Money and jobs flying in, plus a Porsche Formula “E” (as in electric) – December 6, 2019
"Money won't buy happiness, but it will pay the salaries of a large research staff to study the problem." Bill Vaughan
December 6, 2019
HEALTH CARE TRAILBLAZERS
Pittsburgh's CORE wins national quality award
A Pittsburgh nonprofit has won a Malcolm Baldrige Award, the top national award available to US organizations. The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) facilitates donations of organs, tissue, and corneas, serving more than five million people in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York.
The Baldrige Award is named for Malcolm Baldrige, who served as US Commerce Secretary during the 1980s. The award’s goal is to engender competitiveness and excellence among US businesses and nonprofits. CORE is one of just six winners this year and one of only three organ procurement organizations to win the award since its inception in 1987.
Well Dot Inc. picks Chapel Hill, NC, for 400-job operation
There’s more good news for North Carolina’s thriving bizdev landscape: Well Dot, a healthcare technology firm, has announced a new center for clinical operations and research in Chapel Hill. The center will hire 400 employees by 2024 and pay them an average of $63,000. The company provides health and wellness services via phone, chat, and mobile apps to employees of companies who self-insure.
UofL Hospital get $1 million gift to develop specialized treatment
Immunotherapy has been called “the fifth pillar” of cancer treatment, enabling a patient’s immune system to attack their cancer cells. And one type of immunotherapy, called chimeric antigen receptor positive T (CAR T) has shown encouraging results in treating cancer for certain patients where other therapies have fallen short.
Louisville resident Tom Dunbar has just committed $1 million to establish a specialized treatment lab at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center that will provide CAR T-cell therapies to patients there and across the Midwest.
Director of the Brown Cancer Center, Jason Chesney, MD, PhD, said the donation will allow both children and adults to receive the groundbreaking treatment.
“Patients who have been treated with all the conventional therapies who then underwent treatment in clinical trials with CAR T cells had dramatic response rates,” he said. “Eighty-three percent of kids in the original trial who had lethal, terminal B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia responded to this therapy.”
Dunbar, who lost his son to cancer at the age of 6, is hopeful that the therapy will help improve and advance treatment.
“The burden is on each of us to create a better future for our children,” he said. “Working together, we can ensure Louisville is equipped to provide the durable cures, free of side-effects, that we desperately need.”
Redefining the pit stop
The Porsche Formula E Race Car Via YouTuibe
ANSYS, a company founded and headquartered just south of Pittsburgh, is known for its broad portfolio of engineering simulation software. If you’ve ever driven a car, flown on an airplane, used a computer, or crossed a bridge, you’ve more than likely used a product where ANSYS software played a role in its creation.
Now the company is collaborating with Porsche to create an advanced electric powertrain for Porsche’s first fully electric race car to race in what could be the quietest motorsport ever, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which uses only electric cars.
The issue at hand is that accelerating at high speeds in the urban courses set up for the races exerts a lot of stress on the powertrain. ANSYS’ system-level simulations slash the Porsche 99X Electric’s energy losses and increases its electrical efficiency.
Michigan angel fund looking for investors
If becoming an angel investor is on your bucket list and you’ve got a half a million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, you might want to check out Michigan Angel Fund. The fund invests only in early-stage Michigan tech startups that are earning revenue.
The fund is looking for investors who want to learn about angel investing. There is no recurring commitment – investors can make a one-time investment to join. To qualify, you’ll need a net worth of at least $1 million or an income of $200,000, and be willing to pony up an investment in the “middle five figures,” according to managing partner Skip Simms.
More funding and deals
Fishers, IN-based Vibenomics raises $5M in new funding
Audio experience provider Vibenomics announced that it has closed $5 million in a Seed Plus round. The round included High Alpha, a current investor, along with other new partners. Company founder and CEO Brent Oakley said the funding will be used to “focus on real-time custom branded and curated content, dynamic music and programmatic advertising across strategic marketing verticals and categories.”
Private equity firm acquires division of Cleveland’s Polymer Solutions Group
The Jordan Company has announced the acquisition of Polymer Solutions Group’s Polymer Additives unit (formerly called Flow Polymers) from Arsenal Capital Partners. Polymer Additives is a global provider of “homogenizing agents, process aids, dispersions, and release agents for the rubber, plastic, and engineered wood industries.”
Digital product competitors merge to form large independent agency
Columbus-based WillowTree LLC is merging with Charlotte’s Dynamit Technologies LLC. Both companies design mobile, web, and voice apps. The new company is branded as WillowTree and will have more than 500 employees. Insignia Capital Group, which partnered with WillowTree LLC last year, is the lead investor.
Notre Dame research team secures $4.6 million grant to study diabetes drug
The Department of Defense (DoD) is funding a team of scientists at Notre Dame University that’s developing a drug to help prevent diabetes-related amputations. Researcher and ND professor Dr. Mayland Chang said the funding will allow the team to advance its discoveries and begin human clinical trials in two years.
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