Los Alamos National Laboratory announces selection of venture acceleration fund recipients
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LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico, June 15, 2011—Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has selected Manhattan Isotope Technology, LLC and Vista Therapeutics, Inc. as recipients of $100,000 awards from the Los Alamos National Security, LLC Venture Acceleration Fund.
The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) invests in innovative Northern New Mexico companies seeking to commercialize technology and take it to market faster. VAF investments help the companies and their technologies reach the next level of success through business development activities such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, securing initial customers, or additional funding. Projects with an association with LANL technology or expertise receive preference for funding.
The VAF program fills a unique need by providing capital that reduces a company’s risk. “Without this type of funding, projects can languish or take much longer to come to fruition,” says said David Pesiri, the Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division leader. “Our team also works closely with the companies during their contract period to connect them with other resources—like mentors, customers, and contacts—that will make them more successful in the long run.
Manhattan Isotope Technology, LLC is a Los Alamos start-up company that will supply the active pharmaceutical ingredient strontium-82 to radiopharmaceutical companies for heart-imaging purposes. Until now, drug producers requiring strontium-82 have been mostly limited to Los Alamos National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Manhattan Isotope Technology will decrease the manufacturing burden on the U.S. government by commercializing LANL’s patented strontium-82 production technology, which produces the ingredient by recycling expired strontium-82/rubidium-82 generators. Manhattan Isotope Technology’s $100,000 VAF award will enable the company to develop, test, and validate a radioanalytical lab for strontium-82 manufacturing, establish environmental compliance, and gain acceptance from pharmaceutical manufacturers. The core project team includes Jason Kitten, Suzanne Kitten, and Larry Pitt.
Vista Therapeutics Inc. has developed NanoBioSensor™ technology that will revolutionize the measurement of biomarkers, such as proteins produced in response to trauma or disease. While existing biomarker measurement systems rely on occasional “snapshots” and expensive and time-consuming analysis, Vista’s system will enable screening and immediate test results for large numbers of people, as well as continuous bedside monitoring. Vista will use its $100,000 VAF award to apply a novel technology for attaching antibodies to a silicon oxide surface in the company’s Santa Fe facilities. This will enable the company to launch its first products in early 2012. The core project team includes Charles Lieber, Ph.D.; Spencer Farr, Ph.D.; Noah Clay, Ph.D.; and Mark Walztoni. Vista anticipates hiring 17 additional full-time, high wage employees by the end of 2013.
Los Alamos National Security, LLC, manager of Los Alamos National Laboratory, invests $1 million per year in economic development through a program known as Northern New Mexico Connect. Northern New Mexico Connect promotes VAF and a variety of other business development programs. In the past seven years, companies have created and retained 168 jobs and attracted $7 million in new funding and financing as a result of their work with Northern New Mexico Connect.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, BWXT Government Group, and URS, an AECOM company, for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.