Now in its third year, the Innovation Zone at the BIO 2016 International Convention (San Francisco, June 6-9) will host even more pioneering and transformational companies. The Innovation Zone was created through a partnership with the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the intent to group together Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)-funded companies on the exhibit floor of the BIO International Convention. The partnership with BIO originated in 2014 with 35 companies; it grew to 75 companies in 2015 and this year it will host 100 companies.
The SBIR program provides U.S. federal funding to small businesses engaged in research and development with the potential for commercialization. Companies are rigorously vetted through the NIH and NSF SBIR review process prior to receiving the funding.
Today we spoke with Innovation Zone exhibitor, Dr. Ben Shapiro, President & Cofounder of Otomagnetics, LLC, which is supported by NSF’s SBIR program.
BTN: What is your company’s lead product or technology?
A magnetic delivery system. We use magnetic fields to deliver medications (drugs, proteins, genes) to targets in the body that are not effectively reached by the current standards of care or that would otherwise require surgery to reach. For example, we can magnetically deliver medications into ear compartments, or into the eye, without surgery or needles into the eye.
BTN: How has the NSF SBIR program helped your company grow?
The National Science Foundation has supported some of the basic science and innovation that enabled us to invent, develop, and test our magnetic drug delivery systems.
BTN: What are the upcoming milestones and long-term priorities for your company?
A next milestone is to scale-up production of our drug-delivery carrier to GMP manufacture, to meet FDA manufacturing guidelines. Long term our goal is to deliver our technology to doctors, and patients, to better treat ear, eye, and skin conditions.
BTN: What do you hope to gain out of your participation at the 2016 BIO International Convention?
Our goal is to have partnering conversations with pharmaceutical companies, and also to speak to investors that are interested in drug delivery for unmet medical needs.
BTN: Tell us something about your company that investors might not know.
Our technology development has been funded by > $4M in non-dilutive state, federal, and foreign grants.