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Early-stage biotech startups find common ground at Forward BIOLABS

At Forward BIOLABS in University Research Park, a nonprofit coworking life sciences lab founded in September 2018, members can rent space by the 6-foot bench. Imagine the sort of coworking space we’ve all grown used to, but this time it’s for scientists. It’s a place for cash-strapped research teams that have taken the leap and launched small biotech startups with big implications. Maybe they’re working on health innovations, like cancer-targeting immunotherapies or potentially lifesaving medical devices. Maybe they want to create smarter pesticides, or grow “seafood” from cell cultures — but they can’t afford to set up a lab. At Forward BIOLABS......

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Biotech Spotlight: Forward BIOLABS Virtual Tour + Startup Flash Talks

Part of Forward Fest 2021 Forward BIOLABS helps biotech startups move faster, getting started with the right facility and equipment at the right time. Take a look at the co-working lab and hear from some of the game-changing startups working within our community. This panel is for entrepreneurs and industry partners, those starting or scaling any kind of biotech company, and those interested in lessons in innovation, technology de-risking, and early manufacturing from some of Madison’s most innovative companies. Presented by Forward BIOLABS, UW–Madison’s Innovate Network, and University Research Park. Flash Talks by Member Startups: - John Pattison, CEO &......

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Biotech Spotlight: How AI + Advanced Computing are Driving Innovation in Biohealth

Part of Forward Fest 2021 Deep learning for healthcare management. Software modeling of drug activity in the body. Machine learning-based diagnostics. Increasingly, biotech and healthtech startups are solving problems and building solutions through advanced computing technology and artificial intelligence. In this panel discussion, hear from leaders of some of the region’s most innovative startups working in the intersection of biotech and computing — Timothy Perk of AIQ Solutions; Shannon Bruse of Empirico Inc.; Jalal Sulaiman of PROMISS Diagnostics; and Joseph Grudzinski of Voximetry — who built their companies around UW–Madison technologies. This panel is for biotech entrepreneurs who have large......

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Biotech Spotlight: Startups, Scaleup + Growth

Part of Forward Fest 2021 Learn about startups, scaleup and growth at leading biotech companies, with panelists Ana Hooker of Exact Sciences, Tom Foti of Aldevron, Carter Cliff of Vascugen, and Cathy Rasmussen of the Forward BIO Institute. These industry leaders, startup veterans and founders speak to companies at all stages, including how they leveraged UW–Madison-affiliated resources such as University Research Park, technologies, and partnerships. This panel is for biotech entrepreneurs and industry partners, those scaling any kind of tech or manufacturing startup, and those interested in lessons on scaleup and growth from some of Madison’s most innovative companies. Presented......

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New initiative facilitates research partnerships with the private sector

Seven projects – from generating valuable products from the abundant non-food dairy residues that remain after milk is processed into food product, to amplifying UW–Madison doctoral trainees as the new generation of biotechnology industry leaders – have been chosen for funding through the Promoting Industry Collaboration Initiative. These projects were among 32 proposals submitted from across campus. The $1.3M initiative is funded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. “Each of these projects promises a winning combination,” says Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and graduate education. “These projects will......

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mRNA technology used in COVID vaccines now being tested to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases

The method used to make the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could change the future of medicine as we know it. Researchers inside the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research have been studying the same mRNA technology in the COVID-19 vaccines for the past decade. What they’re discovering it can be used for now is groundbreaking. Aside from possible cancer treatments, the mRNA technology is being tested on a range of things. Murphy said it is being tested to treat/cure things like HIV and Dengue fever. Recently, Murphy and his team tested how well it would work to fix a spinal cord......

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ICTR pilot awards support community-engaged research, collaboration

UW ICTR has announced the 2021 Pilot Awards; 14 projects were funded totaling $1.02 million that encompass community engaged and health services research, novel methods, and collaborations with our partners at Marshfield Clinic. Christine Sorkness, ICTR Senior Associate Executive Director, comments, “As always, the ICTR pilot awards team is indebted to the scientific and community reviewers of these applications, especially during these challenging times. We are grateful for the expertise and commitment. Thank you!” RFAs covered in this announcement include those for Clinical & Community Outcomes Research (CCOR, five awards), Novel Methods (four awards), Stakeholder & Patient Engaged Research (SPER, three......

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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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