Science Center and Alira Health Establish Strategic Partnership to Accelerate MedTech Commercialization

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The University City Science Center, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit with over 60 years of experience advancing the commercialization of promising technologies, and Alira Health, a leading international healthcare and life sciences advisory firm, are joining forces to support Philadelphia-based life sciences and medical technology startups.

Through this partnership, Alira Health will leverage its expertise and deep connections within the healthcare and life sciences industry to support Science Center portfolio companies including members of the ic@3401 incubator and the Launch Lane cohort. Alira Health will offer a suite of advisory support, including expertise related to regulatory and clinical affairs, market access, reimbursement, in addition to health economics and outcomes research (HEOR).

“The Science Center’s partnership with Alira Health is a significant value-add for our portfolio companies, enabling them to more efficiently transition their technologies into the marketplace,” says Science Center President & CEO, Tiffany Wilson. “As we push further into the MedTech space, gaining access to Alira Health’s expertise is a win for Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem and positions our companies for the best chance of success.”

“Our partnership with the Science Center reinforces our commitment to fostering entrepreneurs in the development of innovative technologies in MedTech,” said David Uffer, Senior Partner and VP of MedTech, Alira Health. “The suite of programs they have developed to further their mission of supporting companies on their path to commercialization is exemplary in the Greater Philadelphia market. We are pleased to offer our practice leaders across our service offerings to advance this effort.”

In addition to individualized pro bono support of Science Center portfolio companies, David Uffer will hold office hours at the June 17th Venture Café Thursday Gathering focused on the MedTech sector. More info here.

The Science Center offers a suite of commercialization programs that are collectively designed to identify, support, and commercialize the most promising technologies. Supporting life sciences, MedTech, and tech-enabled startups, the Science Center helps put teams into place, identify early resources, and connect founders with its vast network of academic and research institutions and industry partners. Over the last ten years, the Science Center has supported over 600 startups and invested $13.4 million with over $1 billion raised in follow-on funds.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the Science Center is a mission-driven nonprofit that commercializes promising technology, cultivates talent and convenes people to inspire action. For over 50 years, the Science Center has supported startups, research, and economic development across the emerging technology sectors. As a result, Science Center-supported companies account for one out of every 100 jobs in the Greater Philadelphia region and drive $13 billion in economic activity in the region annually. By providing the right help at the right time, the Science Center is turning bright ideas into businesses and nurturing a workforce to support our 21st century economy. Visit sciencecenter.org to learn more.

About Alira Health
Alira Health is an international advisory firm on the frontlines of healthcare transformation. They provide a suite of integrated services designed to help healthcare and life science companies innovate and grow across their solutions lifecycle.

Alira Health was founded in 1999 and is based in Framingham, MA, U.S. Offices are located in San Francisco, CA, U.S.; Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Basel and Geneva, Switzerland.

Learn more at https://www.alirahealth.com/.

University City Science Center Names Tiffany Wilson as President & CEO

Wilson brings deep experience in scientific innovation to raise the profile of the organization nationally and globally 

PHILADELPHIA, PA — (August 24, 2020) – The University City Science Center announced today that Tiffany Wilson will assume the role of President & Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2020. This appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Science Center and the Philadelphia region, as the organization focuses on delivering on economic, scientific, and civic impact. It is supporting innovative new health treatments and technologies, delivering equity in access to STEM education and workforce opportunities, and convening the innovation community.

Ms. Wilson brings more than 18 years of leadership transitioning innovative medical technologies from benchtop to bedside, building partnerships across academia, industry and economic development organizations. She most recently served as CEO of Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), an Atlanta-based non-profit dedicated to supporting the development and commercialization of innovative medical products. She joined GCMI in 2011 to lead its startup phase, establishing an overall vision, building strategic relationships and bringing together key stakeholders of the medical device ecosystem. Wilson’s strong background in medical devices, commitment to fostering innovation and understanding of business strategies propelled her into a leadership role in the Southeast and brought her into the national spotlight.  Wilson served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of “17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017” and one of Becker Hospital Review’s “110 Women in Medtech to Know in 2017.”

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University City Science Center switches up board leadership

NewSpring Capital’s managing general partner is now leading the University City Science Center’s board of directors, which also includes the CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The Science Center announced Monday that Mike DiPiano had been named to the board’s top position, taking over from University of Pennsylvania Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, and Patrick Harker, leader of the Philadelphia Fed, was elected to the board at its meeting late last month.

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The Mid-Atlantic region’s researchers and startups now have another great resource for funding.

A new Health and Human Services unit called DRIVe – part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), has partnered with seven accelerators across the country including the University City Science Center, to fund innovative technologies and products to solve systemic health security challenges facing US population.

DRIVe’s public-private engagement model is designed to accelerate innovation and incentivize investors and innovators to tackle health security threats, such as infectious diseases and sepsis. By partnering with accelerators across the country, the DRIVe Accelerator Network is identifying promising innovations and while providing wraparound technical and business development support services.

DRIVe can also invest in the projects using quick, streamlined funding methods with decisions typically made within 31 days of application submission.

Among the challenging problems DRIVe is looking to solve is the need for earlier detection of infection. Specifically, technology that can alert people when they have been infected with a bacteria or virus even before they begin to show symptoms. DRIVe is also addressing the urgent need to solve sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection or traumatic injury. Sepsis is a top cause of hospitalization in America, leading to 250,000 deaths annually, costing approximately $24 billion a year to treat. The number of sepsis cases could skyrocket after a bioterrorism attack or pandemic.

Since establishing the partnership with accelerators, DRIVe made its second contract to Philadelphia-based and Science Center affiliated company, InnaMed.

InnaMed is developing a point-of-care rapid blood testing device to help diagnose sepsis, determine risk stratification of patients and monitor the response to treatments. DRIVe is providing funding to InnaMed to develop a promising biomarker associated with sepsis to be integrated into this portable device.  

DRIVe is open to technologies at any stage of development. Companies or projects don not have to be affiliated with the Science Center to qualify and apply but the Science Center can make direct introductions and help guide the entire process.

Please contact Barda@sciencecenter.org for more information about how the Science Center can assist local technologies in getting on the radar of BARDA.

Stephen Zarrilli Named President & CEO of University City Science Center

PHILADELPHIA, PA — (July 26, 2018) – The University City Science Center announced today that Stephen Zarrilli will assume the role of President & Chief Executive Officer effective October 1, 2018.

Mr. Zarrilli brings 35 years of experience from a variety of enterprises including public, private, venture-backed and non-profit both at the management and governance levels. With a proven record in strategy, organizational growth, business development, governance and finance, Mr. Zarrilli will establish and maintain a forward-looking vision that galvanizes the Science Center’s role as a leader in life science and tech-based economic development in Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Zarrilli will be responsible for positioning the mission-driven non-profit as a point of convergence for academic and research institutions and as a hub of entrepreneurial activity, while strengthening the organization’s programs and supporting the growth and expansion of the uCity Square development. Mr. Zarrilli has served as a member of the Science Center’s Board of Directors since 2014.

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Latest Iteration of Science Center’s BioArt Residency Fuses Climate Change and Biotech

PHILADELPHIA, PA — (July 12, 2018) – Deirdre Murphy is the newest artist to participate in the University City Science Center’s BioArt Residency program. Murphy is a Philadelphia-based artist whose interests lie in the interconnected qualities of art and science with a focus on bird migration, climate change and data visualization. She will begin a three-month residency at uCity Square-based biotech company Integral Molecular on July 6. Murphy is the second of three artists selected to participate in the program.

Deirdre Murphy researches the effects of climate change on bird migration, using the visual data that scientists share with her to conceptualize and execute her paintings. Her fascination with avian migratory patterns and the effects of global warming have led her research to Hawk Mountain Bird Sanctuary, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Science and most recently the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

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Tracy S. Brala Joins University City Science Center as Vice President, Ecosystem Development

PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — (June 14, 2018) – Tracy S. Brala has joined the University City Science Center as Vice President, Ecosystem Development.

In this newly created role, Tracy will lead the expansion of Quorum as a significant and sustainable revenue stream for the Science Center. She will also be responsible for ensuring that Quorum and uCity Square are key participants in the region’s innovation ecosystem. Tracy has overall responsibility for the Science Center’s community engagement strategy and is charged with growing and extending the successful existing Quorum programming and operations, as well as creating new Quorum programming and ensuring the successful launch and implementation of Venture Café powered by Quorum.

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$500,000 HHS Grant Leverages Success of Science Center Programs for Health Security Innovations

PHILADELPHIA — (June 13, 2018) – The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded the University City Science Center a grant of up to $500,000 over five years to join BARDA’s new Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) Accelerator Network. The grant will augment the capabilities of the Science Center’s existing accelerator programs to identify and promote innovations in national health security.

DRIVe’s public-private engagement model is designed to accelerate innovation and incentivize investors and innovators to tackle health security threats, such as infectious diseases and sepsis. By partnering with the Science Center and seven other accelerators across the country, the DRIVe Accelerator Network plans to identify promising innovations and provide wraparound technical and business development support services.

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QED Program Awards $600K to Advance the Commercialization of Three University Technologies

PHILADELPHIA — (January 29, 2018) – Researchers improving the efficiency of bone graft procedures, developing drugs to address treatment-resistant cancer, and advancing research to reverse the invasive potential of cancerous cells will receive a total of $600,000 from the University City Science Center’s QED Proof-of-Concept Program. The program, started in 2009 and now in its tenth round of funding, supports novel university technologies with market potential, bridging the gap between academic research and product commercialization. The awardees were selected from a pool of 54 applicants from 12 academic and research institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

The QED grants will support researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Temple University and The Wistar Institute.  Each team will receive $200,000, half of which will be contributed by the Science Center and half by the researchers’ institutions. Each project will also receive guidance from the Science Center’s experienced team of scientific and business advisors.

Click here to read the full press release.

The Art of Science Inspires Residency Program at Biotech Company

PHILADELPHIA (September 6, 2017) – A new kind of interdisciplinary artistic collaboration is happening in Philadelphia this fall.  The University City Science Center has partnered with biotech company and uCity Square resident Integral Molecular to host an artist-in-residence program focused on biotechnology.  The three-month pilot of the Art + Science Residency will begin in September with Philadelphia-based artist Orkan Telhan.

The Art + Science Residency’s goal is to provide access, opportunity and awareness for artists to explore the ever-changing world of biotechnology.  Telhan will have free reign of Integral Molecular’s lab space with direct access to biotech expertise and equipment at the company.  The Science Center will host a public lecture by Telhan on October 3rd at 5:00 p.m. to be held at Quorum, and progression of his work will also be documented online.

Read full press release.