Who would have thought that we would be close to a year since the last time we’ve seen each other in person? Usually, there would have been a networking event, an Incubator tour, a pitch competition, or somewhere where I run into those who want to keep up with the goings-on at the Bioscience Incubator. For now, I guess these newsletters are all we have and I will try to publish them more regularly, as there are things going on at ABI.

As if struggling with opioid addiction wasn’t already difficult enough, the pandemic has amplified those difficulties. People addicted to opioids are often struggling with keeping a job as the addiction tends to wreak havoc on their lives. There are often relationship struggles, economic stability struggles, and health struggles. The current medical intervention to opioid addiction is the use of drugs that keep the cravings at bay. Getting these treatments requires frequent visits to a clinic. How does that work when the entire world is told to stay home? If visiting these clinics is already a burden, you can imagine the impact of that during a pandemic.

Member company, NanoMedical Systems, has been developing an embeddable, slow-release drug delivery system to address this very issue. If these people could be fed a constant dose of this drug for 3-6 months, it would allow them to get the other aspects of their life in order without the complication of clinic visits that your job might not accommodate, or that transportation issues complicate. Listen to our latest episode of Science in the Mall, Y’all where Yash Sabharwal talks about this technology, as well as the path that led him to NanoMedical Systems. LISTEN NOW

We have had quite a bit of movement of our member companies in the past year. Nuclein moved out this summer because they were growing so quickly that they needed to build their own lab. They are currently up to 29 employees and have already outgrown the space that they moved into. That’s great news for, not only Nuclein, but for Austin. One of the main goals of the incubator was to keep companies from leaving the region so as to expand the economic impact in Central Texas. The hope was that the downstream effect of that would be jobs for life science students entering the field. So far, Nuclein has hired 2 former ABI students.

Another member company that has moved out and set up its own lab space in Austin is 16S Technologies. 16S is a company that relocated to Austin from the UK and after their time at ABI, have remained in the area. Building your own lab space in a place like Austin is no small feat and I’m excited for them both and hope that they are hugely successful.

Member company, ClearCam, has been manufacturing their “Kelling” device at ABI and has completed their goal to use it in 100 patients. Everyone is thrilled with the device and anxious to get it in the hands of surgeons. As is typical of creating something, the process reveals the additional capabilities that could be added and iterations that should be created. ClearCam is in the process of querying surgeons that use optic-driven technologies to learn what they want and need, and we look forward to seeing how their approach evolves.

Nancy Lyon
Interim Director

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