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Dubai: When Bernd Skorupinski came to Dubai by way of Germany six years ago, he had no idea he would leave his job to become a fulltime trader. Foreign exchange currency trading, commonly referred to as forex, is a market where banks, businesses, investors and traders come to exchange and speculate on rising or dropping currencies. But to Skorupinski, the appeal to trade came from not only investing in an open market that requires little to feed and leverage, but also investing in himself. According to Abu Hantash, forex trading is more popular in the UAE than ever before, citing the number viet jet ipo brokers that have sprang up.

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Pre ipo investing risks of epidural

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Developer of integrated artificial intelligence platform designed for business growth by implementing hyper-personalized marketing tactics. The company offers the future of e-commerce by intelligently growing brands and building relationships, enabling clients to help small to medium e-commerce brands grow faster than ever on a common AI platform that includes not just new technologies.

Developer of health and security technologies designed to increase information dissemination and reduce emergency response time. The company's system offers a patented comprehensive emergency alert and mass notifications system, accessible via iOS, Android, web, text, and e-mail, thereby enabling businesses, governments, schools, and emergency personnel to communicate emergency information instantly through GPS coordinates, text, audio, pictures and videos.

Ratio is a product-led financing platform that offers B2B SaaS companies with a way to finance customer contracts and improve the cash flow cycle of a traditional subscription business. Operator of a B2C e-commerce platform intended to transform middle to low-income Africans into empowered global consumers. The company's platform helps people who may not have access to the internet harnessed to make purchases through harnessing mobile technologies, a network of local agents, and a proprietary delivery system, enabling consumers to gain access to a variety of products that are delivered at their convenience.

Developer of a mental wellness application designed to offer at-home ketamine therapy. The company's application leverages knowledge graphs and AI to deliver personalized evidence-based therapies, enabling users to diagnose and treat their mental health conditions. Developer of AI-driven hardware security processors designed to secure the end-to-end digital infrastructure.

The company's processors offer stability and security to the control and management of heterogeneous infrastructures by eliminating fundamental security problems from the ground up, enabling clients to protect sensitive data from the vulnerabilities found in current processors and ensure security for every system.

Developer of a cloud-based modeling platform designed to help in large-scale sustainable infrastructure projects. The company's platform brings together stakeholders to give them the tools to originate, understand, and develop intuition, identify investable projects, and build them, enabling clients to see all their project outcomes in one place including commercial, social, and environmental impacts. Operator of an online brokerage firm intended to convert equity to cash through sale-leasebacks.

The company matches loan officers, real estate agents, and homeowners and helps negotiate non-traditional refinancing, enabling homeowners to reach their financial and real estate goals in a streamlined manner. Developer of an indoor hydroponic gardening system designed to grow food at home. The company's system comprises a physical appliance to grow the produce that can grow everything from greens and herbs to tomatoes and beets with an application that can share intelligence on how to manage the plant growth in the appliance, thereby enabling customers to have a seamless gardening experience.

Provider of warehousing and logistics services intended to build a cloud fulfillment network making global logistics accessible. The company's platform offers fulfillment on auto-scaling with a distributed warehousing network which is simplified with one-click integration to all the sales channels as well as provides on-demand capacity at variable cost and flexible terms, enabling clients to grow their business, with fast and inexpensive shipping.

Producer of beverages intended to nourish, empower and educate future generations with access to real food. The company has developed a kid-friendly portfolio of healthy foods and beverages that is plant-based, dairy-free, scientifically backed, and medically approved, enabling kids to enjoy delicious and nutritious milk. Designer and developer of modular kitchens and kitchen products designed to reinvent the kitchen remodeling experience.

The company's kitchen products are made online with visual designs, 1-on-1 designer consultation and streamlined installation of kitchens and also provide 3D photorealistic visualization, enabling individuals and kitchen owners to get affordable remodeling of kitchens without the hassle of traveling to showrooms.

Developer of an e-commerce platform designed for small businesses to accept payments. The company's platform offers all the tools necessary for managing sales, sending invoices, receiving payments, managing inventory, and more, enabling customers to access capital for growth.

Developer of a real estate data platform designed to provide enhanced insights for fund managers. The company's platform utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect and analyze massive amounts of data to provide accurate projections of key real estate metrics by uniquely layering alternative data on top of primary real estate data, providing businesses with automated underwriting tools to efficiently source, acquire, and manage SFR properties.

Developer of modular, multi-technology, non-destructive and remote inspection tools designed to offer non-destructive inspection services. The company's tools offer end-to-end asset inspection services to customers in the food and beverage, chemical, energy, and aviation industries, with a proprietary robot that is capable of maneuvering on all smooth surfaces, including non-magnetic materials, enabling clients to manage the critical assets with safety, accuracy, and speed.

Developer of an exchange rate risk management platform designed to protect businesses from fluctuating exchange rates. The company's platform compares the best rates from multiple providers in seconds, provides customers with a simple interface free of finance jargon, and even integrates with some of the major accounting systems commonly used by SMEs, helping SMEs to protect their businesses from ever-changing currency rates.

Designer of recyclable and biodegradable sneakers intended to provide an alternative to synthetic wares that are dumped in landfills. The company's sneakers are made using sustainable materials to make an alternative kind of sneaker that is durable, biodegradable, and recyclable to create zero-waste footwear, enabling customers to send the sneakers back to them as biodegradable footwear, once they are done with it for recycling.

Luva provides insurance to underbanked consumers in Latin America markets. Parts of this market include providing services to immigrant and the underbanked. The company plans to start with auto insurance then move to renters and life insurance.

Operator of a food-chain marketplace intended to offer meal boxes and food products that are convenient and affordable. The company's marketplace sources its ingredients from local farms to get fresh vegetables and fruits which are offered through the retail partners, as well as intends to lower the carbon footprint of its products, enabling consumers to get healthy meals while also supporting the community indirectly.

Developer of an online food ordering platform designed to offer authentic Asian food to people. The company's platform offers a dish-centric mobile ordering experience while empowering local ethnic restaurants with the technology, tools, and marketing to grow their business, enabling people to conveniently order quality ethnic food.

Stravos Education is an education, tech-enabled services company that offers students services ranging from academic counseling, college counseling, and test preparation. Producer of small-batch wines intended to offer gluten-free wines in a can. The company uses sustainable farming practices and low intervention winemaking process for small wineries as well as offers a destination for the millennial wine drinker, enabling customers to get vegan-friendly and keto-friendly wines in a portable, single-serving format delivered at the desired location.

Developer of a community platform intended to make online connections easier, more immersive, and more fun. Developer of satellite propulsion systems designed to economically advance space missions. The company's systems are small, low in mass, with a high thrust-to-power ratio and with a patented small-scale magnetic nozzle to direct thrust, enabling clients to reduce costs and maneuver their satellites into highly elliptical, geostationary and polar orbits.

Developer of sustainable industrial products security designed to improve worldwide food security. The company's products offer the shrimp aquaculture industry a new level of transparency by introducing a sustainable protein permitting users to determine with a simple test for high-value industrial chemicals and transportation fuels, enabling companies to help meet the growing global demand for protein.

Manufacturer of critical precision components intended to assist space and defense manufacturers to produce rockets and satellites. The company's platform provides factories to get precision components in a few time and build jets and eVTOLs at an affordable rate, enabling frontier technology companies to make rocket ships with the assistance of advanced manufacturing. Developer of an AI-powered-based technology designed to improve restorative sleep. The company's platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to redesign and continuously optimize the experience, enabling scientists and technologists, to deliver the ultimate sleep experience.

Bankroll Club, LLC aspires to be the premiere tech-driven, retail-to digital conversion platform for online gaming operators. Developer of a food technology designed to reduce the cost of fresh food using robotics. The company's technology is designed with modular hardware and reprogrammable software that uses computer vision technology and robotics, enabling restaurants to manage peak hours during lunch and dinner and prevent human errors during the preparation of food.

Provider of brand acquisition and development services intended to help businesses grow and expand their brand value. The company acquires and builds exceptional e-commerce brands with quality products through search engine optimization, portfolio administration, marketing, logistics, finance and operations management services, helping clients to list and sell their products and generate profits. Developer of a mental healthcare platform designed to offer mental health care for students.

The company's platform offers holistic psychiatric care, free online assessment, schedule initial video consultation and personalized care plan, enabling students to get treated with ease and comfort in their home and improve their mental health. Operator of a content platform intended to help influencers to create content around their opinions and recommendations.

The company's platform connects content creators with content consumers, enabling consumer leisure influencers to create, distribute, and monetize their recommendations and expertise. Developer of e-commerce branding tools intended to help online businesses grow exponentially. The company's platform offers price tests to find alternate prices for products, fit recommender and size charts, and helps to build custom gift boxes, enabling businesses of all sizes to efficiently grow their revenue and effectively convert their customers.

Provider of plant-based adaptogens from beehives intended to reinvent the medicine cabinet by creating clean. The company's products include throat spray, brain fuel, honey, cough syrup and other items that offer various remedies for various modern health issues like brain fog, chronic stress, poor sleep and scratchy throats, enabling users to get natural remedies to treat various health issues.

Operator of seamless hybrid work experience intended to fill the gap between the office and home. The company engages with business leaders and individual workers on the pain points of working from home and builds out a network of professional-grade, on-demand work spots, built close to home in neighborhoods and local communities, thereby providing its clients with a hybrid work ecosystem.

Provider of cloud-based healthcare IT platform intended to give a clear idea about what is in drug pricing prescription and empower and educate the payers and members. The company's platform analyzes every PBM transaction, monitors pharmacy benefits spending on an ongoing basis, assist in cost-control and vigilance, and also compares them to PBM contracts, enabling employers, consultants, TPAs, health plans, and members to identify unnecessary over-spending, save from medicines and also avail online pharmacy benefits.

Developer of a financial platform intended to send money across the world. The company's platform allows fast transfers to mobile money wallets on popular networks with just a few taps and a debit card, thereby enabling clients to reduce their wastage of time by having to go and physically deposit money.

Developer of a sales automation platform designed for companies to reduce the friction of selling services. The company's platform was built to address sales, services, subscriptions, upgrades and renewals as well as provides services to build SOWs, streamline workflows, manage data tables and generate quotes, enabling companies to increase upsells and renewals while spending more time with their clients. Producer of sunscreen intended to provide skincare.

The company produces sunscreens that are free from harmful ingredients and prepared from natural moisturizers and approved by top skin cancer doctors, enabling customers to use a clean skin product and enhance leisure.

Developer of transportation management software designed to better manage transportation in the air and on the ground through open-source alternatives. The company's platform helps in air and road traffic control through reporting, analysis and modeling of traffic patterns, combined with digital tools to manage policy in real-time and provides data simulators that help to build analytics tools and explore new mobility models, enabling transportation agencies to run their operations efficiently.

Developer of 3D-bioprinting and materials technologies designed to treat disease and congenital medical conditions. The company's technologies focus on regenerative medicine that precision manufactures living tissues to help the replacement of each individual patient's parts with tissues designed and created specifically for them, enabling doctors to have capabilities that permit the creation of living tissue implants for therapeutic applications. Developer of aerial spectral imagery and analytics platform designed to optimize crop production with sensors, software and aircraft.

The company's platform captures high-resolution aerial images at various wavelengths with multi-sensor cameras and uses advanced algorithms to offer plant health analytics in detail, thereby enabling farmers to monitor pests, diseases, nitrogen and hydration levels. Operator of healthcare clinics intended to offer pediatric care services. The company's clinics offer an in-progress technology that involves building tools to get advice from pediatric care providers at all hours in order to decide whether or not to head to a hospital or clinic, enabling parents to get a comfortable environment for their little ones and reduce the stress and cost of emergency medicine.

Developer of an enterprise marketing software designed to be used for customer acquisition. The company's software uses deep analytics, aggregates and enriches difficult-to-source consumer data, generating measurable outcomes, enabling businesses to increase conversions significantly. Developer of home medical pod designed to monitor the health of families using contactless sensors. The company's devices sense key vital signs including heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature, providing a real-time and historical view of the user's health, enabling family members and caregivers to be aware of incidents and abnormalities such as falls, lack of activity, social interactions or erratic sleep patterns without wearables, buttons, or physical interaction with device.

Developer of a cloud-based video management platform designed to significantly reduce Jobsite risk with the power of human and artificial intelligence. The company's platform uses machine learning to develop software that analyzes all images and videos in each project and matches them to a set of construction-specific tags, enabling clients to solve the management, collaboration, search, and analysis challenges associated with industrial videos and photos. Provider of neurotechnology services intended to transform real-time brain mapping with miniature microscope intervention.

The company's neurotechnology services include cell-type mapping, connectivity mapping, neural coding and therapeutics, enabling clients to understand new approaches of brain health and disease. Developer of a cyber risk remediation platform designed to protect businesses from security vulnerability risks and security breaches.

The company's platform offers a threat prediction technology via an intelligent system to reduce the turnaround time between identification of critical vulnerabilities and remediation, enabling organizations to simplify their work, manage security vulnerability risks effectively and make informed decisions. Developer of polygenic disease screening tests designed to improve IVF health outcomes. The company's tests are geared towards patients undergoing in vitro fertilization along with a sequencing-based test for chromosomal aneuploidies, as well as an NGS-based test to screen for monogenic and polygenic diseases, thereby helping patients in reducing the risk to the embryo of type 1 diabetes, basal cell carcinoma, ovarian cancer, heart attack, inflammatory bowel disease, and many more disorders.

Operator of a consumer telehealth platform intended to simplify the restoration of mental health prescriptions. The company's platform facilitates renewals and refills for anxiety and depression prescriptions online and delivers it to the doorstep, enabling patients to get relief from scheduling and schlepping as well as running out of the medicines. Operator of an AI-driven online marketplace intended for home maintenance and repair services. The company's network is an end-to-end transaction marketplace that establishes trust between the homeowner and services professional for complex tasks by leveraging self-learning algorithms and artificial intelligence tools, enabling professionals to keep all client communication organized, provide accurate estimates, give guaranteed prices, increase customer satisfaction and homeowners to decorate their house and save time and money.

Operator of a mobile-based gaming studio intended to offer various genres of online games. The company develops deeply engaging and widely appealing multi-platform strategy games with an animated series of cartoon shorts, enabling players to collect and battle pet monsters on phones. Provider of long-term care insurance services intended to fill the gap of existing coverage plans. The company combines life insurance protection with coverage for family medical events from critical to chronic illness along with a platform to get policy information and track performance, make changes, and file claims, enabling people to insure themselves against future uncertainties.

Provider of digital health services via mobile platform intended to empower people everywhere to start living healthy. The company's platform comprises a team of physicians, health coaches and engineers that have created a high-engagement, lifestyle-change platform that offers low-cost, easy to follow exercises and focused on weight loss, nutrition counseling and preventing type 2 diabetes, enabling users with one-on-one coaching, personalized advice and feedback on their path to proper health.

Provider of an article e-commerce support services intended to grow their first business. The company specializes in helping e-commerce new businesses by providing them with support related to the operation and actionable insights on where the business stands today and how to take it forward, thus providing businesses to help them grow their business.

Manufacturer of of micro-fibrillar polymer gripping surfaces and dry adhesives. The company's adhesive is dry, repeatable, and residue-free that offers a customizable performance, enabling product designers and engineers to implement creative, first-to-market designs and to solve tough, costly manufacturing problems. Provider of branding services intended to make it easy to sell e-commerce brands. The company's services help to acquire, operate and grow category-leading e-commerce brands and are laser-focused on high-growth markets in Asia, enabling companies to have the capital and expertise outside of traditional markets.

Developer of solar-powered wireless communication technologies intended to bring affordable wireless networking to underserved groups. The company's solar-powered routers use mobile processing power to deliver a high-speed WiFi connection to outdoors and public place routers, enabling users to get high speeds of internet access at low cost. Provider of mobile games intended to offer exciting games to overlooked and traditionally underserved audiences. The company is engaged in delivering games for a wide number of audiences across all platforms, enabling gamers to experience a wide variety of casual competitive games.

In-space infrastructure via transfer and service vehicles that carry satellites and hosted payloads between orbits. Developer of a drop-shipping e-commerce platform designed to revolutionize product fulfillment. The company's platform uses an international network of manufacturers with drop-shipping capabilities and handles manufacturing, delivery and also provides customer support, enabling businesses to get custom merchandise made, printed and shipped.

Developer of a cloud-based communication platform designed to help businesses to deliver better customer service. The company's platform gives agents a single view of the customers across all conversations, no matter what communication channel and provides companies with real-time insight into their contact center, enabling big enterprise customers to reimagine and reinvent how customer service can be delivered. Developer of an urban planning tool intended to conduct transportation planning and city design development.

The company's tool figure outs how people move around cities through third-party sources, like mobile phone applications, and then combines it with demographic data from public sources, such as censuses, as well as public transit data creating a synthetic population, enabling city planners to make infrastructural decisions around transport, schools, parks, hospitals and many more.

Provider of in-home micro-school educational services intended to protect and nurture the natural human desire to learn, progress, and grow. The company's self-learning system uses a hybrid learning approach that includes a variety of online classes, project modules, and virtual training sessions organized by verified teachers for guiding kids across various subjects, thereby enabling kids to learn in informal and collaborative settings. Manufacturer of zero waste body wash intended to offer a smarter clean and a happier planet.

The company's products are made without water, for less weight, and waste and the body wash sheet starts to dissolve instantly by adding just a little water while lathering, and it comes in a dissolvable sachet, enabling users to get vegan, cruelty-free products that are light and non-spillable and saves environment from wasteful travel bottles.

Operator of an on-demand job platform intended to redefine the traditional truck driving employment model. The company connects pre-qualified truck drivers to truck fleets for CDL jobs while offering several services including automated and streamlined compliance, price transparency, coverage and benefits for drivers, enabling commercial truck drivers to find jobs easily and truck fleets to connect to professional drivers.

Developer of a cloud-based appraisal management system created to provide jewelry and watches insurance. The company's system provides verified appraisals and immediate replacement coverage by the partner insurance carrier, enabling customers to get access to expert appraisals and immediate insurance coverage for their valuable accessories in a convenient manner. Developer of an online marketplace intended to offer stable supplies for horses. The company's marketplace sells horse blankets, grooming supplies, supplements, tack and equipment, training and lunging, hoof care, skincare, and more, enabling horse owners to take care of their horses in a better way.

Developer of synthetic aperture radar satellites designed to take pictures through clouds. The company's satellites can capture images day and night regardless of weather conditions for delivery via an integrated web platform and leverages commercial technology to reduce costs at every point in the collection process, enabling users to maximize efficiency by retrieving data over a secure VPN.

Developer of a computerized lock designed to make homes more secure and easily accessible for the owners. The company's lock can be controlled easily through an application, has automatic locking and unlocking features and provides access from anywhere, enabling users to create and share a temporary guest pass for everyone to use.

Developer of an online fitness platform designed to provide guidance to companies on maintaining the fitness of their employees. The company's platform provides subscription-based, personalized and expert-led video programming and a supportive community of experts and enthusiasts who are available anytime and anywhere and can be accessed through any device, enabling clients to assist their employees to follow a daily routine of staying fit and healthy.

Developer of wellness supplements and sleep delivery products intended to improve long-term sleep health. The company offers expert coaching and formulations which include products made from GABA gamma-Aminobutyric acid , valerian root extract, Rafuma extract, ashwagandha root and leaf extract, melatonin, added zinc, vitamin C, B6 and D, enabling sleep-deprived individuals' to restore natural sleep cycle, reduce stress, boost immunity and improve cognitive performance.

Developer of an online data authentication platform designed to prevent fake and misleading content from deceiving consumers. The company's application software analyzes product reviews and provides potential buyers with a grade based on the authenticity of the review, enabling consumers to detect fake reviews on Amazon, TripAdvisor, Yelp and the Apple App Store.

Provider of elderly care services intended to provide trusted, expert guidance that empowers families to gracefully navigate their care journeys. The company offers personalized guidance and support for insurances, finances, legal plans, medical care, home care, housing, daily needs and well-being, enabling families to navigate needs for aging and vulnerable loved ones. Producer of health supplements intended to turn critical scientific advancements into accessible consumer products.

Operator of a wine subscription platform intended to offer beverages for parties and celebrations. Erasmi, M. Petersen, U. Chard, G. Gargiulo, U. Hvass, H. Lindberg, I. Mattila, M. Redmond, L. Segadal, P. Matsuura, C. Ponce, K. Sylvester, D. Fronk, K. Cornall, C. An Underestimated Resource for Difficult Patients. Berardinelli, C. Beretta, M. Esposito, T. Castrucci, A. Nicoletti, G. Canu, M. Hvass, F. Baron, A. Elsebaey, D. Nguyen, E. Oury, P. Wojewski, D. Doty, D. Oswalt, R. Stierle, G.

Dahmen, C. Matsuura, E. Wellons, K. Black, J. Sylvester, S. Capps, D. European Society for Cardio-Vascular Surgery. American Association of Thoracic Surgeons. Malas, C. Baker, S. Quardt, M. Barr, W. Yoffe, E. Harah, Y. Hawkins, J. Jones, N. Lamberg, G. DiRusso, T. Profaizer, T. Fuller, R. Pagelsen, J. Walsh, S. Bair, K. Stentless Bioprostheses 4th Annual Symposium. The Society for Heart Valve Disease.

New Technologies in Heart Valve Surgery. Walsh, J. Ollerenshaw, C. Hewitt, K. Black, D. Clarke, M. Western Thoracic Surgical Association. Black, E. Wellons, C. Goodman, K. Greene, J. Eastern Vascular Society 15th Annual Meeting. Advances in Tissue Processing. Elkins, K. Black, P. Hanley, R. Lust, Y. Sin, K. American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. International Society for Applied Cardiovascular Biology.

American Heart Association. Walsh, D. Bode, J. Sun, K. Tillson, K. Peripheral Vascular Surgical Society. Benedetto, R. Madden, A. Kurbanov, L. Bow, M. Miller, J. A New Era in Health Care. Association for Academic Surgery.

Tran, M. Puc, N. Patel, S. Ollerenshaw, K. Black, A. DelRossi, C. Clarke, E. Orton, M. World Heart Valve Disease Symposium. Orton, D. Workshop on Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Elkins, C. Knott-Craig, K.

Ward, M. American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Goldstein, M. American Society for Artificial Internal Organs. Strategies for Xenotransplantation. Illumina is a successful venture funded biomedical company selling tools for researchers in genomics. Located on a new campus in the San Diego biomedical cluster, the company was expected to reach break-even in Illumina is a classic example of a venture-funded biomedical company, one that has gone public and appears poised to reach profitability in , while providing cutting edge technology in an area of critical importance for the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function.

Because Illumina received venture funding during its first year in existence, and subsequently received further rounds before a successful IPO, SBIR was never the primary source of research funding. However, according to its founder and one of its key initial researchers, Dr. Mark Chee, SBIR did provide funding for projects that would not have been funded in the normal course of company business—and these projects turned out to be of critical importance for the development of core Illumina product lines.

Comments from Dr. Chee about the SBIR program focused on the extended funding cycle and time lags, and selection and review procedures. Illumina was founded in April by David Walt, Ph. Massive quantities of raw genetic data have flowed from the successful sequencing of the human genome.

This has driven demand for tools that can assist researchers in processing the billions of tests necessary to convert raw data into medically valuable information. Such tools must perform functional analysis of highly complex biological systems.

Illumina has developed a proprietary array technology that enables the large-scale analysis of genetic variation and function. BeadArray technology combines microscopic beads and a substrate in a simple proprietary manufacturing process to produce arrays that can perform many assays simultaneously.

Each bundle contains approximately 50, individual fibers. Ninety-six bundles are placed into an aluminum plate which forms an Array Matrix. BeadChips are fabricated in microscope slide-shaped sizes with varying numbers of sample sites per slide.

Both formats are chemically etched, to create tens of thousands of wells for each sample site. Every person inherits two copies of each gene, one from each parent. The two copies of each gene may be identical, or they may be different. These differences are referred to as genetic variation. Examples of the physical consequences of genetic variation include differences in eye and hair color. Genetic variation can also have important medical consequences, including predisposition to disease and differential response to drugs.

In addition, genetic variation may cause people to respond differently to the same drug. Some people may respond well, others may not respond at all, and still others may experience adverse side effects. It is estimated that the human genome contains between three and six million SNPs.

While in some cases a single SNP will be responsible for medically important effects, it is now believed that the genetic component of most major diseases is the result of the interaction of many SNPs. Therefore, it is important to investigate many SNPs together in order to discover medically valuable information.

Current efforts to understand genetic variation and function have primarily centered around SNP genotyping and gene expression profiling. SNP genotyping is the process of determining which SNPs are present in each of the two copies of a gene, or other portion of DNA sequence, within an individual or other organism. The use of SNP genotyping to obtain meaningful statistics on the effect of an individual SNP or a collection of SNPs, and to apply that information to clinical trials and diagnostic testing, requires the analysis of millions of SNP genotypes and the testing of large populations for each disease.

For example, a single large clinical trial could. Using previously available technologies, this scale of SNP genotyping was both impractical and prohibitively expensive. Large-scale SNP genotyping will be used for a variety of applications, including genomics-based drug development, clinical trial analysis, disease predisposition testing, and disease diagnosis.

SNP genotyping can also be used outside of healthcare, for example in the development of plants and animals with desirable commercial characteristics. These markets will require billions of SNP genotyping assays annually.

Gene expression profiling is the process of determining which genes are active in a specific cell or group of cells and is accomplished by measuring mRNA, the intermediary between genes and proteins. Variation in gene expression can cause disease, or act as an important indicator of disease or predisposition to disease. By comparing gene expression patterns between cells from different environments, such as normal tissue compared to diseased tissue or in the presence or absence of a drug, specific genes or groups of genes that play a role in these processes can be identified.

Studies of this type, used in drug discovery, require monitoring thousands, and preferably tens of thousands, of mRNAs in large numbers of samples. Once a smaller set of genes of interest has been identified, researchers can then examine how these genes are expressed or suppressed across numerous samples, for example, within a clinical trial.

The high cost of current gene expression methods has limited the development of the gene expression market. As gene expression patterns are correlated to specific diseases, gene expression profiling is becoming an increasingly important diagnostic tool. Diagnostic use of expression profiling tools is anticipated to grow rapidly with the combination of the sequencing of various genomes and the availability of more cost-effective technologies.

In a separate process, Illumina create sensors by affixing a specific type of molecule to each of the billions of microscopic beads in a batch. Different batches of beads are coated different specific types of molecule. Batches of coated beads are combined to form a pool specific to the type of array. A bead pool one milliliter in volume contains sufficient beads to produce thousands of arrays. This technology permits the creation of universal arrays for SNP genotyping. By varying the reagent kit, users can still use the array to test for any combination of SNPs.

To form an array, a pool of coated beads is brought into contact with the array surface where they are randomly drawn into wells, one bead per well. The tens of thousands of beads in the wells comprise individual arrays. Because the beads assemble randomly into the wells, a final procedure called decoding is used in order to determine which bead type occupies which well in the array. Decoding also validates each bead in the array—a further quality control test.

By using multiple copies of each bead type, the reliability and accuracy of the resulting data is improved via statistical processing of results from identical beads. An experiment is performed on the Array Matrix by preparing a sample, such as DNA from a patient, and introducing it to the array. The Matrix is dipped into a solution containing the sample, and molecules in the sample bind to matching molecules on the coated bead.

The BeadArray Reader detects the matched molecules by shining a laser on the fiber optic bundle. Measuring the number of molecules bound to each coated bead, results in a quantitative analysis of the sample. Genomic applications require many different short pieces of DNA that can be made synthetically, called oligonucleotides single-stranded DNA. For example, SNP genotyping typically requires three to four different oligonucleotides per assay.

An SNP genotyping experiment analyzing 10, SNPs may therefore require 30, to 40, different oligonucleotides, contributing significantly to the expense of the experiment. Each synthesizer can produce up to 3, oligos in parallel, using very small amounts of material. In , Illumina launched its commercial genotyping service product line, combining BeadArray technology with an automated process controlled by a laboratory information management system to provide high throughput identification of the most common form of genetic variation, known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs.

The BeadLab can routinely produce up to 1. In , Illumina launch several new products, including 1 a new array format, the Sentrix BeadChip; 2 a gene expression product line on both the Sentrix Array Matrix and the Sentrix BeadChip that allows researchers to analyze a focused set of genes across 8 to 96 samples on a single array; and 3 a benchtop SNP genotyping and gene expression system, the BeadStation, for performing moderate-scale genotyping and gene expression using our technology.

In , Illumina bought CyVera, whose digital-microbead platform is highly complementary to Illumina products and services. The systematic rollout of these technologies has provided a firm base for rapidly expanding revenues at Illumina. The annual report shows that revenues have increased dramatically in and , and that the company seemed poised for profitability in This strongly positive trend is reflected especially in revenue growth, as shown in Figure App-D Chee is the source for SBIR related activities at Illumina, as he was the principal investigator on most early SBIR awards, and has been a strong champion of the program within the company.

According to Dr. Chee, SBIR was a very positive experience for working with VCs, as it provided a significant technical validation of the technology. While the initial round of funding came before the first SBIR award, the latter was very important for the second round of financing a year later. The real importance of SBIR at Illumina was that it provided flexibility in pursuing projects outside the mainstream of immediate research objectives. As such, it provided a key counter-balance to the tendency to over-focus, which is perhaps inevitable in a small company.

And of course, additional funding is always useful to researchers. The additional opportunities provided by SBIR almost all paid off in commercially successful, revenue-generating products. There was a lack of demand from customers at that time—mainly because they were genotyping at a very much smaller scale by a couple of orders of magnitude or thereabouts. Although this lack of immediate demand would probably not have blocked the project receipt of SBIR funding allowed this research to progress more rapidly.

The Illumina technology has been enormously important for cutting end-user costs, which is especially important for some of the developing nations participating in the project—for example China, which is using the technology to meet its commitments to the HATMAP project. SBIR funding was used to start work on the foundation research used to determine the best way to implement design of the array-based system. Positive results during the SBIR-funded research quickly led to substantial subsequent company investment.

Chee, SBIR funding for this project lies somewhere between necessary and really useful. The pyro-sequencing project was another nonmainstream project that would not have been attempted without SBIR support. In this case, while the technical results from the research were good, the project was eventually abandoned for business reasons. The profiling project was a lower priority for Illumina, partly because this appeared to be an effort that would compete directly with the much better funded and established Affymetrix.

SBIR allowed the company to project its thinking into the next wave of technology, and this worked out very well. It took about 3 years to develop this tech to the marketplace. These arrays generate superb data, and are a highly successful commercial product.

They would not have been possible without SBIR. SBIR funding was not needed for core company projects and research, but within the company—like any small company, even a well funded start-up, there was limited funding for projects outside the immediate research stream. As a result, the projects funded by SBIR would not have been funded in the normal course of business. SBIR at Illumina should not be understood as focusing on peripheral research; instead, it allowed a focus on higher-risk research that was positioned further from the market projects that resulted in dramatic improvements in the core technology.

They have returned many times the original investment in revenues for the company. Research went very fast, and Illumina was able to start selling a commercial system before the end of Phase II. The following comments are from the interview with Dr. Chee said that in general, he believed the SBIR program was highly successful.

He had some observations about areas of possible improvement. Like a number of other applicants in his experience, Dr. One example of the differences could be found in his work on gene expression profiling. Because the company was building work in this area without a preexisting base, technology was at every stage of the project extremely crude.

Reviewer comments seemed to indicate expectations that by end of Phase I, there would be a system in place that was performing well. In Dr. This misunderstanding of company-based research led to problems with overacademic reviews. Chee pointed out that RO1 applications typically came from universities with existing labs already in place for preliminary experiments, a system of research, and staff and grad students.

The result was usually lots of good preliminary data. In contrast, Illumina started with three people at a conference table. Work was literally conducted sitting on the floor, writing on notepads. Everything was built from scratch: the Illumina team wrote their own software, and mixed their own reagents.

Nothing worked well during the initial period, and even later, good results often took significant amounts of time. Reviewers of these early applications wanted an R01 type approach, and clearly did not understand the corporate research environment of a start-up. Chee observed that academic review for commercial potential was likely to be a futile exercise for Phase I, and that pressure to develop a complete commercialization plan at this stage was likely to be more trouble than help to the company.

Instead of the focus on commercialization planning, Dr. Chee suggested that NIH focus on commercialization potential— ;commercialization track record and other funding. In general, Dr. Chee thought that the concept of a commercialization consultant attached to the review section might be worth exploring, but he did not think that a separate two-stage review which separated commercialization and technical review would be a good idea, as it could add additional delays.

Chee emphatically noted that the primary problem with the SBIR program was the funding cycle and the long delays between application and funding. Anything that could reduce the length of the funding cycle was worth exploring, and Dr. This in his view fit well with the new system implemented at CRS about 2 years ago whereby lead reviewers prepared comments before the meeting of the study section. Similarly, Dr. He also favored any methods for accelerating pink sheet distribution itself.

Chee said that in the real world it is difficult to avoid conflicts completely and still get good reviewers. However, his approach was not to worry too much about potential conflicts, trusting to the system to sort that out. He has tried to point out direct competitors e. However, Dr. Chee also recognized that the review process is intrinsically difficult, and that the SBIR program does this work reasonably well, in comparison with other NIH selection panels with which he has been involved.

Chee noted that there was room for much better cost-benefit analysis by NIH, and that one size award did not and should not fit all applicants. He believed that if different size awards became the norm, it would be especially important for NIH to developed procedures for assessing the relative costs and likely benefits of applications. Specially, he saw merit in testing approaches that would weight applications inversely for the funding required, so that applications that were especially expensive would have to provide correspondingly greater benefits.

He observed that the very small size of Phase I actually worked against startups that had no other resources on which to draw and possibly no infrastructure, while being required to present feasible and exciting projects. However, he believed that the current size of the Phase I award at NIH was appropriate and should not be increased. Joseph M. Patti and Dr. The firm moved to Atlanta in when it received funding from Alliance Technology Ventures, which has a mandate to build biotech in Atlanta.

Inhibitex hired its first employee soon after arriving in Atlanta. During its early years in Atlanta the firm worked out of lab space at Georgia State University; the firm got dedicated space after hiring its fifth employee. It currently has approximately 75 employees and will relocate to new space, financed in part by the state of Georgia, in Patti has been full-time with the firm since He is also a director of the firm. The company has two products in clinical trails: Veronate and Aurexis.

Vernoate is in Phase III clinical trials as an anti-infectious drug to prevent hospital-associated infections in very low birth weight infants VLBW infants. There are approximately 60, VLBW infants born each year in the United States and studies indicate that 30 to 50 percent develop at least one hospital-associated infection while in the neonatal intensive care unit, resulting in significant mortality and morbidity.

Clinical trials started in Aurexis is designed to combat S. It is a leading cause of hospital-associated infections and related mortality. It is estimated that there were approximately one million cases of hospital-associated S.

Aurexis is designed to be used in tandem with standard antibiotic treatments. Aurexis has recently completed a patient Phase II clinical trial. The company has a collaborative agreement with Wyeth for global development of vaccines targeting staphylococcal infections.

The company also has a co-collaboration agreement with Dyax, a company based in Cambridge, MA, for the development of human monoclonal antibodies targeting enterococci. Since inception the company has not generated any revenue from the sale of products and does not expect to until it receives regulatory approval for commercialization of products. The company, according to Dr.

The funded study, according to Dr. Patti, was designed to look at the potential of a multicomponent S. The company had fewer than five employees at the time the SBIR award was received. Prior to his appointment as an assistant professor, Dr. Patti was a post-doc in the lab of Dr. The SBIR award played no role in the creation of the firm. The company has a collaborative agreement, noted above, for the global development of vaccines against staphylococcal infections.

The company received venture funding and had an initial public offering in see discussion above. The company does not see the SBIR program as playing a role in the decision of external partners to provide funding. Indeed, Dr. Do they have an alliance? Are they competitors? The company has a number of patents, and Inhibitex scientists have published papers in scientific journals.

None of the patents or publications relate directly to the SBIR award. Patti, even the larger grants of several million dollars that are currently being awarded are too small to run a small Phase II clinical trial. Patti expressed the opinion that SBIRs were not compatible with the life span of an early stage biotech company.

He estimates the length of time between writing the proposal and receiving SBIR money to be approximately a year, while the life span of an early stage biotech company is at most two years. The company sees the SBIR program as being well publicized. The company clearly sees the size and duration of the SBIR awards at least as they existed in the late s and early s to be insufficient for a dedi cated biotech firm.

The 18 months that elapse between writing the proposal and receipt of the money is too long. Patti suggests that NIH have representatives from biotech companies as part of the review process. People who work in the biotech world on a daily basis understand the issues faced by a biotech company while university-based scientists appear to have less appreciation for such issues.

NIH priority scores often reflect this lack of understanding. There was a considerable amount of paperwork associated with the grants and at the time the company had the SBIR there was a fairly obtuse financial reporting system that required one to report via a dial in system. The reporting period extended for two-to-three years even though that grant was for one year. The company expressed the view that two factors inhibit participation in the SBIR program: VC-related issues and the slowness of turnaround.

The turnaround issue was discussed above. The VC-related issues cut both ways. First, as noted above, venture capitalists may see the reporting requirements associated with the SBIR award as detracting from the desirability of investing in the firm. Second, a company is now excluded if VC has more than a 50 percent stake in the company. This means that the most attractive companies with the most potential are now excluded from SBIR eligibility.

SBIRs provide peer recognition of quality science. The receipt of an award sends a signal comparable to that of having a paper published. In some cases one may be able to leverage this recognition and associated funding with an early investor. But there are also downsides, as noted above. JP Laboratories, Inc.

The company was founded by Dr. Gordhan N. Patel in to invent products based on his research experience and emerging knowledge in the fields of chemistry, physics, and biology. Over the last twenty-two years, he has implemented a successful business strategy that has allowed JP Laboratories Labs to remain a small—never more than five employees—but innovative firm. His business strategy focuses on inventing products and licensing them to larger firms for commercialization.

This product, which is described more fully in the next section, evolved from decades of Dr. JP Labs and Dr. The next several years will be a critical transition period involving additional private investment, facilities expansion, new hiring, and internal corporate restructuring. Patel developed a strong scientific background as a university student and research scientist. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemistry and physics from Sardar Patel University in Vidyanagar.

In , having just completed his Ph. After three years at Bristol, he spent a short time in a research position at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. As a scientist, Dr. Patel published over 65 research papers in peer-review journals. From there, he joined Allied Corp. While at Allied, Dr. Patel was an inventor and co-inventor on numerous patents on polymers, crystals, and time-temperature indicators.

According to the U. Patent and Trademark Office, Dr. Patel is an inventor on 38 different U. In , when he lost his job due to downsizing at Allied, Dr. Patel became an entrepreneur by founding JP Laboratories. Army, was received in the year the company was founded, Since that time Dr. Twelve of these awards were for Phase I feasibility studies and five were for Phase II product development. JP Labs has successfully licensed many of the products discovered in these four research areas.

In the area of color changing indicators, Dr. Patel developed a sticker that is a time-temperature indicator for use with perishable items like foods and medicines. In another example, the EPA supported research into a system for etching plastics for plating.

The new method Dr. Patel developed is less expensive and environmentally safer than the prevailing technology, Chromic acid. As shown in Figure App-D-8 , SIRAD is a credit card sized badge that detects radiation levels instantaneously and indicates the radiation level using a color changing strip. It can be used as an inexpensive but accurate dosimeter in situations where radiation exposure is likely.

Dose is estimated by comparing the color of the sensing strip with the color reference bar printed on each side of the strip. The closest match more The key outcomes from SBIR participa- tion are numerous new patents, several new products, and royalty payments from licensing agreements. Patel used his personal savings to start JP Labs.

At that time, he also worked as a consultant for his old employer Allied Corp. Nevertheless, additional investment was needed to keep the company going. Venture capital sources were either not interested or demanded control of the company, an option Dr.

Patel did not find attractive. As he searched for funding sources, he learned about the newly started SBIR program and decided to apply. Having invented a potential product, Dr. Patel is more of a scientist than a businessman. When searching for licensees, Dr.

Patel found it helpful to let people know that the research was backed by a particular U. This would draw the attention of firms and facilitate the licensing process. His experience has been very positive. He noted two points.

He was able to adjust largely because the licensing revenues from prior inventions began to flow. Second, his research focuses mainly on the chemistry and physics of materials, which is relatively less expensive and involves shorter research lags than product innovation related to biopharmaceutical medicines.

Nanoprobes, Inc. The company was founded in by James Hainfeld and Frederic Furuya to commercialize research products based on a new method for labeling biological molecules. Even before the company was fully operational, it had identified its first commercial product based on this technology, which was later introduced as Nanogold. Over the past fifteen years, the managers of Nanoprobes have successfully grown the company. In , Nanoprobes started with one full-time scientist and a business manager working in the basement of the life sciences building at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Over the next few years, Nanoprobes expanded to eight full-time employees. Today, Nano-probes has 15 employees, 13 of them full-time, engaged primarily in research and product fulfillment activities. The business evolution of Nanoprobes reflects its scientific orientation. An explicit part of its business strategy is to expand its scientific capabilities in order to broaden and deepen its scientific knowledge surrounding gold labeling technologies.

This requires expertise in fields like chemistry, biophysics, biology, and microscopy. With over half its employees engaged in research activities, Dr. In fact, it is commonplace for Nanoprobes to subcontract research with academic scientists at universities and other research institutions.

This strategy has worked well. Nanoprobes currently offers numerous product variations within about ten separate product categories. Building an outstanding scientific reputation is also critical for marketing and sales at Nanoprobes. Reaching these customers requires active participation in research networks and professional organizations. For example, Nanoprobes will be displaying and discussing staining procedures in a poster session at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology meetings in February Also, publishing in top journals is necessary for illustrating the value of their products and building credibility among researchers.

Powell notes that their Nanogold probes have been cited in over publications. Gold labeling is the core technology at Nanoprobes. The company scientifically investigates, innovates, and markets a variety of forms of this labeling technology which have a number of potential uses.

Nanogold is a larger gold cluster compound 1. It offers improved labeling density and greater staining of hard-to-reach antigens. Visualization is further intensified when combined with visual enhancing methods such as immunogold silver staining.

Full width nm, , X mag. Full width nm, , more The SBIR program provides vital financial support for product improvement and innovation at Nanoprobes. Department of Energy in Since that time the scientists at Nanoprobes have successfully won thirty-five SBIR project awards, mostly from the U. Nanoprobes currently has ten patents and several patent applications pending approval from the U.

Patent and Trademark Office. The grants have contributed to the maintenance of their academic research ties through subcontracting. SBIR funds supported part of its work on Undecagold reagents. For this product category, the company actually responded to an SBIR solicitation. For their FluoroNanogold product, Dr. This research was further supported by a Phase II grant with financing in and SBIR has also enabled Nanoprobes to investigate the applications of its core technologies to improved public health.

Due to the improved detection, this technology was recently licensed to Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. This test is expected to be released in the next years worldwide and should result in improved detection and management of this condition by helping to identify patients suitable for treatment with the very promising therapeutic, Herceptin.

The SBIR program played a key part by enabling the research to be carried out for this development. Nanoprobes is also investigating the use of gold nanoparticles in vivo at the animal stage as X-ray contrast agents for better visualizing coronary disease and tumors.

Gold absorbs X-rays more strongly than current iodine agents and stays in the blood longer, allowing better images to be obtained and potentially enabling the noninvasive assessment of coronary arteries and earlier detection of tumors. In addition, Nanoprobes is investigating the use of gold nanoparticles to enhance radiotherapy. Since gold absorbs x-rays, its presence in tumors can increase the specific dose. The SBIR program has been absolutely necessary to provide capital for these high-risk, early-stage studies.

In the beginning, personal funds were used to get Nanoprobes started. However, for small science-intensive companies, it is important to achieve a critical mass of research personnel and equipment to sustain the firm going forward. Fast Track awards decrease the uncertainty the firm faces by providing a longer period of continuous funding.

They know in advance how much money will be coming and for how long and can plan more ambitious and longer-term projects. SBIR funds are more flexible than other sources. Another aspect of this flexibility is that SBIR projects allow the firm to explore higher risk research avenues. Small firms, especially start-ups, must somehow achieve credibility in the marketplace.

Potential buyers and business partners are skeptical about the capabilities of small firms and the claims they make about their products. Over time, the business strategy at Nanoprobes is shifting toward licensing and partnering.

SBIR helps overcome the credibility barrier. He made the following point about the current program. Over time, the SBIR application process has become more complicated. A complete Phase I application can now be up to sixty-four pages long. It requires too much time to prepare. It has no products on the market but several in the pipeline, two very close to market. See annex. In , Neurocrine became ineligible for further SBIR funding in light of the recent interpretation of ownership regulations, as Neurocrine is 89 percent owned by institutional investors.

SBIR is however seen as an important source of discretionary funding that allows for more speculative or longer-term research, or research on alternative mechanisms for achieving critical path results. Also, Neurocrine is concerned about a perceived shift in the Phase II application process, where it believes reviewers now require much more detailed technical information, which constitutes a risk to critical company intellectual property IP.

On the one hand, increased focus on commercialization inevitably means pressure to move downstream toward products; commercialization plans based on very early basic research are not defensible. On the other, Neurocrine had an otherwise high scoring proposal rejected as being too close to the market.

The company recently moved to a large new custom built campus in San Diego. Neurocrine has always been a much larger company than the norm for SBIR. By , a year after founding, it already employed people, reaching in Currently, Neurocrine employs about people, and will soon be above the SBIR limit of for small companies. To date, the company has no products that have reached market, although a recent filing problem with FDA is being resolved and Indiplon, a new drug for insomnia, is expected to reach the market in approximately 14 months.

Indiplon has two formulations that have completed all clinical trials with apparent success. The outcomes described above help to define both the importance of SBIR to Neurocrine and some limitations. Of the 11 programs now making their way toward or through clinical trials, 5 received significant support from SBIR. As Conlon noted, the primary pipeline is not dependent on SBIR, but at the same time SBIR has opened the door to research that is clearly now part of that primary pipeline.

SBIR never had a real financial impact at Neurocrine, where financial resources were substantial even in the mids. Neurocrine received ten Phase I awards between and , of which eventually became Phase II awards. Paul Conlon, now VP research and development and Principal Investigator on the first awards, noted that they played a key role in allowing Neurocrine to test ideas and explore possible directions for the company. That credibility may have a made a key difference for Neurocrine.

These awards now filled a somewhat different function at Neurocrine. With the new focus on small molecules, the earlier search for scientific identity was largely concluded; now SBIR was being used much more directly to explore promising offshoots of core research. For example, awards for work on the GNRH receptor. Neurocrine has filed numerous patents during the past ten years. It regards protection of IP very seriously. However, the new demands for specific structural details of proposed molecules to be developed during Phase II projects are difficult more The changing application process is taken very seriously at Neurocrine, for which protection of its IP is central.

However, even if smaller companies have little alternative to accepting these new demands from reviewers, they may still be unfair, and they may still pose long-term problems for the NIH SBIR program. Other interviews may help to determine whether this is an unusual case, or whether there has been a real change in requirements from review panels. Neurocrine is arguing from two cases in Neurocrine has clearly used SBIR to its advantage.

SBIR provides discretionary funding to allow research into promising offshoots and alternatives that likely would not otherwise get done. But this funding is and must be unprogrammed within the company precisely because it is high risk. According to Conlon, no company can afford to place SBIR at the heart of its research program because the money is unpredictable although of course many smaller companies do precisely that. This exploration would not have been possible without SBIR.

Example 2. SBIR funding allows the company to explore an alternative mechanism—antagonists—which resulted in a new program focused on treating a related disease, Cachexia. Again, SBIR funding supported new research directions. Example 3. While core work is based on that library, its function is to provide better leads for small molecule efforts.

However, even with better leads, it takes two years to turn a lead into a drug candidate. In several cases, Neurocrine has made significant use of SBIR even when not receiving Phase II awards and in one case, Neurocrine withdrew its application for Phase II funding after being given an award, as the company changed strategy , e. The Phase II was funded, but not included in the list of awards, as Neurocrine declined the monies.

Legitimation Effects. Conlon believes not only that SBIR lent important legitimacy when talking to potential partners, but that receiving their first Phase II — ;after a number of awards ended at Phase I—provided important internal validation that the company was on the right track and given the early involvement of venture capital, probably helped validate the company with funders as well.

Neurocrine is deeply dissatisfied with the actual impact of efforts to improve commercialization review at NIH, and in fact now recommends that on balance commercialization review should be eliminated, and NIH should return to simply funding the best science. This was rejected primarily according to Neurocrine on commercialization grounds—reviewers claimed that the project was too development oriented, too close to market. Neurocrine sees this as evidence that the commercialization assessment process is fatally flawed.

However, it is also possible to argue that the reviewer was correct—and that the Ciba Geigy deal provides that the product was indeed sufficiently developed to receive fully commercial funding. In the example above, the product is still years away from the market, so it is hard to see how it could be too commercial. However, understanding of the new competing continuation awards was still limited. Neurocrine saw no significant differences between the ICs from the perspective of applicants; had generally had excellent experiences with program staff at all ICs.

A final note. Optiva was founded in by David Giuliani, an entrepreneur formerly in management at Hewlett Packard, 17 and two faculty members at the University of Washington in Seattle, Drs. David Engel and Roy Martin. The company originally called GEMTech was founded to pursue the idea of a dental hygiene device using a piezoelectric multimorph transducer that worked on sonic principles, using sound waves to dislodge plaque.

Such an approach could have significant advantages, for example, in addressing plaque below the gum line. Early financing came from the founders, and was used to develop the original technical ideas. However, three years of effort and prototypes convinced the team that the original technology could not be made into a commercial product.

Instead, they adopted an alternative technology based on activating water in the mouth by use of sonic technology somewhat akin to a tuning fork. This approach was compatible with another objective—putting all the moving parts in the head of the toothbrush, so that the more expensive body could be sealed against water leakage. After considerable experimentation, the team determined that when tuned to vibrations per second, the vibrating brush head generated fluid dynamics that would erode plaque beyond the reach of the brush itself.

The company faced both very substantial opportunities, and significant challenges. Almost all Americans suffer from periodontal disease at some point, so the potential market was very large. However, that existing market was dominated by very strong brands owned by large companies—Braun, Bausch and Lomb, Teledyne. Optiva therefore decided to focus on dentists as the critical intermediary between the company and consumers.

According to the company history, the first dentist to visit the booth bought 36, and the company sold 70 altogether. Optiva hired a sales manager. This approach proved very successful. Optiva began advertising in dental journals, and formed a small sales force to reach out to dentists. This was a taste of the very rapid success to come. Again according to the company, by more than one-third of dentists in the U.

GEMTech changed its name to Optiva. The reputation of dentists was what we leveraged. Starting in , the company sought to move beyond its dentist-based sales strategy, into direct consumer marketing. Following the Sharper Image sale, consumer word of mouth purchases expanded rapidly, bolstered by a strong endorsement from Oprah Winfrey on her TV show. In , Optiva received a patent for «high-performance acoustical cleaning apparatus for teeth. Optiva also boosted both manufacturing capacity—including redesigns which cut manufacturing costs by 60 percent—and sales capacity,.

It added 50 manufacturer reps working on commission to pursue sales at Costco and other high volume outlets, as well as specialty stores like Brookstone. Approximately 25, retail stores were stocking the product. Optiva also continued to focus on dentists, claiming that by the end of , one-third of all U. In , Optiva Corporation relocated its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Bellevue, Washington, to a new ,square-foot, state-of- the-art facility in Snoqualmie, Washington.

The company also launched its television ad campaign featuring a decidedly unconventional Tooth Fairy, and it ended the year with more than employees. With the combined resources of the former Optiva Corporation and its new owners, Philips DAP, the company set forth to leverage its tremendous research and development capabilities to create the next generation of power toothbrushes. For founders and company employers, this also provided significant emotional return on the original investment.

Overall, some years after the sale, Giuliani continues to see this as an excellent outcome for the company. It currently serves about one-third of the U. In October , Optiva was named the fastest growing private company in the country by Inc Magazine, topping the Inc list.

Philips has strongly backed the product line, continuing to introduce new products, and has retained the Snoqualmie operation as world headquarters for the division. The product has also clearly had a significant impact on public health. It is in use in a very substantial number of homes, and studies show that it provides better results than a manual toothbrush e. This velocity generates dynamic fluid action, which is gentler on dentin than a manual or an oscillating toothbrush.

This vibratory motion imparts energy to the oral fluids that surround teeth such as saliva. The motion of these agitated fluids can dislodge dental plaque, even beyond where the bristles of the toothbrush actually touch. The brush head of the toothbrush is designed to vibrate at over 30, brush strokes per minute.

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A seller of stocks employees and early investors knows more information than a new buyer. We select companies that demonstrate all the signs of going public within years, however, these signs are indirect. In United Traders offered its customers to invest in Palantir.

The seller of stocks employees and early investors knows more information than a new buyer. Private companies are not obliged to disclose their reports and financials, the way traded companies do. A more accurate assessment can be made as a company progresses from early funding rounds to later ones, but it is still impossible to verify this data. The market perceived it as an indicator of net revenue by which a company is usually examined in advance of its IPO.

An example of investment in pre-IPO stocks. The cursor points to the drop of the stocks shortly before IPO, but in this case it had grown after the start of trading. Early exit from an investment may take time: a month or longer. When you buy or sell public stocks, your application is executed instantly. An enormous number of sellers and buyers make the stock market liquid. But when you buy or sell private stocks, you are looking for a buyer or seller in every case. An over-the-counter market is not so liquid though in recent years the number of participants and size of transactions have been growing.

This process takes a month or longer. As funding rounds occur and more equity is issued, existing shareholders experience a decrease in their ownership percentage. This happens if the issue of new shares comes with their price growing disproportionately to the capitalization of a company. We added ThoughtSpot to the platform in December when by indirect signs we concluded that the company may go public soon.

ROFR, Right of First Refusal — during the approval stage, a company and its key shareholders have the right to buy stocks at the price of a deal. The company went public in Snapchat and other technology stocks have great potential in the stock market. Although you can see that early investors make some of the biggest gains before they go public.

You can now get in on that action as well. Another benefit is avoiding stock market volatility. Events such as the financial crisis or the COVID pandemic can have a huge impact on the economy. Shares in public companies generally plunge as a result. On the other hand, the events can still impact companies. And that will impact your investment. There are a few ways it can be done. Enter your email below to read the rest of this article and reveal methods for finding private companies to invest in.

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Nam imperdiet, nibh nec mollis vulputate, felis ante posuere leo, at ultrices nulla neque vitae mi. For a more comprehensive guide to investing in startups, you can learn how to buy pre-IPO stock here. We update the calendar daily to give you the latest news on upcoming and filed IPOs. But if you find the right investment, pre-IPO investing certainly could be worth the risk. Amber Deter has researched and written about initial public offerings IPOs over the last few years.

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