SEBIO Announces Success of 14th Annual Investor Forum
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Posted by: Angela King
ATLANTA, GA (November 8, 2012) - Despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy on travel from and throughout much of the eastern United States, Southeast BIO (SEBIO) attracted over 300 people to Palm Beach, Florida for its annual Investor Forum held October 30 - November 1 at the Breakers. In its 14th year, the conference drew venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, university representatives and industry professionals to discuss opportunities for growth and challenges facing the biotechnology and medical technology sectors in the coming years.
"SEBIO continues to foster the growth of the region's vibrant life sciences industry," said Becky Kaufman, newly elected Chairman of SEBIO and Partner with King & Spalding. "The Investor Forum is uniquely effective in bringing together leading life sciences investors and corporate partners with the best of the region's emerging companies and large research institutions in a purely transactional setting. There is no better opportunity on an annual basis to create new connections to move a company or technology forward."
Keynote Addresses and Presenting Companies
Mark Augusti, CEO of Bioventus, kicked off the event by sharing a CEO’s perspective and details of the strategic venture that led to the formation of Bioventus, a spin out of Smith & Nephew’s former Biologics and Clinical Therapies division.
MedImmune President, Peter Greenleaf, closed the conference by speaking to the changing face of the biopharmaceutical industry and highlighting areas of future growth, investment trends, and opportunities and challenges associated with the evolving regulatory process. Florida Senator, Jeremy Ring (D-32), commenced the session by highlighting measures the state has taken to accelerate innovation and commercialization in Florida, including establishment of several programs to support and invest in emerging companies.
Twenty-five of the most promising life sciences and medtech companies in the Southeast presented their funding pitches to investors from across the U.S. The more advanced companies who have completed at least one round of institutional financing presented on the SEBIO MAIN/Stage. Eighteen of the companies, as participants in the EARLY/Stage program or BIO/Plan Competition, were the beneficiaries of expert mentoring from teams made up of active investors, entrepreneurs and managers, and service providers.
The EARLY/Stage program, geared for the best new initial investment opportunities in the region, allowed participants to introduce their companies to and seek advice from onsite advisory teams, who then chose the four best to participate in the EARLY/Stage Shootout on October 31. The selected participants were Katharos (Raleigh, NC), MxBiodevices (Greenville, NC), OBMedical Company (Newberry, FL), and Pulmotect (Houston, TX).
Pulmotect was selected as the winner of the EARLY/Stage Shootout by a panel of judges representing four venture funds. Pulmotect is developing a combination drug therapy to rapidly boost the body’s immune system in the lungs to prevent infection against a broad range of pathogens. Partnered with AlphaDev, members of the management team include inventors and co-founders, Brenton Scott (President), Leo Linbeck III (Chairman), Burton Dickey (of MD Anderson Cancer Center), and Magnus Hook (of Texas A&M).
BIO/Plan Competition Winner
SEBIO also announced the winner of its sixth annual BIO/Plan Competition, which brings forward some of the most promising new technologies from the region's research organizations. Four final competitors (Accuitis, Emory University; KinoTherapeutix, Moffitt Cancer Center; Electrospinning Technology, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Ischemia Biomarker, Virginia Commonwealth University) were selected from ten semi-finalists who underwent a rigorous mentoring process over the past four months to develop an executable business strategy and written development plan.
The winner of the 2012 BIO/Plan Competition is Accuitis, an Emory University spin-out in Cumming, Georgia, developing a first in class treatment for rosacea and other drugs for underserved dermatological and ophthalmic disease states. The principals associated with Accuitis include co-founders, Jack Arbiser (CMO), Rick Coulon (President/CEO), and Thomas Rowe (CSO).
The winning Accuitis mentoring team includes Doug Gooding, Altiris Therapeutics, Helga Leftwich, Hutchison Law Group, and Derek Norman, Syngenta Ventures.
2013 Investor Forum
The 2013 Southeast BIO Investor Forum will be held November 5 –7, 2013 at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Further details will be posted on the SEBIO website.
Jennifer H. Sherer