Celdara Announces DRIVEN Fund Awardees

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October 21, 2021
Celdara Medical, LLC today announced the awarding of six DRIVEN Accelerator Hub grants to outstanding researchers and innovators in the Northeast region. In this most recent round of funding, two Acceleration Awards (up to $50,000 per early-stage company) were awarded to Olfax Medical (Vermont) and ResusciTech (Rhode Island) and 4 Ignition Awards (up to $25,000 per faculty innovator) were awarded to Andre Khalil, PhD (University of Maine), Gian Ignacio, MD Candidate (Brown), Michael Cole, PhD (Dartmouth), and Yina Huang, PhD (Dartmouth). Awardees were selected from a competitive pool of applicants from the five states DRIVEN serves: DE, RI, VT, ME, NH.

“We are very pleased to provide recognition and funding to these innovators,” said Julie Coleman, PhD, Program Lead at Celdara Medical. “This is a great opportunity for Celdara Medical to deliver on our commitment to give back to the community by supporting early-stage biomedical companies and researchers in their mission to improve patient outcomes and save lives. I am assured that these awards will have a tangible impact on advancing critical technologies, ultimately bringing treatments closer to patients. This round of awardees addresses an array of indications including migraine, myocardial infarction, and multiple cancer types. I am very excited to see the how the DRIVEN awards accelerate these innovative projects.”

“On behalf of Celdara Medical and the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub, I’m delighted to recognize this outstanding group of DRIVEN awardees,” said Jake Reder, Celdara Medical CEO and Principal Investigator of the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub. “The entrepreneurial spirit – the momentum – in our region is palpable. Engaging with this cohort of world-changing scientists and entrepreneurs has been exceptionally rewarding.”

Since the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub’s founding in 2018, 12 awards have been made across Northeast IDeA states. A complete list of awardees with brief technology description are listed below.

Acceleration Fund Awardees ($50,000 to early-stage companies):

  • Clairways (New Hampshire): Clairways is developing a small, unobtrusive, chest-worn lung health monitor that provides continuous, burden-free tracking of common respiratory signs, including coughing, wheezing, and respiratory patterns, which cannot be practically monitored today.
  • Extrave Bioscience (Delaware): Extrave uses extracellular vesicles (EV) as a delivery platform to treat damaged/degenerative muscle tissue in patients with muscle diseases, with a primary initial focus on Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
  • Lodestone Biomedical (New Hampshire): Lodestone enables immediate, in vivo, real-time monitoring of treatment response in immuno-oncology by measuring immune modulators in the tumor microenvironment with a needle implantable biosensor and external magnetic reader.
  • Olfax Medical (Vermont): Olfax is developing a novel, fast-acting migraine treatment for individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with acute migraine and cluster headaches.
  • ResuciTech (Rhode Island): ResusciTech is addressing shortcomings in current CPR training and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest bystander response. The team is marketing a product that utilizes smartphone sensors to measure the depth and rate of chest compressions during CPR and to simultaneously provide audio-visual feedback. This feedback provides the user information needed to adjust compressions for the best possible outcome: saving a life.

Ignition Fund Awardees ($25,000 to innovative faculty)

  • Andre Khalil (University of Maine): Diagnostic technology that may detect breast cancer 1-4 years earlier than current practices, leading to pre-detection of the disease.
  • Brent Osborne (University of Vermont): First-in-class PKG-targeted therapies for the treatment of hypertension.
  • Gian Ignacio (Brown University): Embolic protection device for cardiothoracic procedures to prevent major and minor cerebral complications (e.g., strokes).
  • Louis Lapierre (Brown University): Targeting XPO1 and the autophagy pathway as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Michael Cole (Dartmouth College): Novel platform technology to identify small molecules as inhibitors of the MYC:TRAPP interaction for cancer treatment.
  • Paul Baures (Keene State University): Fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibitor to augment cancer chemotherapy and improve clinical outcomes.
  • Yina Huang (Dartmouth College): Novel CAR T cell platform that enables treatment of solid tumors including metastatic melanoma.

About Celdara Medical, LLC

Celdara Medical was founded by Drs. Jake Reder and Michael Fanger in 2008, and is headquartered at the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC) in Lebanon, NH. Celdara Medical builds academic and early-stage innovations into high-potential medical companies, identifying discoveries of exceptional value at the earliest stages and moving them toward the market. Celdara Medical partners with inventors and their institutions, providing the developmental, financial, and business acumen required to bridge discovery and profitability. With robust funding options, a diverse and high-impact programmatic pipeline, and partnerships with world-class academic institutions and industry leaders, Celdara Medical navigates all aspects of a complex industry, accelerating science to improve human health. Further information about Celdara Medical is available at celdaramedical.com.

About the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub

The DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is an NIH-funded consortium led by Celdara Medical and Simbex and includes partnerships with the leading research institutions in the Northeast IDeA region (Brown, Dartmouth, Maine Medical Center, MDI Biological Laboratory, University of Delaware, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, and the University of Vermont). The mission of the DRIVEN Accelerator Hub is to create quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and save lives by 1) Increasing the number of quality medical startups 2) Decreasing their time to market and 3) Increasing their probability of success. DRIVEN provides tailored consulting to select entrepreneurs through the DRIVEN Partnership Program. The Program culminates in a presentation to the DRIVEN External Advisory Committee, comprised of leading investors and in-licensing business development professionals, and the potential for seed funding. For more information regarding the partnership program, email info@drivenacceleratorhub.com. DRIVEN has developed several online educational resources that can be found at: drivenacceleratorhub.com

DRIVEN is generously supported by NIGMS grant UT2 GM130176.

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