UB Reporter I Julie Molenda


UB spinoff ZOETIC Pharmaceuticals and UB technology licensee Garwood Medical Devices are among the first 18 companies nationwide selected to present at the prestigious University Startups Demo Day.

The event, on Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C., brings together Fortune 500 and global 1000 companies, universities and entrepreneurs. It aims to spur partnerships that lead to new and innovative technologies.

A total of 35 companies — an additional 17 companies will be announced the week of Aug. 29 — will be given six minutes in front of company executives, venture capitalists and angel investors. The startups also will visit congressional offices to showcase the role that universities play in the startup economy.

The event is organized by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.

ZOETIC, founded by John J. Seman, chief executive officer, and Sven A. Beushausen, chief scientific officer, has licensed antigen-specific immune tolerance induction technology that significantly reduces the production of anti-drug antibodies to biologic drugs. It has the potential to reverse the debilitating effects of autoimmune diseases and considerably enhance the success rate of gene therapy.

“We are pleased to have been selected to participate in the inaugural University Startups Demo Day,” Seman said, “and we look forward to making productive connections with angels, corporations and venture capital firms.”

The licensed technology was pioneered by Sathy V. Balu-lyer, professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. ZOETIC is receiving support from UB’s economic development and technology transfer teams.

Garwood, founded by chairman and CEO Wayne Bacon in 2014, is part of the START-UP NY economic development program at UB. Garwood recently received a $1.48 million grant from UB’s Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics to accelerate development and commercialization of its programmable, monitored medical devices. One device focuses on the eradication of biofilms and controlling implant infections — a technology based on intellectual property licensed from UB — while another device is for the treatment of chronic wounds.

“Biofilm eradication is the holy grail to the implant surgeon. We are looking forward to presenting the innovative devices we have in development and sharing the story behind our strategic initiatives with UB,” said Bacon. “It’s gratifying to be recognized among such a prestigious group of startups.”

Garwood, a semifinalist in this year’s 43North business plan competition, recently moved into the downtown UB Gateway Building, where it projects to create 40 jobs in the next five years.