NCSU Poultry Vaccine Team in SEBIO Semi-Finals
A business plan from three graduate students in The Entrepreneurship Collaborative program at North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management is among 10 semi-finalists chosen to compete in the final round of the BIO/Plan Competition sponsored by SEBIO.
The team, which includes student entrepreneurs Vindhya Kunduru, Ryan Libert and Guarav Shah, was chosen from among 40 applicants, on the basis of its platform technology for developing bacterial vaccines.
SEBIO established the competition six years ago to promote the creation of new life-science companies and the development of exceptional corporate partnering opportunities in seven Southeastern states: North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
Each semi-finalist is paired with a team of experienced professionals for a three-month mentorship to build a development strategy and business plan. That’s submitted to a panel of judges, who select four finalists to present at the Fourteenth Annual SEBIO Investor Forum, October 31 through November 1, 2012, in Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced at the closing luncheon on November 1.
Kunduru, Libert, Shah and Scott Moore won first place at the Poole College of Management Leadership and Innovation Showcase earlier this spring.
They assessed N.C. State patented technology that allows for the creation of vaccines against salmonella, E.coli, and more than 2,000 other species in the enterobacter family.
The team is launching a company, Enterivax. Its first product will be the Hassan salmonella vaccine for poultry, to prevent foodborne diseases and make poultry and eggs safer for human consumption. The vaccine is named for Hosni Hassan, Ph.D., an N.C. State Professor of microbiology, biochemistry, toxicology and food science.
Hassan received a $23,000 Biotechnology Center research grant in 1986 to support his increasingly successful pursuit of microbes. It was one of the earliest such academic grants provided by NCBiotech. Last year, NCBiotech provided a Technology Enhancement Grant to N.C. State's tech transfer office to help evaluate the commercial readiness of Hassan's technology. That evaluation contributed to the plan to form Enterivax.
“Again this year, we were pleased with the pool of BIO/Plan applicants in terms of the quality of the underlying technologies and the potential for further development either as new commercial enterprises or within corporate partnerships,” said Frank Hunt, BIO/Plan 2012 Co-Chair and CEO of PNP Therapeutics.
“The ten semi-finalists are giving us a look at some of the best opportunities in the region for new products that will have a significant impact on the health care of tomorrow."