Inaugural Year of Gilhuly Accelerator Fund Awards $1M+

“This is a big idea coming from a small lab,” said Associate Professor of Surgery Justin Pollara. He was presenting an update on a research project developed with Paul Cray, Senior Lab Research Analyst. A couple years back, they had come up with a novel, non-viral gene therapy platform and sought out internal Duke resources to help accelerate the promising technology with commercial potential. In September 2023, Pollara summarized steady research progress and follow-on funding achieved as part of the inaugural Gilhuly Accelerator Fund annual meeting. “The support we got from the Gilhuly Fund allowed us to hit our first milestone: demonstrate successful proof of concept studies in vitro,” Pollara said. “That key data enabled us to obtain additional support from the award of a Duke CTSI accelerator grant,” and then more support through the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

A basic science student’s journey into commercialization

Growing up in New York state, Anna Kudla loved the outdoors.

“We had the four seasons,” says Kudla. “I got a taste of the cycle of life, experiencing really stunning summers – lots of wildflowers everywhere, lots of insects.”

That love of the outdoors would soon carry Kudla to college, abroad to rainforests, and to Duke University, where she recently completed her PhD studies in the Department of Biology. And, perhaps surprising for a researcher in the basic sciences, this connection to the world around her has informed Kudla’s next steps, into the world of technology commercialization.

InnAVasc acquired by Gore

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (August 12, 2022) – W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore), a global material science company dedicated to transforming industries and improving lives, announced the acquisition of InnAVasc Medical, Inc., a privately held medical technology company focused on advancing care for patients with end stage renal disease who utilize graft circuits for dialysis treatment.

“The addition of InnAVasc’s investigational technology bolsters our continued ambition to improve patients’ lives by offering physicians innovative treatment solutions within the dialysis access space,” said Eric Zacharias, Leader of Gore’s Medical Products Division. “We are excited about InnAVasc’s unique technology and its potential to advance patient care for those with end stage renal disease (ESRD). This acquisition reinforces Gore’s commitment to innovation and desire to be strong partners in advancing treatments for these patients.”

Polarean receives FDA approval for its MRI product

Polarean Imaging plc (AIM: POLX), the medical imaging technology company, announces that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has granted approval for its drug device combination product, XENOVIEW. XENOVIEW, prepared from the Xenon Xe 129 Gas Blend, is a hyperpolarized contrast agent indicated for use with magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) for evaluation of lung ventilation in adults and pediatric patients aged 12 years and older. XENOVIEW has not been evaluated for use with lung perfusion imaging.

How surgery and engineering successfully mingle at Duke

“When I was a child, my cousin had a heart defect,” remembers Dr. Muath Bishawi, a Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident at the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Surgery. “I was curious: How could you have a hole in your heart?”

Sporting green scrubs, Bishawi has just emerged from an hours-long heart transplant surgery – yet he’s still full of energy as he recounts what set him on the path to becoming a cardiovascular surgeon and inventor.

Cereius acquired by Solve Therapeutics

SAN DIEGO, CA and DURHAM, NC (June 22, 2023) – Solve Therapeutics, Inc. (SolveTx), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibody-based therapeutics, announces the acquisition of Cereius, Inc. (Cereius), a private company developing innovative next-generation, targeted radiodiagnostics and radiotherapeutics for cancer patients. Cereius was co-founded by Professor Michael Zalutsky and Dr. Kimberly Lynn Blackwell around technology initially developed at Duke University and further advanced by the Cereius research team.

Ten63 Therapeutics raises a $15.9M Series A round

If you’ve met Duke University Professor Bruce Donald, you know he is passionate about computer science and its applications. Heck, you may have even read one of his five books on topics including robotics, artificial intelligence, and most recently, computational biology.

What you may not know is how wide-ranging Donald’s interests are, how he got into the field, or how his entrepreneurial spirit has blossomed into promising start-up Ten63 Therapeutics, a Duke spinout and Duke Capital Partners portfolio company which recently closed a Series A round of funding. This is the story of Donald’s journey: how he is working with his former students and tapping Duke resources to bring groundbreaking innovations to market.

Faculty donates back to OTC

Larry Carin, former Duke vice president of research in IonQ’s early days and now provost at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, was an advocate of the company and actively recruited Kim to the university when he first came to Durham. Jungsang Kim wouldn’t say he’s changing the culture of innovation at Duke. He just wants to help his fellow Duke entrepreneurs succeed.

Kim, the Schiciano Family Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a professor of physics, is so committed to this endeavor, that he and his wife, Soyeon Nam, gave $1 million to the Duke Office for Translation & Commercialization (OTC). Their hope is that other Duke-bred innovators who are ready to commercialize their work will receive the help they need from OTC at every phase of the innovation and entrepreneurial life cycle.

Duke PhD graduate and professor build multiple companies

“On the surface, as a Ph.D. student, you are an independent contributor – but you work collaboratively with other students on projects in the lab,” Cambre Kelly said. “That kind of work taught me a lot about solving hard problems.”

But she isn’t going at it alone. Together with a mentor and a strong team built during her time at Duke, Kelly is an up-and-coming entrepreneur dedicated to the medical device space right here in the Triangle ­– a dedication gaining recognition beyond the Triangle, Kelly recently having been named to Forbes 30 Under 30.