Organizers of the Southeastern Biotechnology Investors Conference (SEBIO) have chosen 17 companies from the region to present at the fourth annual Southeastern BIO Investor Forum.

An additional 16 companies have been chosen to participate in an early stage event. The conference will be held on Dec. 4-5 in Atlanta.

The companies were chosen by a group of life sciences investors who were asked by SEBIO to participate as members of the selection committee, says Becky Kaufman, conference director. The investors were from regional funds involved in life sciences investing, including the Aurora Funds, Intersouth Partners, Research Triangle Ventures, Advantage Capital Partners, Fuqua Ventures, A.M Pappas and associates and several others.

They met in early October to review the many applications received through the SEBIO website, Kaufman says, adding that the applications received were the result of many efforts at the state level. In each state, she says a committee worked to contact and recruit candidate companies. The state committee’s main role was to make suitable companies in their state aware of the opportunity, and to encourage them to apply.

“We are very pleased to have a record number of applications this year,” Aurora’s Doug Gooding, SEBIO 2002 Selection Committee Chair, said in a statement. “The final group is an excellent representation of the growth of the life sciences industry in the southeast, and come from a wide variety of industry segments, including drug discovery, agricultural biotechnology, vaccines, medical devices and gene therapy. While all of the companies selected to present have received some institutional funding, they represent a variety of points in the funding life cycle.”

The 17 companies chosen to present are as follows:

AlphaVax, based in Research Triangle Park, develops and manufactures preventive and therapeutic vaccines and is initiating clinical trials for an HIV clade C vaccine for a therapeutic HIV vaccine, CMV, breast cancer and malaria.

Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation of Alachua, FL, utilizes its Adeno-Associated Virus gene deliver technology in a variety of patent-protected therapeutics.

Applied Genomics of Huntsville, AL, develops targeted genomics-based diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer.

Athenix Corp., also based in RTP, provides novel genetic solutions for the agricultural, energy and chemical feedstock industries by discovering unique input and output traits and developing these traits into products.

Bioheart of Weston, FL, is a cardiovascular disease management organization with products that prevent heart attacks and assist individuals recovering from a heart attack in their return to a full quality of life.

BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals, of Franklin, TN, develops, commercializes and will ultimately market protein therapeutics for the healing and restoration of bone and other tissues.

Cropsolution, based in Morrisville, NC, discovers and develops chemicals to protect crops from diseases, weeds and insect pests through its Evolution Chemistry(TM) technology.

DermaCo, headquartered in Marietta, GA, develops and markets innovative and science-based dermatology pharmaceutical products from a patent portfolio developed at the University of Michigan with substantial research grants from Johnson & Johnson.

Expression Genetics, based in Huntsville, AL, develops proprietary non-viral biodegradable polymeric gene carrier systems for internal products and products in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Icagen, also based in RTP, discovers and develops small molecule therapeutics targeted toward ion channel using its proprietary platform technology.

Incellico, another RTP company, breaks the informatics bottleneck with CELL, the only commercially available platform that enables scientists to automate their expert data analysis processes in a high-throughput manner.

Norak Biosciences, yet another RTP company, utilizes its proprietary Transfluor technology in the discovery and development of drugs that regular g protein-coupled receptors.

Proxima Therapeutics of Alpharetta, GA, develops and markets site-specific cancer treatment systems for breast and brain tumors.
Regado Biosciences, based in Durham, is developing the first generation of regulatable therapeutics.

Serenex, headquartered in RTP, utilizes proprietary and powerful technology that enable the rationalization of proteomics for the acceleration of drug discovery.

Somatocor, based in Atlanta, develops and commercializes breakthrough oral drugs to treat complications of Types 1 and 2 diabetes.

Vaxin, based in Birmingham, AL, discovers and develops topically applied, preventative and therapeutic vaccines through its proprietary platform technology.

Early-stage presenters

An additional sixteen companies were chosen to participate in Early Stage Interactive, a new conference program designed to provide early market feedback and mentoring to pre-investment companies as they begin to raise institutional funds. Following are this year’s participants (with home states):

Abeome (GA)
ADMETech (NC)
Angiopath (TN)
ApoImmune (KY)
Argolyn (SC)
Civatec Medical Systems (FL)
geneRx+ (GA)
GenePhar (SC)
GeoVax (GA)
MXI Systems (TN)
Nanotherapeutics (FL)
Oriel Therapeutics (AL)
Phase Bio (NC)
PNP Therapeutics
Saneron CCEL Therapeutics(FL)
TriCon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (FL)

In addition to company presentations, the conference will feature a variety of speakers noted for their experience in the life sciences industry, including Tony White, chief executive officer of Applera Corporation, and Jan Leschly, partner with Care Capital and former CEO of SmithKline Beecham.

Web sites:

SEBIO: www.sebio.org

AlphaVax: www.alphavax.com

Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation: www.agtcfl.com

Applied Genomics: www.applied-genomics.com

Athenix Corp.: www.athenixcorp.com

Bioheart: www.bioheartinc.com

BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals: www.biomimetics.com

Cropsolution: www.cropsolution.com

DermaCo: www.dermaco.com

Expression Genetics: www.egencorp.com

Icagen: www.icagen.com

Incellico: www.incellico.com

Norak Biosciences: www.norak.com

Proxima Therapeutics: www.proximatherapeutics.com

Regado Biosciences: www.regadobiosciences.com

Serenex: www.serenex.com

Somatocor: www.somatocor.com

Vaxin: www.vaxin.com