Groundbreaking held for Amy’s House

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May 17, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

On Friday, ground was broken on Amy’s House at the corner of Avenue U and South 15th Street.

Amy’s House, a hospitality house for transplant patients and their caregivers, is a TRIO Central Texas, Transplant Recipients International Organization, project. It has been in the works for a number of years.

“This has been a day we have worked toward for five years,” said John Henderson, chairman of TRIO Central Texas board.

After recognizing the many organizations and groups that had a hand in getting the TRIO project off the ground, Henderson mentioned how important it was to work closely with the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple transplant program, to make sure the house being built fits the needs of the transplant patients.

“The goal is to provide affordable housing for transplant patients and their families,” he said.

Most organ transplant patients have to remain close to the medical center following surgery for a period of time for follow-up care and monitoring.
The property where Amy’s House will be built was donated by the city. It’s made up of two or three lots, which leaves room for expansion, Henderson said.

The house will have eight bedrooms, a common living area, a dining room, a laundry room, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a board room and offices.

The members and officers of TRIO decided to name the house after John and Margaret Henderson’s daughter, Amy, who died suddenly six years ago.

“Amy was a multiple organ, tissue and cornea donor at Scott & White,” he said.
Donate Life America, an organization that works to increase donations, has stated a single organ donor can impact 75 people’s lives.

Henderson said he contacted Southwest Transplant Alliance and the groups that handle tissue and cornea donations and learned that his daughter’s donation helped more than 70 individuals.

Dr, Charles Moritz, nephrologist and kidney transplant surgeon at Baylor Scott & White-Temple, said this project is very important to the patients and their families.

“I’m elated this project is going forward,” Moritz said.
The support offered both inside and outside the hospital to transplant patients is important, he said.

It takes a lot of work from a lot of people and organizations to make this happen, Temple Mayor Tim Davis said at the groundbreaking.
The city’s involvement is the donation of this land and improving Avenue U to provide a backbone to run from Baylor Scott & White to Fifth Street, Davis said.

“This is what good city leadership looks like,” he said. “We have been watching this process for the past four or five years.

Seeing the new traffic circle, the bridges and the walking trail is all about good planning and this what cities are supposed to do for its residents, Davis said.

“I applaud the taxpayers of Temple,” he said. “We’re on a huge growth pattern and while we’re concerned about property values and taxable values, we’re concerned with the human value, and that’s what the TRIO house will do.”

Amy’s House is terrific for patients and the transplant program, said MaryEllen Bond, administrator, Solid Organ Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Baylor Scott & White Health.

“There are so many barriers to care and when someone needs a transplant, they may not have been able to work for awhile they may have financial barriers,” Bond said.

The transplant program scrambles to find housing for its patients and their families following the surgery and sometimes there’s no help for the families.

“This will be a soft place for them to land after transplant,” she said. “We want the transplant patient to succeed and this will help.”

New products connect with Bioscience pitch competition

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May 6, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

The Temple Health and Bioscience District annual symposium for entrepreneurs had about 90 people in attendance who heard from leaders in the fields of the medical marketplace, funding, branding and more.

There were panel discussions as well as individual speakers.

The final exercise was the pitch competition, where individuals were given about five minutes each to present a synopsis of a new product they want to bring to the market to an expert panel of judges, made up of seasoned entrepreneurs, medical device and diagnostics marketing experts, product life cycle management, pricing management and corporate development.

First place in the pitch competition is awarded $10,000, second place is $5,000 in services from a Temple company and third place is $2,500 in business services from a Temple company.

The first-place winner in the pitch competition was Nabaco.

Carlos Corona spoke of Nabaco’s effort to decrease spoilage in food products.

In the United States, $30 billion in revenue is lost each year to spoilage in the wholesale food market, Corona said.

Nabaco’s Nature Wrap is an edible protective liquid coating that triples the shelf life of produce at room temperature.

Nature Wrap is transparent with no taste or odor and it retards the formation of mold in every item tested, Corona said.

“It can be easily implemented by growers,” he said. “It’s safe for human consumption and is certified for use on organic produce.”

The biochemical technology keeps the moisture of the item inside and oxygen and mold out, Corona said.

Nabaco expects to break even by the end of its second year and see revenue of more than $60 million by the fifth year, he said.

Trials should begin with cherry growers in Oregon in June, Corona said.

Jeff Levine, a former tenant of the Temple Health and Bioscience District and winner of last year’s pitch competition, opened up this year’s event.

Levine, founder and CEO of Advanced Scanners, said the culture among the Bioscience District staff and board of directors is that they really believe in helping out those with innovative ideas at the beginning of the process.

The $10,000 Levine won at the last pitch competition funded a prototype of his scanner that can be used by neurosurgeons during surgery.

A person Levine met through Tami Annable, executive director of the Bioscience District, funded a cadaver study that provided data.

“Data takes you from the idea stage to heading toward the implementation stage,” he said.

Ten individuals gave pitches that ranged from a device to protect a patient’s teeth when being intubated prior to surgery, improving embryo selection for livestock and testing bio contaminants using DNA.

Pat Kothe, president and CEO of EM Device Lab, gave a presentation on the company’s Quickloop abscess treatment device. EM Device placed second in the pitch competition.

“We anticipate sales this year,” Kothe said.

About 1.6 million abscesses are treated in the U.S. per year, he said.

The treatment for abscesses hasn’t changed in thousands of years, so the goal is to get the pus out, Kothe said. Most of the time, the abscess is opened with a scalpel and then drained. The wound is then packed with gauze.

“There is 10 percent failure rate in this 1,000-year-old procedure and the pain associated with the packing and unpacking is significant,” he said.

A new technique is emerging, the loop drainage technique, which uses two smaller incisions and a loop of plastic material that forms a channel inside the abscess and is the means of draining the wound.

“Though the process is not new, no product has been developed to act as a conduit for getting the pus out,” Kothe said. EM Device has come up with a single use product that uses a loop technique.

“If you can place a suture, you can use this system,” he said. “It irrigates the wound from the inside out.”

Stan Marrett pitched MR3 Health Inc., a company that provides a service and preventative technology to patients and insurance companies in regard to dealing with diabetic foot issues. MR3 placed third in the competition.

There are 30 million diabetics in the United States, 10 million have neuropathy and 1.5 million of those individuals will develop an ulcer. More than 100,000 will require amputation, Marrett said.

“That’s about a $58 billon problem,” he said.

Treating foot ulcers happens after an ulcer develops.

MR3 developed a device that takes the temperature of the foot in six locations, which detects inflammation under the skin.

The patient takes the temperature of their feet, which is then sent to a cloud database where it is analyzed. If the patient isn’t using the device, an alert is sent.

“We’re ready to go to market,” Marrett said.

“This year’s symposium, ‘Growing to Success: Startup and Beyond,’ was a great success,” Annable said. “Our attendees came from all over Central Texas and they were able to network with 19 speakers and other guests.”

Not only were the speaker topics relevant but they engaged the audience. Questions were asked and answered on various topics from funding to the pros and cons of international business.

The keynote speakers, Brandon Price, “So You Think You Want to be an Entrepreneur,” and Jim Sargent, “Building the Right Team-Should You Pivot,” gave thought-provoking talks, Annable said.

Temple Bioscience District to hold Medtech Symposium

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April 27, 2019
Temple Daily Telegram | Janice Gibbs

Moving from idea to startup company is not for the faint of heart.

For the past few years, the Temple Health and Bioscience District has held annual events to share information on the ins and outs of starting a business based on a new idea or developing a device in the medical technology field.

The district’s next Medtech Symposium and Pitch Competition is set for Friday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Temple. The day begins at 8 a.m. and will end around 3:30 p.m.

Initial efforts of the symposium focused on moving ideas to a startup company and dealt with information on protecting the idea, finding funding and investors.

“We were trying to attract startup companies to Temple, Texas,” said Tami Annable, Temple Health and Bioscience District executive director. “The best way to do that is with money.”

Last year, the symposium added a pitch competition to the agenda. Selected individuals would have an opportunity to talk about and pitch their idea to a panel of experts.

“We got 17 applications from all over for the competition,” Annable said.

Annable said she gets speakers for the symposiums from making contacts at the different conferences she attends during the year.

This conference, “Startup and Beyond,” will focus on companies that have done the initial work and are now startups and want to move forward.

Brandon Price, entrepreneur-in-residence at Texas State University, will be the first speaker. Price is a scientist, businessman and entrepreneur with 30 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Other topics include the future of the medical marketplace, doing business domestically or internationally, branding your business and funding.

Jim Sergeant, founder and managing partner of RQR Partners, will be talking about Building the Right Team — Should You Pivot? Sergeant has 25 years of global commercial and general management experience in the life science space.

There will be a number of panel discussions made up of individuals who have expertise in business planning, financial lending, stakeholder coordination, new product innovation, leveraging technology, helping companies reach specific goals and more.

“We want to encourage audience participation for the panels,” Annable said.

Registrations have been coming in since January, when the symposium was announced, said Ashley Schlosser, of Live Out Loud PR.

“They have been trickling in the entire time and that’s never happened before,” Schlosser said.

Temple Health and Bioscience District has joined Capital City Innovation, a group of incubators and accelerators that have banded together to support each other and to grow a network.

The district has spent the past few years making a name for itself and learning the landscape in Central Texas.

“Now we have partners working together,” Annable said. “These are connections we’ve never had before.”

This event is for anyone who is interested in developing a startup, said Schlosser. They can learn about funding, regulations and more.

The conference is free, but registration is required at