National Report Recognizes Three UB Spinoff Companies As Success Stories That Demonstrate How University Research Creates Jobs

Release Date: May 11, 2010

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James Garvey, UB chemistry professor and co-founder of Buffalo BioBlower Technologies, shown here with part of the device, said without federal funding, his company wouldn't exist.

Lyn Dyster, Allen Barnett and UB chemist David Hangauer of Kinex, which has entered Phase II clinical trials for prostate cancer with its first compound.

Bruce Holm, left and Edmund Egan of ONY, Inc. The company produces Infasurf, which has assisted more than 250,000 premature babies in the US with their breathing in the first critical hours after birth.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Three University at Buffalo high-technology spinoffs are among 100 success stories being recognized in a national report issued today by The Science Coalition, a national, nonprofit organization of research universities based in Washington D.C.

The report, "Sparking Economic Growth: how federally funded university research creates innovation, new companies and jobs," identifies 100 companies, that it says are examples of how federal investments in basic research boost the economy and create jobs. It states that collectively, these companies employ well over 100,000 people and have annual revenues approaching $100 billion.

The UB companies are:

--Buffalo Bioblower Technologies, LLC, which develops products that instantaneously sterilize high-volume airstreams; all spores, bacteria and viruses in the airstream are killed. Currently employing a staff of eight, the company plans to bring its first product, for the commercial health-care sector, to market by the end of this year. The company developed out of research by cofounders James Garvey, PhD, UB professor of chemistry, and John Lordi, PhD, UB professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

--Kinex Pharmaceuticals, which is developing next generation anti-cancer drugs that target the molecular basis of disease. The company, which employs 12, is commercializing a unique method for designing and synthesizing anti-cancer compounds, based on research by David Hangauer, PhD, associate professor of medicinal chemistry. The company has entered Phase II clinical trials for prostate cancer with its first compound.

--ONY Inc., which employs 26 people, was formed to commercialize InfaSurf, a lung surfactant developed by Edmund Egan, MD and Bruce Holm, PhD both professors of pediatrics at UB. The product was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999 for the prevention and treatment of respiratory distress syndrome in premature and newborn infants. Since then, it has been administered to more than 250,000 premature babies in the United States to assist with their breathing in the first critical hours after birth. The surfactant technology was based on research conducted by UB, University of Rochester and University of Western Ontario.

James F. Garvey, PhD, UB professor of chemistry and co-founder and chief technical officer of Buffalo BioBlower, said: "Federal funding was essential to the startup of our company. There is no way that our company would even exist had we not received the $1.6 million in startup money from the Department of Defense."

Robert J. Genco, vice provost and director of the UB Office of Science, Technology and Economic Outreach (STOR), which assists UB startups with a broad range of business assistance services, notes that many of UB's researchers now view scientific discoveries as a first step toward finding solutions to some of the world's most significant problems.

"The success of these innovative Western New York companies proves that university research is making a difference in our community," he says. "From the air purifying technologies developed by Buffalo BioBlower to the lifesaving surfactant of ONY Inc. and the cancer-fighting compounds of Kinex, these scientist-entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly important role in the development of our regional economy while positively impacting the quality of peoples' lives here at home and around the world."

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