Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. - Success Story: Veteran-Owned Theradaptive Earns TEDCO Support
Exploding IEDs rarely make things better, but
one Maryland start-up company is turning tragedy into triumph. Theradaptive,
founded in 2014, is a veteran-owned biopharmaceutical firm developing targeted
therapeutics that repair damaged bones, cartilage and nerves through tissue
regeneration. Luis Alvarez is Theradaptive’s founder and shared what motivates
the company “the idea for our work started in the back of a Humvee following an
IED blast…The point was, how do you deliver a very targeted therapeutic to repair
devastating injuries?” Alvarez developed the technology underlying
Theradaptive’s approach while he was at MIT following his deployment to Iraq in
Theradaptive recently caught the attention of
the Maryland Technology Development Corporation’s (TEDCO) Stem Cell Research
Fund. The group chose Theradaptive via an independent scientific peer review
committee from a field of 20 other emerging companies vying for its highly
competitive 2018 commercialization fund program. This grant supports start-up
companies that commercialize promising technologies to meet identified market
needs. The program fosters technological advancement through validation, market
assessment, and the creation of University start-up companies in Maryland,
which bolsters job growth and other economic benefits in turn.
Theradaptive’s current effort is a biphasic
(bone/cartilage) stem cell delivery system for the repair of osteochondral
defects. Known as ConForma, the product is a porous, biocompatible and
resorbable scaffold that supports healing. It is based on Theradaptive’s core
targeted drug delivery platform, which provides a precise control of dosing and
timing of therapeutic protein release, increasing safety and efficacy while
keeping costs competitive. Preclinical studies have been promising when
compared head-to-head with current technology.
Yi Arnold, Director of Business Development
and R&D says, “Over 950,000 Americans suffer chondral (cartilage) injuries
annually and just under 500,000 of those require surgery. Unfortunately, the
current standard of care often causes a poor outcome. People may suffer
secondary arthritis or need additional surgery.” She continues, “The most
important thing is that ConForma requires a single procedure, essentially
eliminating the need for microfracture and improving the individual’s long-term
quality of life.” As an off-the-shelf implant, the therapeutic is customizable,
moldable, and conformable.
Another FITCI Alumnus, RoosterBio, earned the
grant award last year. They will work with Theradaptive on the cell therapy
aspect of the project. Kathie Callahan Brady, FITCI CEO, is an unabashed
cheerleader for both companies. She says that personal motivation to make a
positive impact is a unifying factor. “This is what FITCI was made to do, to foster
collaborative relationships that push the boundaries of science and technology
in a very meaningful, grand scale way. When they win, we’re all winners.”
The Theradaptive team is committed to creating
regenerative treatments for higher performance and shorter recovery times. For
more information about the company, its products or investment opportunities
please visit Theradaptive.com.
YI ARNOLD and Kathie Callahan Brady
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES 51 “BUILD TO SCALE” GRANTS TOTALING $47 MILLIONTO FUEL INNOVATION AND TECH-BASED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Contact: EDA Public Affairs Department, (202) 482-4085
October 5, 2022
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding 51 “Build to Scale” grants – totaling $47 million – to organizations that support technology entrepreneurs, catalyze innovation and fuel economic growth.
EDA’s “Build to Scale” program provides annual grants that aim to accelerate technology entrepreneurship by increasing inclusive access to entrepreneurial support and startup capital. The 2022 awardees will leverage an additional $48 million in matching funds from a variety of private and public sector sources. These EDA investments support advanced manufacturing, bioscience, clean energy and blue economy clusters in regions throughout the United States.
"Strengthening technology ecosystems are a critical key to the Biden Administration's efforts to build a stronger America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Innovation and entrepreneurship have long been keys to American success and will continue to strengthen our collective economic and national security, as well as individual prosperity and well-being.”
"EDA is proud to partner with this year's 'Build to Scale' grantees as they invest in entrepreneurs and create equitable access to capital in their communities," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. "These projects will give the next generation of industry-leading companies a seminal boost that will result in job creation and private investment – potentially transforming a regional economy and creating economic opportunity beyond what we can foresee.”
The 2022 Build to Scale program was comprised of two competitions––the Venture Challenge and the Capital Challenge. The Venture Challenge supports programs that enable high-growth technology entrepreneurship and foster inclusive access to proven entrepreneurship support models. The Capital Challenge increases access to capital in communities where risk capital is in short supply by providing operational support for early-stage investment funds, networks, and training programs that focus on both traditional and hybrid equity-based financing.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.