unique novel applications with us.
Tell us something about your company that investors might not know.
Tymora Analytical has been fortunate enough to so far be funded only through non-dilutive means (close to $1.4M in grants). The fact that we were able to bring a number of innovative products to the market without an investment, speaks to the dedication of our management team. This allows us more freedom for future discussions with interested investors.