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Forward BIOLABS brings the perks of co-working to the lab

In 2019, as John Pattison and Ian Johnson prepared to leave their San Francisco jobs to launch their own company producing meat from cell cultures, the big question was where. They weighed a number of cities before settling on a choice some might find surprising: Madison, Wisconsin.  The deciding factor? A new co-working laboratory called Forward BIOLABS that would substantially reduce the company’s startup costs. At the shared facility, Pattison and Johnson could pay lower rent, avoid a lengthy lease and forgo purchasing costly equipment. Pattison was familiar with the model, as such co-working labs, whether private or nonprofit, are......

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Investment in Forward BIOLABS paying off for bioscience startups

Forward BIOLABS, a co-working life science lab that helps bioscience startups grow, is celebrating early successes and honoring the companies that support the organization. While business incubators are not uncommon, Forward BIOLABS boosts support by providing laboratory equipment and staff to manage safety, training, and other lab operations for entrepreneurs to reduce their initial investment expenses. Currently, 16 startups are utilizing the Forward BIOLABS space, and five have graduated to continue growing their companies in their own spaces. Forward BIOLABS also thrives on the excitement of these startup companies innovating and experimenting under the same roof. Founding sponsors, platinum sponsors, and 10 additional......

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UW–Madison’s $30 Billion Impact on the Wisconsin Economy

UW–Madison, UW-affiliated organizations and UW-related startups contribute $30.8 billion per year to the Wisconsin economy, according to a February 2021 report issued by Northstar Analytics, LLC. This economic activity supports more than 232,000 jobs and generates $1 billion in state and local taxes. This includes consideration of the direct activities of the university and UW-affiliated organizations as well as the economic activity generated by UW students and visitors. The study also reports on the growing economic impact from UW-related startups that originate from UW research and/or are created by UW faculty, staff, and alumni. This area of economic impact was......

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UW retains top 10 national research ranking

The National Science Foundation has released its 2019 fiscal year Higher Education Research and Development Survey, or HERD, data, showing that the University of Wisconsin–Madison ranked 8th place in the national research rankings for public and private universities. UW–Madison also ranked 8th in the last survey covering the 2018 fiscal year. Among public universities, UW–Madison ranked 6th, the same ranking as in fiscal year 2018. Data on UW–Madison’s 2019 expenditures for research show the university increased its annual expenditures over the previous year, reporting nearly $1.3 billion in annual expenditures for research across all fields, about half of which comes from federal......

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Forward BIOLABS leverages coworking to support biotech startups

As coworking becomes more popular among freelancers and small business professionals, the biotechnology industry is also seeing new opportunities to leverage the model. Madison-based Forward BIOLABS is a biotech coworking space that allows biotech startups to get off the ground without the overhead and supply cost. On average, Forward BIOLABS helps reduce the time to startup by six to nine months without the hefty overhead price tag of getting a lab up and running. The coworking space includes offices and a fully equipped life sciences lab. Most of the equipment in the lab is used sporadically, explained founder Jessica Martin Eckerly.......

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WARF announces 2020 WARF Innovation Award winners

Selected from more than 400 innovation disclosures, two University of Wisconsin-Madison teams working at the frontiers of cancer immunotherapy and bioengineering have taken top honors from WARF. The 2020 WARF Innovation Award winners are: Jenny Gumperz and Dana Baiu (medical microbiology & immunology) for their work, Killer Combination: Multicell Conjugates for Activating Antigen-Specific T Cell Responses. By combining two kinds of cells found in the body, their technology could open up a potentially transformative new approach to treating cancer, one that is faster and more specific than current methods. The other winning team is Randolph Ashton (biomedical engineering), Gavin Knight,......

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Imbed Biosciences chases nasal spray to combat Covid-19 spread

Imbed Biosciences Inc., a closely-held biotech that makes a product for pain and infections in complex wounds, says a reformulation of its biggest product as a nasal spray could help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Madison, Wisconsin-based company says it has developed an antiviral formulation of silver nanoparticles, based on its already U.S. approved Microlyte Matrix wound therapy, which could be used to prevent the early spread of Covid-19. The company hopes to start testing the spray in patients soon. “We have collected data from an independent viral lab that shows it has efficacy against not only Covid but......

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Spotlight Therapeutics closes $30M series A led by GV to advance pipeline of non-viral CRISPR gene editing biologics

Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing non-viral gene editing therapeutics for direct in vivo editing of target genes, closed its Series A financing bringing the total raised to $30 million. The financing was led by GV, formerly Google Ventures, with participation from additional undisclosed investors. Realizing the full revolutionary potential of CRISPR genome editing requires the ability to edit target genes directly in the right cells of the human body. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform develops programmable CRISPR ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) optimized for in vivo cell-targeted delivery. The modular biologics approach is designed to avoid the complexity and toxicities associated with......

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Dianomi Therapeutics’ presentation at the International mRNA Health Conference highlights strategies to improve mRNA-based therapies

Data presented indicates delivery and improved the efficacy of mRNA-based therapeutics in animal models Dr. William Murphy, Chief Scientific Officer of Dianomi Therapeutics and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, recently presented at the International mRNA Health Conference. Murphy discussed how mineral-coated microparticles (MCMs)–or bioengineered materials mimicking human bones and teeth and archaeological fossils–can stabilize, protect and effectively deliver mRNA-based therapies. Dr. Murphy addressed the importance of a safe and efficacious delivery system, an area under heavy investigation and of great clinical need. Recent data from his lab showed that MCMs can both deliver and improve the efficacy......

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2020 WARF Innovation Award Finalists

Recognizing High Potential Disclosures Each fall the WARF Innovation Awards recognize some of the best of inventions at UW-Madison. WARF receives hundreds of new invention disclosures each year. Of these disclosures, the WARF Innovation Award finalists are considered exceptional in the following criteria: Criteria Has potential for high long-term impact Presents an exciting solution to a known important problem Could produce broad benefits for humankind Each of the two Innovation Award winners receive $10,000, split among UW inventors.2020 WARF Innovation Award Finalists Bridging Biology and Electronics for “Hybrid” Biosensing | Watch Video Bhuvana Krishnaswamy (Electrical & Computer Engineering) Megan McClean (Biomedical Engineering) High-Energy......

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