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2019 “Entrepreneur Spotlight” Showcases Local Biotech Companies to Potential Investors

Event honors OrthogenRx founder Michael Daley as Entrepreneur of the Year

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (July 16, 2019) – Nearly 100 area business leaders and biotech investors gathered on July 12 for the 5th Annual “Entrepreneur Spotlight” at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) in Doylestown. The Spotlight is a Shark Tank-style event showcasing companies based at the center to potential investors.

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Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center leadership toasts Entrepreneur of the Year Dr. Michael Daley at their Entrepreneur Spotlight event on July 12. Pictured (L-R): Timothy Block, PhD, President, Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center; Louis Kassa, MPA, Executive Vice President and COO, Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center; Michael Daley, PhD, Founder and CEO, OrthogenRx; David Toledo, PhD, Chief Product Development Officer, OrthogenRx; and Patrick Lam, PhD, Chair of the PA Biotech Center’s Entrepreneur Council.

The program began with three early-stage biotech entrepreneurs pitching their company to the investors that can help make their ideas a reality. Following their pitch, the presenters fielded questions from a panel of investors and experts in business development, as well as from the audience. Each of the three young companies are headquartered at PABC, a world-class life sciences incubator that currently houses over 40 companies, with plans for major expansion in the coming year.

The panel of experts included Fred Jones, Partner, BioAdvance; Mehul Shah, Senior Director, Business Assessment, Pfizer; Elizabeth Sigety, Esq., Partner, Fox Rothschild, LLP, and Managing Director, Co-Founder, Delaware Crossing Investor Group; and Vladimir Walko, CEO and Fund Manager, Hatch Biofund Management.

The biotech companies showcased during the event were:

  • JAI Aesthetics, LLC: JAI Aesthetics is developing and commercializing a line of Professional and Consumer face masks under the brand name Collagen Veil®.
  • NeuEsse Inc: NeuEsse’s product OmegaSkinTM is a plant-based (soybean) protein skin substitute electrospun into an extra-cellular matrix in sheets/rolls or directly onto patients with a “no-touch” hand-held spin blower.
  • Qrumpharma, Inc: Qrumpharma is a pharmaceutical firm focused on the development of therapeutics for the treatment of severe chronic and recurrent infections, such as Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) pulmonary infections.

The evening concluded with an awards ceremony. Michael Daley, PhD, was named Entrepreneur of the Year for his leadership of OrthogenRx, a medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of treatments for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. The company began at the PABC and has now moved nearby to a location in Doylestown, maintaining its local roots. Founded in 2012, Dr. Daley’s company has grown to 30 employees and has brought two products to market. TriVisc® became the second product of OrthogenRx’s to be approved by the FDA as a class III medical device for the treatment of osteoarthritic knee pain. It was commercially launched in the first quarter 2019 and was officially recognized during the event as part of PABC’s “Product Wall of Fame,” which recognizes medical devices and drugs that were developed at the Center.

“OrthogenRx has seen tremendous growth since they began at the Biotech Center seven years ago,” said Louis Kassa, MPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center. “Mike’s outstanding leadership has resulted in two life-changing therapies coming to market within just a few years. We are proud to recognize his success as an entrepreneur, and the model and guidance he provided to the PABC community during his time here.”

This year’s Spotlight event was made possible by the generous support of Signature Events Presenting Sponsor Citibank, and Platinum Sponsor Univest.

“Citibank is a proud partner with the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center and will continue to help bring to life the vision of its entrepreneurs,” said Jonathan Spadaford, Senior Vice President, Area Manager, Citi Commercial Bank. “This year’s Entrepreneur Spotlight event was a phenomenal success and we look forward to following the progress of all the presenting companies.” 

Currently home to over 40 small to mid-size companies, PABC is launching a major expansion effort slated to break ground in Fall 2019. The expansion will add an additional 40,000 square feet of space, including laboratories, office space and an auditorium, and is expected to create 100 new jobs at the Doylestown facility. The expansion will include the creation of the Hatch BioAccelerator, a program for a limited number of select concept-stage companies, providing office and laboratory space, mentoring, consultation, and advisory services, in addition to access to the supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Center. PABC also recently announced a partnership with Discovery Labs, which will bring PABC’s successful model to second location in King of Prussia, with IQ Connect, the Discovery Labs incubator. PABC will manage the new 100,000 square foot business incubator and laboratory, anticipated to open Fall 2019.

About the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center: The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) is a nonprofit life sciences incubator-accelerator, offering state-of-the-art laboratory and office space to early stage biotech companies, as well as to two nonprofits: the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research arm, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute.  Managed by the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and led by a board appointed by the Hepatitis B Foundation, the PABC is home to over 40 small to mid-size science, research, and pharmaceutical companies. The PABC uses a highly successful services-based approach to nurture and guide our member companies to success, as we seek to advance biotechnology, maximize synergies between nonprofit scientists and their commercial colleagues, and launch new ideas and discoveries that will make a difference.  Located in the center of the pharma belt between North Jersey and Philadelphia, the PABC was named one of the most successful biotechnology incubators in the country, according to an independent study in 2018. To learn more, visit www.pabiotechbc.org.

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