AxoSim Wins the Coulter IDEAPitch

AxoSim, client and tenant of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, won the top $100,000 investment prize at the Coulter IDEAPitch. AxoSim has created a patented “nerve-on-a-chip” technology that helps pharmaceutical companies discover new drugs. AxoSim’s technology will drastically reduce the time and money required to discover new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and MS. This technology can also test the neurotoxic side-effects of chemotherapy treatments and similar drugs, all while minimizing inaccurate animal testing. AxoSim plans to build a personalized medicine platform that will be the future of drug discovery and treatment, and they plan to build it in New Orleans. They’ve already created over half a dozen high-tech jobs for the local economy and they’re just getting started.

Congratulations AxoSim!

NOBIC Client Prep Tech Approved to Start Clinical Trial

Prep Tech, makers of a patented pre-op skin preparation product/device trademarked as ULTRAPREP, was approved by Quorum’s IRB to start a clinical trial at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. Prep Tech anticipates ULTRAPREP to be officially labeled by the FDA as Class 1 Exempt within 60 days and has been stamped by Quorum as a non-significant risk device. Manufacturing has begun in Southwest Louisiana with the trial start date eminent.  Here is a brief video of the product in use:

Accelerate South Summer 2018 Healthcare Program Now Accepting Applications.

Selected companies will participate in a unique three-month collaboration where participating state-wide healthcare institutions will meet cohort participants hoping to find products and services aligned with their key industry needs. A newly formed Louisiana Healthcare Investment Group comprised of Angel investors and several major healthcare companies will provide seed capital of up to $50,000 per chosen team. In addition to seed capital, the cohort will receive significant mentoring, free housing at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, and free office space in LEDA’s progressive Opportunity Machine. Learn more at or apply now.

Puerto Rican Leaders Visit New Orleans to Learn Post-Katrina Lessons

Over 30 leaders from Puerto Rico — from the philanthropic, higher education, entrepreneurial and nonprofit sectors of the island — are visiting New Orleans March 1-2 to meet local leaders and institutions, and learn valuable lessons of their post-Katrina recovery work.

The delegation includes CEOs of some of the island’s most important foundations (i.e. United for Puerto Rico Foundation, Foundation for Puerto Rico, and the Community Foundation of Puerto Rico); the president, chancellor and deans of the island’s universities (i.e. University of Sagrado Corazón, University of Puerto Rico, Inter-American University); key executives from the island’s largest hospital chain (HIMA) and healthcare and biotech sectors; and entrepreneurial organizations, venture capital firms and nonprofits that are collectively leading post-Maria recovery efforts.

ConPRmetidos, a Puerto Rican non-profit, organized the trip with help from Friends of New Orleans and funding from the Skip Battle Foundation.

While in New Orleans, the group will examine the critical role of philanthropy, non-profits, neighborhood associations, universities, local government, and media in the Crescent City’s recovery efforts. They will visit leaders and organizations recognized for their work in economic development, social innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainable building and green energy, and K-12 public school reform, including City of New Orleans Mayor Elect LaToya Cantrell, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Idea Village, The New Orleans BioInnovation Center, Propeller, GNO Inc., Broadmoor Neighborhood Association, Posigen, New Schools for New Orleans, Inspire NOLA, Tulane University, Loyola University and NOLA Media Group.

It is important for New Orleans to share what it learned post-Katrina – the successes and models that can be replicated, as well as the mistakes and pitfalls – with Puerto Rico, which is experiencing a crippling economic downturn compounded by historic, storm-related devastation. Five months on, 40 percent of the island’s inhabitants remain without stable power, the agricultural sector lost 80 percent of its capacity, and hundreds of thousands of its citizens have felt compelled to move to the mainland.

“Puerto Rico needs a big leap forward. It is crucial we learn from previous disasters’ response and management in order to place innovation at the core of our recovery. We can help our island overcome this disaster, and strengthen its social and economic fiber along the way.”
~ Mariely Rivera – Executive Director, Unidos por Puerto Rico

By standing in solidarity with its fellow U.S. citizens, New Orleans proves to the world that Puerto Rico will not be abandoned on the long and difficult road to recovery and reinvention.

“When I look around at the inspiring talent that is helping lead Puerto Rico’s renewal, at the never-say-can’t attitude of Puerto Rican doers who’ve risen to the occasion for their families and communities, I see that despite best intentions, the magnitude of what we face can be overwhelming. Then I think about New Orleans; how its citizens and friends rescued and reinvented the city from devastation and despair, and in doing so, rewrote its future. New Orleans can help us innovate our own path for Puerto Rico. That’s why we’re here.”
~ Isabel Rullán, Managing Director and Co-Founder, ConPRmetidos

New Orleans and Puerto Rico share a rich history and heritage grounded in the vibrant and mixed influences of native Indian, West African and Spanish cultures. Over the past few decades, New Orleans has been a magnet for Puerto Rican undergraduate and graduate students who’ve found paths towards fulfillment and success via Tulane, Loyola and LSU. While some have stayed and many have moved on following completion of their studies, it is commonly known on the island that those who’ve studied in New Orleans remain deeply connected to it.

“In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is facing many challenges similar to those New Orleans encountered in the wake of Katrina. This visit affords us a unique opportunity to witness first hand the inspiring story of New Orleans’ rebirth. We thank the Skip Battle Foundation, Friends of New Orleans, and ConPRmetidos for making this possible. All of us are eager to learn from New Orleans’ experience and explore possible collaborations in the hope of building a better future for Puerto Rico.”
~ Giberto J. Marxuach Torrós, President, University of Sagrado Corazón


ConPRmetidos is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 that believes Puerto Ricans can build a global model of community-driven success. Our mission is to help create a stable, productive, and self-sufficient Puerto Rico.

Dr. Gregory Davenport joins BioInnovation Center Advisory Board

Dr. Davenport is Vice President at The Conafay Group, a business advisory firm that specializes in representing biomedical companies before the federal government and associated stakeholders. Dr. Davenport has decades of experience in medical product development and government contracting as well as C-Level management experience in biotechnology companies. Click here for more information about the BioInnovation Center’s Advisory Board.