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Biomed Ideas Come at a Furious Pace

Inventors from universities fast-pitch ideas to investors at Chicago Spotlight Innovation

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May 16, 2011 | by Marla Paul

CHICAGO --- If biomedical inventors and researchers had their version of an adrenalin- pumping reality TV show, it would resemble Chicago Spotlight Innovation. The new May 18 event, hosted by Northwestern University, is a nerve-wracking, fast-pitch audition by these researchers and inventors before a room full of financial investors and business representatives.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The event is closed to the public.   

The scientists -- from Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago – have only five minutes each to sell their late-stage biomedical research projects or early-stage startup companies.

Some of the inventions and businesses presented by Northwestern faculty at Chicago Spotlight Innovation include the use of nanodiamonds to deliver chemotherapy, a smartphone app that tracks patient movements to help calibrate medication dosing and injury rehabilitation, drugs to treat atrial fibrillation (currently there are none) and nanotechnology to effectively deliver synthetic HDL (good cholesterol).   

“These are some of the most creative and exciting biomedical projects from the top scientific minds in Chicago,” said Jim Bray, assistant director of the Center for Translational Innovation at Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. “These projects have the potential to enhance health, prevent disease and create new jobs in the region.”

About 100 investors and representatives from life sciences and biotech companies from across the Chicago region are expected to attend. Some of them include Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Molecular, Advanced Life Sciences, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Baxter, Abbott Diagnostics, Hospira and Abbott Laboratories.  

Earlier in the day, Northwestern will host Innovation Day, in which the University’s top scientists will present pilot-funded projects from promising early-stage interdisciplinary translational research.

Topics: Campus Life