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Press Release

Finalists Selected for PROPEL® Business Plan Competition

Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization
Posted on: 03 Feb 11

The Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO®) and PROPEL today announced the six finalists for the third annual PROPEL Business Plan Competition. In this highly selective competition, formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies from across Illinois and Wisconsin will compete for a $10,000 cash award during the 2011 iBIO Industry Exposition (iBIO IndEx), February 15 & 16 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago.

“This year’s applicants were our strongest and most diverse ever,” said PROPEL Senior Vice President Barbara Goodman. “We are excited to showcase our expanding formation- and early-stage life sciences companies across many technology categories. Their successes to date are due in large part to the active support of our region’s large companies, universities and other members of the life sciences community.”

The six companies will make brief oral presentations and respond to questions from the panel of judges, all of whom are active financial investors. Judges will provide expert feedback to the presenters, enabling them to refine their messages and presentations for future financing and partnering discussions. The 2011 PROPEL Business Plan Competition finalists are:

  • Aptimmune Biologics (Champaign, Ill.) offers a new cell line to be used as the basis for a vaccine against a viral disease that is responsible for significant economic losses to the pork industry. Future vaccines derived from Aptimmune’s proprietary cell line could offer compelling alternatives to currently available vaccines.
  • HeartSounds (Brookfield, Ill.) is focused on providing cardiac monitoring solutions for both critical care and home diagnostic use. The patented, acoustic-based device platform, known as the PATCH, is designed to serve millions of patients and potentially save the healthcare system billions of dollars annually by non-invasively determining “difficult to detect” cardiac metrics, such as pulmonary arterial pressure.
  • ImBed Biosciences (Madison, Wis.) develops nanotechnology-based advanced materials for integration of bioactive agents for wound healing into a single dressing, overcoming limitations of each and setting new standards in advanced wound care. Imbed’s first product line, protected by two patent applications, allows low-cost integration of antibacterial silver-nanoparticles in wound-dressings and skin-substitutes, enabling multifunctional dressings that are “easy on skin, hard on bacteria.”
  • Ohmx Corporation (Evanston, Ill.) is a bioelectronic detection company developing a telehealth monitoring system to quantify clinical biomarkers and other important disease indicators from a single drop of blood. The system consists of a handheld analyzer that performs a complete panel of clinical laboratory tests on one individual disposable cartridge, enabling doctors to quickly and cost-effectively monitor and manage their patients. The company says its low-cost, reagentless device will be used in the $14 billion Point-of-Care (POC) market, predominantly enabling self testing.
  • Stone Medical Corporation (Moline, Ill.) provides hospitals with the Clean Collect® Blood Collection System, a product that controls the multi-billion dollar problem of blood culture contamination. The company has also developed and test marketed additional products for the hospital market, including the patent pending Phleb Pak.
  • Vidasym (Libertyville, Ill.) is working to develop new drugs with an initial focus on chronic kidney disease (CKD). Limitations of current CKD therapies create opportunities for developing Vidasym’s Vida-5 to treat CKD, reduce the need for dialysis and improve patient outcomes. The company says compelling clinical evidence exists for developing its other novel compounds to cancer-related thrombosis, and bone and immune disorders.

“The time and efforts of this year’s 10 preliminary-round judges and six finals judges are greatly appreciated and critical to the success of this competition, and to PROPEL overall,” Goodman said.

The theme of this year’s iBIO IndEx, the premier life sciences event in the Midwest, is “Achieving Sustainability.” In addition to the PROPEL Business Plan Competition, other conference highlights that will contribute to this theme include:

  • Keynote addresses from Archer Daniels Midland Company’s Mark Matlock, senior vice president, Food Research; and Hospira, Inc.’s Sumant Ramachandra, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president, R&D, Medical & Regulatory Affairs and chief scientific officer
  • “State of the Community” address by iBIO President and CEO David Miller, and Baxter Corp. VP and CSO Norbert Riedel, Ph.D.
  • Eight diverse breakout sessions
  • Business Partnering program
  • Extensive networking opportunities

For more information on the 2011 iBIO IndEx, including the full conference agenda, breakout session descriptions and speakers, sponsorship packages and registration, visit


PROPEL is a series of programs aimed at increasing the number and success rate of life sciences start-up companies in Illinois. PROPEL helps guide the development of formation-stage and early-stage life sciences companies by providing entrepreneurs with access to specialized resources and expertise. PROPEL is supported by the iBIO Institute. To learn more about PROPEL and its programs, visit

About iBIO

The Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO) champions biotechnology in Illinois and the surrounding Midwest region. Headquartered in Chicago, iBIO’s mission is to strengthen the leadership position of Illinois and the Midwest as a globally recognized center of medical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology. With leaders from business, academia and government, iBIO promotes the development and retention of new companies as well as corporate expansions. iBIO advocates for sensible public policy at the local, state and federal levels. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit

iBIO’s Leadership Sponsors are Abbott, Astellas Pharma US, Baxter International Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.

Business Wire

Last updated on: 03/02/2011

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