Invenra Appoints Anu Hoey Vice President, Corporate Development

Invenra has tapped veteran business development executive Anu Hoey to oversee its pipeline of immuno-oncology bispecific antibodies and strategic partnerships with antibody drug makers looking to win the race to market using Invenra’s high-throughput screening technologies, which simultaneously assess antibody binding and biological function in cell-based assays, instead of performing these activities sequentially, as other screening systems do.

The company today announced that Ms. Hoey has been appointed vice president of corporate development to lead business strategy for a Treg-depleting bispecific and an effector T cell-recruiting bispecific, two Invenra drugs entering preclinical trials. Ms. Hoey also will develop strategy for several other bispecifics in the lead-generation stage.

In addition to strategy for Invenra’s bispecific pipeline, Ms. Hoey will expand alliances with other antibody drug makers seeking to employ Invenra’s B-Body™ bispecific antibody format and mAbSeq™ antibody lead-generation platform to gain an advantage over competitors.

Read more at PRNewswire.com.

Phoenix Nuclear Labs signs deal to slice silicon panels for solar panel manufacturer

Phoenix Nuclear Labs, Monona, has been saying its technology is cutting-edge. Now, the company can prove it.

Phoenix has signed a long-term contract with Rayton Solar, a Santa Monica, California, company that plans to use Phoenix’s proton accelerators to help make solar panels.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In traditional manufacturing of solar panels, Rayton Solar says, diamond wire saws are used to cut thin layers of silicon, leaving wasted silicon sawdust.

Using Phoenix’s proton accelerators, high-current ion beams can produce thin silicon slices with no waste, the company says. That’s done by embedding protons into the silicon, heating it at a specific depth. The top layer pulls off the surface, creating a sheet of silicon that is one-twentieth the width of a human hair.

“We are capable of making up to 100 times as many solar panels with the same amount of silicon that our competitors use to make just one panel,” Rayton Solar CEO Andrew Yakub said. “Implementing this new manufacturing process will represent a revolutionary step for the solar industry.”

Phoenix is scheduled to deliver the first system by the end of 2017, with several additional units expected in 2018 and 2019, the company said.

Read more at Madison.com.

PNL to supply Rayton Solar with technology for low cost solar panel production

Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) has signed a long-term agreement to be the exclusive supplier of high current proton accelerators to California-based Rayton Solar to produce low cost, high efficiency solar panels. Under the terms of the agreement, PNL will deliver the first system to Rayton at the end of 2017, followed by several additional units in 2018 and 2019.

Rayton Solar has developed a technique that they expect will reduce the cost of solar panel manufacturing and increase energy efficiency. “We are capable of making up to 100 times as many solar panels with the same amount of silicon that our competitors use to make just one panel,” said Rayton Solar CEO Andrew Yakub. “The high current, high voltage proton accelerator developed by PNL is critical for our process, and we are thrilled to have them onboard as a long-term partner.”

Read more at PR Newswire.

Invenra and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Enter Collaboration

Invenra, Inc., a pre-clinical stage bio-pharmaceutical company focused on next-generation therapeutic human antibodies, bispecifics and antibody derivatives, and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (“QIMR Berghofer”), one of Australia’s largest, fully integrated biomedical research and development centres today announced a collaboration to identify and characterize a panel of fully human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against a novel target that QIMR Berghofer has identified.

Read more at BusinessWire.

ParqEx Raises More than $1M

ParqEx, the Chicago-based company that lets people rent out their private parking spots, has raised more than $1 million, the company said.

The 2-year-old company said investors in the round include Venture Management and Wisconsin Investment Partners, both based in Madison, Wis., where ParqEx formally expanded its service earlier this month. It also said it received funding from participating in two accelerators, $90,000 from Gener8tor in Milwaukee, and $20,000 from Elmspring in Chicago.

Founder Vivek Mehra, who serves as ParqEx’s CEO and CTO, said he wants people to see his company as an “Airbnb for parking.”

Unlike other Chicago-based parking-booking services ParkWhiz and SpotHero — which let people prepay for spots in commercial lots and garages, often at a discount — Mehra said his service focuses on private parking spaces.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

Sitka Salmon Plans for Growth

Sitka Salmon Shares continues to grow.

The business is expanding into a larger warehouse section of the Sustainable Business Center, 2900 W. Main St. It is one of the businesses that operates out of the SBC, and has a retail office in downtown Galesburg, 109 S. Cherry St.

Sitka Salmon President Nic Mink said a freezer that can hold 100,000 pounds of fish will be operating early next year, which is five times larger than the current freezer at the SBC.

Currently the company has about 4,000 members, or customers who receive five pounds of fish delivered to their door in a vacuum-sealed container with recipes and a newsletter on where the fish came from monthly. The new freezer will allow the company to grow to between 5,000 and 10,000 members.

Read more at Galesburg.com.

Silatonix Looks to Make “Exploding Phones” a Thing of the Past

It’s been a no good, very bad month for Samsung: The Korean electronics company has been forced to discontinue its hotly anticipated line of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after widespread battery failures caused the devices to catch fire.

One thing that can happen is that a thin, paperlike barrier inside of the battery that keeps the positive and negative electrodes from touching may get punctured. The other way a battery can fail is if a buildup of carbon dioxide occurs due to high internal temperatures. That can cause the battery to swell up within its hermetically sealed casing.

Hamers said Silatronix had initially been pitching an electrolyte to manufacturers that was rich enough in the organosilicons that it rendered a lithium battery totally inflammable. However, companies weren’t sold on the product, since it necessitated a trade-off in terms of battery life.

The product that Silatronix is now pushing is a compromise of sorts: It doesn’t totally eliminate the flammability risk, but it does mitigate it. Plus, there’s an upside that’s grabbed the attention of battery manufacturers.

“There’s actually an increase in performance — you can have higher temperatures, but no risk of a gassing problem,” said Hamers.

It’s a class of compounds, he said, that’s “unlike anything that anyone has used before.”

Hamers said that Silatronix is in the process of testing its product with all of the major battery manufacturers in the world right now. The dragon to slay after that, he said, will be introducing the safer lithium ion batteries to the world on a major scale, in some sort of major consumer product.

Read more at Madison.com.

MVI Early Findings From MVI-118 Clinical Trial Selected for Presentation

Madison Vaccines Incorporated (MVI), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, says initial analysis of the first 13 patients enrolled in the MVI-118 clinical trial shows acceptable safety and tolerability, and enhanced patient immune response to the AR antigen encoded by the vaccine. The human androgen receptor is the critical biological target that drives the progression of prostate cancer and, in many cases, is responsible for the resistance to current therapies. MVI-118 is being developed to prolong the duration of disease control gained from standard hormone deprivation therapies. The findings will be presented at the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat, October 27, in Carlsbad, CA, just north of San Diego.

Read more at MadisonVaccinesInc.com.

HealthMyne Raises $6.9M

HealthMyne, a fast-growing Madison start-up that that provides analytics for medical images in cancer care, has raised $6.9 million of investments, according to a filing with federal securities regulators.

The company, which lists among its co-founders the medical physicist who developed the technology behind TomoTherapy Inc., will use the proceeds for research and development and general corporate purposes, the filing said. There were 23 investors participating in the deal, it said.

The investment puts the amount of funding the three-year-old company has raised over $10 million. HealthMyne most recently raised $4.5 million in March 2015.

HealthMyne operates in the emerging field of quantitative imaging decision support software, which treats medical images not just as pictures but as rich deposits of data that provide large amounts of information for decoding cancer tumors.

The company’s software is being tested at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla.

Read more at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

HealthMyne Brings On New CEO, Eyes 2017 For Commercial Launch

HealthMyne, a healthcare IT startup based in Madison, WI, has named Arvind Subramanian as its new chief executive, the company said Monday. Subramanian’s first day at HealthMyne was Aug. 1, he said in a phone interview.

Subramanian replaces Praveen Sinha, who co-founded HealthMyne in 2013. Sinha will now be vice president of business development, the startup said in a press release.

Also joining HealthMyne, whose headcount currently stands at 24, is Linda Peitzman. She is a physician with extensive experience in healthtech, and will serve as the startup’s chief medical and informatics officer. Her first day at HealthMyne was Tuesday, she said, adding that she is the sole medical doctor at the company.

Peitzman and Subramanian share quite a bit of history. They have worked together for a total of 14 years, most recently at the Health Clinical Solutions business unit of Netherlands-based Wolters Kluwer. Before that, they were colleagues at ProVation Medical, a Minneapolis-based healthcare software company that Wolters Kluwer acquired in 2006. “We know each other well,” said Subramanian, who has also joined HealthMyne’s board of directors.

Read more at Xconomy.