Over at Venture Nashville Connections, Milt Capps has written about a potentially promising alliance between Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University and Tennessee Technological University. Officials at the schools are looking to develop a "distributed research park" that would pool best practices around their tech transfer operations and supporting the state's regional business accelerators. Things are at a very early stage and there are plenty of paths to explore.
A physical campus for a central MT-DRP "technology concentration" facility is among the options that are to be studied. However, in the absence of such a physical geographic nexus, the "distributed research park" could take the form of collaborative, cooperative or community programs.
Two Nashville-area companies are among the five chosen to present their stories to regional investors, industry experts and representatives of four TNInvestco funds at the Life Sciences Tennessee annual conference later this month.
The local companies are:
• VDDI Pharmaceuticals, which is looking to develop early-stage drugs, primarily to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease and infectious disease, through Phase II of regulatory approval
• PEURegen, which wants to develop a pipeline of biodegradable wound care products that will promote tissue regeneration
The winner of the pitch competition — also in the mix are EndoInSight of Memphis, Innovasan Corp. from Knoxville and 3D Operations from Chattanooga — will get $5,000 in cash from law firm Waller, a five-minute pitch video courtesy of Benchfly and some valuable presentation time for that video at the Southeast Bio Investor & Partnering Forum in Atlanta next month.
For more info on the conference, which will take place at the Doubletree Hotel downtown, check out the schedule.
Writing at Seeking Alpha, BioMimetic Therapeutics investor Stephen Simpson breaks down the company's news this week that it needs to revisit the Food and Drug Administration application for its Augment bone graft product. Simpson shares his beef with the regulators' demand that radiologists re-examine scans from Augment trials — "another example of the FDA changing the game on a company." But he has even more forceful things to say about the possible motivations of FDA officials, who are facing blowback over complications from the use of Medtronic's InFuse product.
InFuse is the only FDA-approved orthobiologic of note out in the market and had been selling close to $1 billion a year. It now appears, though, that there were major issues of under-reporting complications (including nerve problems) and that the study authors all had major final interests in the outcome. Now, because Medtronic humiliated the FDA, BioMimetic is going through a much more rigorous wringer when it comes to establishing safety and efficacy.
Tire giant Bridgestone has been at the Tokyo Motor Show since last week showing off an eco-friendly airless tire concept it believes can — unlike past exercises along these lines — be mass-produced. The company says the concept is a big step forward in combining environmental friendliness with safety and comfort.
With a unique structure of spokes stretching along the inner sides of the tires supporting the weight of the vehicle, there is no need to periodically refill the tires with air, meaning that the tires require less maintenance. At the same [time,] the worry of punctures is eliminated. In addition, the spoke structure within the tire is made from reusable thermoplastic resin, and along with the rubber in the tread portion, the materials used in the tires are 100 percent recyclable.
The Renault Nissan Alliance are preparing to open a research and development office across the street from Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters that will look to tap into Silicon Valley's engineering and technology braintrust. The company says it will staff up as projects dictate and focus on work related to its electric-car investments.
Nissan will use the Silicon Valley office to focus on vehicle IT research, including graphical user-interface displays, in-car Internet connectivity and smart-grid research. Nissan's "Carwings" telematics system, a standard in every Nissan LEAF, includes a seven-inch touchscreen with maps of recharging stations and real-time reports on energy consumption.
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