Staying Strong Amid COVID-19

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Temple Daily Telegram
Temple Chamber Focus on Business

The mission of the Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD) is to grow twenty-first century jobs by fostering bioscience education, research and healthcare in Central Texas. In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the THBD team is shifting the ways we serve so that our community can continue to benefit, but from a safe distance with precaution. Our thoughts go out to all of those already impacted by this pandemic. The THBD team encourages the community to utilize resources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local trusted news outlets to stay well informed.

Please note: THBD will be closed to the public until further notice; Visitors are invited to take a virtual tour of the lab on our website; To limit undue risk of coronavirus exposure, the THBD E-Learning Series will be conducted ONLINE ONLY until further notice. Learn more at templebioscience.org/programs.

Thank you to the tireless medical personnel who put themselves at risk every day on the front lines to save lives, and thank you to our community for the everyday sacrifices we are all making to keep our community safe. COVID-19 has brought the world together with a singular sense of purpose. We will overcome this pandemic and be stronger for it.

Monitoring MedTech Advancements in Temple

Whether you have lived in Temple for years or are just getting to know our growing city, you are sure to have noticed the influx of medical and technology jobs across the city. Last year, Temple was recognized by Smart Asset as a “Top 10 City to Work in Tech,” thanks to affordable cost of living and comparatively high wages. As the biotech industry in Central Texas continues to flourish, one local startup is pushing the limits of possibility and pioneering new medical technology.

In 2019, Stan Marett, President of MR3 Health, Inc., met THBD Executive Di-rector Tami Annable at THBD’s Annual MedTech Startup Symposium and Pitch Competition. Marett opted to attend the annual symposium and participate in the pitch competition. During this competition in Temple, individuals were given five minutes to present a new product they hope to bring to market. The judging panel of entrepreneurs, healthcare and medical device experts awarded Marett and MR3 Health third place in the competition.

After the competition, Marett wanted to learn more about what the only tax-payer-funded nonprofit bioscience incubator in Texas has to offer. During a tour, he realized THBD’s proximity to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Baylor Scott and White made the incubator an ideal place for MR3 Health.

Designed to help proactively connect physicians and patients through remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices, MR3 Health aims to prevent complications associated with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and congestive heart failure. The devices monitor patients daily to identify and communicate alerts to the patient and their healthcare provider to indicate the possibility of a high-risk event.

Now a tenant at THBD, Marett hopes to work with doctors and patients in the Temple area to provide RPM services and create a strategic relationship with Baylor Scott and White that can be replicated in other areas. Additionally, MR3 Health aims to engage with the VA for studies that can help to improve new products and services.

In December 2019, MR3 Health was recognized as a “Top 10 Patient Monitoring Pioneer” by MD Tech Review. This national distinction recognized MR3’s foot sensor, TempTouchTM infrared dermal thermometer. The device takes temperature readings and uploads them to cloud-based technology to track changes and alert physicians of any problems. Marett and his team optimized the product for today’s market by enabling Bluetooth technology and a smartphone app to make the technology accessible and effortless for patients to use.

While offering financially accessible products for patients and providers is top-of-mind, so is patient compliance. Readings are only measurable if taken by the patient. Rather than relying on patients to remember to check their readings, MR3 Health pings patients who miss a daily reading and transmits early alerts to clinicians.

“We are partners in healthcare,” says Marett. “As we grow, we will continue to ensure patients have accessible tools to track their own health and improve their outcomes. We look forward to continuing our research and building upon valuable partnerships in Temple to help patients and providers manage care effectively. We are excited to be part of the Temple Health and Bioscience eco-system. We look forward to growing our presence in Temple.”

Source: April 2020 Temple Chamber Focus on Business

Bioscience board approves study, reschedules election

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March 29, 2020
Temple Daily Telegram | By Janice Gibbs

The Temple Health and Bioscience District board will be working with Newmark Knight Frank of San Antonio to map out Temple’s health ecosystem, which includes strategic planning for interconnected stakeholders that offer complimentary missions.

The District’s board approved paying Newmark Knight Frank no more than $150,000.

The Bioscience District board met last week using video conferencing.

The board approved moving its board election to Nov. 3. The election will be on the regular ballot that includes national and state elections.

“This will do two things, it will allow people to get through the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic,” said board president Thomas Baird. “It gives us time to coordinate the election with other entities and share the cost.”

The Bioscience Board voted to cancel the 2020 summer scholars’ intern program.

Typically, the student scholars are placed with medical and science researchers for the summer.

“The professionals, the scientists, the physicians and the institutions where we normally place students cannot accommodate the scholars,” Baird said.

“The District can’t be responsible for putting the students at risk,” Tami Annable, executive director of the Bioscience District, said.

The warranty for the Leica Microdissection System was discussed.

The Leica Microdissection System is a piece of equipment available to researchers in the District’s facility common lab. Using a laser, the microscope can isolate a single cell from a piece of tissue.

The cost of renewing the warranty of one year is $17,122.13, while the four-year cost is $58,215.23.

A researcher from Dell Medical School has used the Leica, Annable said.

Michael Norman suggested that a value assessment on the usage of the equipment over the past several years be conducted and then it can be determined whether to continue maintaining it.

The board approved purchasing a one-year warranty.

A budget workshop also was held.

A number of budget item costs were reduced, such as conference attendance, lab equipment and supplies. Salaries remain the same, and money allotted to interior design was removed.

The District had been giving tenants $5,000 each for conferences that have now been removed.

Baird said he wanted to start the budget process early and look where costs could be reduced.

“This is just a place to start,” he said.

Source: https://www.tdtnews.com/news/central_texas_news/article_340e2e92-71fe-11ea-9150-073f9b80f24d.html

SXSW canceled over coronavirus concerns

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March 6, 2020
KWTX-TV

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Austin’s annual South by Southwest music and arts festival was canceled Friday because of mounting concerns about the new corona virus.

The announcement was made during a late-afternoon news conference Friday.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared a local disaster as a precaution against the threat of the virus, which effectively killed the festival.

Tens of thousands of people had signed a petition calling for cancellation of the annual event, but organizers had insisted that SXSW would proceed as planned.

“We are devastated to share this news with you,” organizers said in a tweet Friday.

“As recently as Wednesday, Austin Public Health stated that ‘there’s no evidence that closing SXSW or any other gatherings will make the community safer,’” they said.

“However, this situation evolved rapidly, and we honor and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.”

Organizers said they’re exploring the possibility of rescheduling the event and to provide a “virtual SXSW online experience as soon as possible for 2020 participants.”

“Though it’s true that our March 2020 event will no longer take place in the way that we intended, we continue to strive toward our purpose – helping creative people achieve their goals.”

Earlier Friday the Temple Health and Bioscience District joined a growing list of groups and companies pulling out of the festival because of concerns about the new coronavirus.

“We regret the need to withdraw our participation, but due to the fact that this is an international conference and the coronavirus has shown a potential for community spread, THBD has decided that it is in the best interest of our staff and community not to attend the event.” THBD Executive Director Tami Annable said in a brief press release.

Facebook, Mashable, TikTok, Twitter and chip maker Intel earlier said they wouldn’t participate in the festival, which was to have run from March 13 to March 22.

Netflix cancelled its screenings at the festival and a panel with Rashida Jones and Kenya Barris about the series #blackexcellence.

Rocker Ozzy Osbourne also canceled his appearance because of concerns about the virus.

Addressing COVID-19 at THBD…

By | About THBD, Biotechnology, Industry Happenings, News, Webinar | No Comments

Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you and your family well during this unprecedented time. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those already severely impacted by this pandemic. As you well know, the spread of coronavirus is affecting us all. Here are some trusted resources including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that you can use. Stay up-to-date on the latest news affecting Temple by visiting local trusted news outlets including the Temple Daily Telegram, KCEN News 6KWTX News 10KXXV News 25 and KWKT Fox 44.

Here at the Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD), our mission is to grow twenty-first century jobs by fostering bioscience education, research and healthcare in Central Texas. In the midst of this outbreak, the THBD team is shifting the ways we serve so that our community can continue to benefit, but from a safe distance and with precaution.

Please note:
Hours: THBD will be closed to the public until further notice.

THBD Visitors and Tours: You may take a virtual tour of the lab on our website!

Webinar ONLINE ONLY: To limit undue risk of coronavirus exposure, the THBD Lunch and Learn Webinar series will be conducted online only until further notice. If you have registered to tune-in online for the March webinar, nothing has changed. If you registered to join us in Temple, please tune in online from the comfort of your home. For any questions, please contact Shannon Wetherbee at 254-316-1992.

THBD wants to let you know how much we appreciate the sacrifices each and everyone of you are making to keep our communities safe. Thank you to all of the tireless medical personnel who are putting themselves at risk everyday to save lives. COVID-19 has brought the world together with a singular sense of purpose. We will overcome this pandemic and be stronger for it.

Sincerely,
Tami Annable
Executive Director
Temple Health and Bioscience District (THBD)
(254) 935-3963
tamia@templebioscience.org

Engage your mind with THBD’s streaming online education

Now that you may find yourself with more time to explore and learn, it is the perfect time to engage with THBD’s online webinars. Engage and learn with recent webinar topics for small businesses and startups on our website. Learn about IP protection, prototyping, navigating the marketplace and more!

Also be sure to tune in online live with us for this month’s webinar on Tuesday, March 31. Dr. Katherine Stephenson of Dyad Engineering will be speaking about the myriad of ways 3D printing is changing the medical device landscape.

Innovation persists…

As an incubator for health-related startup companies, the team at THBD understands the significant impact COVID-19 brings to our tenants and the startup community. With the months ahead, it is important to come together as a community and stay strong. Let us be a resource to you. Be on the lookout for additional updates via our newsletter and blog as the weeks continue.

Our congratulations and support go to everyone who is finding new and innovative ways to support their community. Now is the time to put our heads together to face these challenges. We have the tools to provide the medical equipment in need with 3D printers, laboratory facilities and modern technology. Join fellow innovative thinkers in the mission to save lives and save our community.

SBA Loans and Relief

For small businesses and startups in need of relief, take the time now to apply for an Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. $50 billion has been allocated to the SBA for COVID-19 related disaster relief. Their mandate is to directly provide loans of up to $2 million to affected businesses nationwide at an interest rate of 3.75%. Whether or not your business has been impacted so far, you should be applying for this loan right now. Applications will be processed in the order they are received and there’s going to be tremendous backlog – You want to be as close to the front as possible. Think of this like the rush to stock up on hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Ventilator Design Challenge

With potentially 70 percent of the population on the brink of being infected by COVID-19, our worldwide health care systems are currently being strained beyond their limits. Even now, there aren’t enough ventilators to save everyone who needs respiratory support. We encourage everyone to enter the Code Life Ventilator challenge. Launched by the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and powered by Agorize, the challenge is open to everybody. The goal is to design a ventilator that can serve the COVID patients, in an emergency timeframe. Three finalist teams will be selected and share a cash prize of at least $200,000 CAD. Their designs will be available for free download to anyone who needs them, saving lives immediately. The deadline to submit a project is March 31, 2020, 11:59 pm EST. Enter here.

 

Be part of the solution with the COVID-19 ATX Exchange (ATXCE)

The COVID-19 ATX Exchange (ATXCE) is an online portal for smart minds in technology, health and engineering to come up with creative solutions to the challenges we face ahead. The exchange is a project of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas in collaboration with Austin Public Health and other community partners. Behind the scenes, they are bringing together experts, innovators and leaders from across our community to help us vet, triage and coordinate needs and close the loop with the requesting organizations amidst COVID-19.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @TempleHBD.