Members of the Gulf Coast Health Sciences Corridor Attend EDA Build Back Better Regional Challenge Summer Conference

Delegates met with fellow finalists of the $1 Billion competitive award

NEW ORLEANS (June 30 ,2022) — Delegates from the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC), lead agency of the Gulf Coast Health Sciences Corridor (GCHSC), recently traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC) Summer Conference sponsored by the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The conference was an invitation-only event.

The GCHSC is a coalition of stakeholders from business, government, nonprofits, and academia within the South Louisiana Super-Region, spanning from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. The coalition was awarded a $500,000 Phase I grant from the EDA in order to support the planning of projects intended to transform the region into a national leader in health sciences, with a particular focus on addressing obesity and chronic diseases. GCHSC is currently one of 60 national finalists for an EDA BBBRC Phase II implementation grant, part of a $1 billion competitive award.

“Our goals for this conference were to build strong connections by meeting with fellow finalists, federal agencies, and philanthropies to outline the tremendous opportunity we have to improve our communities through the combined efforts of this partnership,” said Korey Patty, Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer at NOBIC. “We want to spread our coalition’s name in hopes of furthering our projects that will lead to an improved health sciences industry in Louisiana.”

The conference included opportunities for finalists to give presentations, learn from peers, listen to reflections from the EDA’s Technical Assistance Coalition and to network. Prominent speakers included Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and White House Infrastructure Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the president Mitch Landrieu.

Delegates from the following agencies were a part of the GCHSC representation: NOBIC, Tulane University and Louisiana Economic Development. Also in attendance were representatives from GNO, Inc., which is also a finalist in the BBBRC challenge.

For more information on NOBIC, please visit


About the Gulf Coast Health Sciences Corridor: The Gulf Coast Health Sciences Corridor is a unique collaboration between hub cities Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It is led by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center in partnership with the Baton Rouge Health District, Xavier University, Tulane University, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Greater New Orleans Foundation and Greater New Orleans Inc. The Gulf Coast Health Sciences Corridor represents a coalition of stakeholders from business, government, nonprofits and academia. They were awarded a $500,000 Phase I grant from EDA to support the planning of projects intended to transform the region into a national leader in health sciences with a focus on addressing obesity and chronic diseases, and are currently a finalist for a Phase II implementation grant. For more information, visit

About New Orleans BioInnovation Center: The New Orleans BioInnovation Center (“NOBIC”) is a nonprofit business incubator focused on advancing life science entrepreneurship and technology commercialization in Louisiana. The mission of NOBIC is to create a successful biotech ecosystem by providing emerging companies with customized commercialization services, premier facilities and a comprehensive support network. Through relationships with research institutions, economic development organizations and industry stakeholders, NOBIC helps its clients de-risk novel technologies, attract funding and improve global health outcomes. For more information, visit

Inaugural Biohealthsciences MPS Summit Wraps in New Orleans

Over 600 attended participated in-person and virtually in the collaboration

NEW ORLEANS (June 24, 2022) – The Microphysiological Systems (MPS) World Summit was held in New Orleans May 30 – June 3 2022, with attendees from 26 different countries. The inaugural summit was led by Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University and in part by two local New Orleans biotech companies, AxoSim and Obatala Sciences. This was a collaboration of 52 organizations including NCATS, NIH,  the Wyss Institute of Harvard University, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), Jones Walker, GNO, Inc., New Orleans & Co., Baker Donelson and the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC).

Company Exhibits, Featuring AxoSim (left) & Sphero (Right)

Microphysiological systems (MPS) comprise a number of bioengineering breakthroughs that reproduce organ architecture and function in vitro. Fueled by stem-cell technologies, a broad variety of especially human models and test systems have emerged, which can be used to advance drug discovery, safety testing of drugs and chemicals as well as advance the understanding of human diseases.

The MPS Summit series is a key tool to form a community amongst MPS scientists and organizations and accelerate scientific developments, their implementation and global harmonization. The initial conference presented the latest scientific achievements and enabled communication between young and newly interested scientists and pioneers of the MPS field.

Company Exhibits featuring Obatala (Right) and Nortis (Left)

“Obatala Sciences was very excited to be a part of the Host Committee,” said David Bode, chief operating officer of Obatala Sciences. “Bringing together this global community to create a roadmap for MPS technologies right here in New Orleans was a honor.”

The conference wrapped with the announcement of the International MPS Society (IMPSS) whose vision is to accelerate the use of MPS to improve health, wealth and the environment. The goal for the organization is to use their vision and core values to grow the society in order to become a self-sustaining conference.

“Closing the conference with the announcement of the IMPSS was perfect,” said AxoSim Chief Business Officer Ben Cappiello. “One of the goals from the beginning was to bring together stakeholders from all different levels to strengthen this emerging area of scientific research. Creating the IMPSS society is a major step to keeping this community together.”

The next MPS Summit will be held in Berlin in June 2023. For more information visit the MPS World Summit website.


Editor’s Note: Photo assets from the MPS Summit can be accessed here.

About AxoSim: AxoSim’s NerveSim® and BrainSim® platforms are revolutionizing the way that biopharmaceutical companies develop neurological drugs. Our mission is to empower advancements in human neuroscience so that patients in need can get the care they deserve. We deliver human data, faster. This reduces clinical failure and enables companies to develop effective drugs more quickly and at lower cost. We work with our partners to become an integral part of the drug development process, fostering innovation and facilitating breakthroughs in the treatment of the world’s most devastating diseases. Learn more at

About NOBIC: The New Orleans BioInnovation Center is a private, not-for-profit business incubator, supporting entrepreneurship and dedicated to the development of bioscience innovation throughout Louisiana. The Center works directly with entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialize new technologies spinning out of Louisiana universities and health care institutions, as well as those developed by independent innovators, to start and scale new globally competitive life science companies. More info:

About New Orleans Business Alliance: One of fewer than 80 Accredited Economic Development Organizations worldwide, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official public-private partnership created to increase economic gains for the city of New Orleans. Through a direct partnership with the City of New Orleans and strong connectivity with the business community, the New Orleans Business Alliance works to ensure the economic security of all New Orleanians by diversifying the local economy, developing local talent and expanding entrepreneurial opportunity. Through an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create a more equitable and prosperous future for all. Learn more at

About Obatala Sciences: Founded in 2017 with the goal of advancing research in the fields of obesity, diabetes and regenerative medicine, Obatala Sciences is a biotechnology company that offers research products and services to scientists in medical industries and academia. Obatala prides itself in making high-quality products that researchers use to discover better therapies for diseases that significantly impact the human population. Obatala is named for the West African deity tasked with sculpting the human body. Co-founded and run by an African American female from New Orleans, Obatala Sciences is committed to creating more accurate models of human tissue, starting with their building blocks: the cells. For more information, please visit