First Cohort of LA BioMed CAP Graduates

Local leaders from the biotechnology sector gathered this month at LA BioMed to celebrate several of the institute’s most promising companies as they completed the inaugural LA BioMed Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP). Designed and managed by Larta, CAP offers LA BioMed’s early stage bioscience companies the resources to bring their innovations to market. Over the past 6 months, company entrepreneurs worked with Larta’s network of expert advisors and industry insiders to advance their commercialization efforts.

Keith Hoffman, Vice President of Business Development and Technology Transfer, was enthusiastic about the program. “The LA BioMed CAP helps emerging companies develop a compelling case for their technologies and achieve a clear understanding of the critical components needed to bring a discovery to market,” says Hoffman.  “We were very pleased to offer CAP to our enterprising researchers who are developing new therapies and technologies to serve patients here and around the globe.”

The first ever LA BioMed CAP cohort featured three biotechnology companies: OC Medical Research, Inc.; BDI, Inc., and Vitalex Biosciences.

OC Medical Research, Inc.

Led by Aaron McMurtray, M.D., Ph.D., OC Medical Research, Inc. is working to develop new medications for the treatment of dementia in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.  With the help of Larta’s team of experts, OC Medical Research has established a clear strategy to apply for grants and other funding opportunities.

BDI, Inc.

BDI, Inc. (Bone Density, Inc.), under President Matthew Budoff, M.D., has developed a patented algorithm for extracting a patient’s bone density from a three-dimensional CT scan without additional radiation. By creating a new use for a commonly-performed test that is widely covered by insurance, BDI believes they can reach a wide audience and fill a critical need for elder care.

Vitalex Biosciences

Finally, Vitalex Biosciences is a small developer of immunotherapies of infectious diseases. The company’s lead technology is an antibody that targets the rare, but lethal, mold infection mucormycosis, the first of its kind. President and CEO Ashraf s. Ibrahim, Ph.D., explained that the CAP program helped them define a go-to-market strategy and draft a timeline for obtaining FDA regulatory compliance.

The graduation event featured keynote talks from Larta Founder & CEO Rohit Shukla and two industry VIPs, Jasson Crockett from the LA Mayor’s Office and Tanya Petrossian, CEO & Co-founder of Endocyclic Therapeutics and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the LA Mayor’s Office. All three speakers touted Los Angeles as a center for innovation and stressed the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in burgeoning fields like biotechnology.

“Larta’s Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) has helped to build on LA BioMed’s success in the creation of start-up companies and innovations. We look forward to developing and managing a program for LA BioMed and its incubator to curate great spinoffs and good research in fulfilling LA County’s commitment to expanding biosciences in the region,” said Shukla.

LA BioMed and Larta seek to strengthen their partnership in the future by continuing the CAP program and collaborating to develop and enhance LA BioMed’s existing incubator support services.


About LA BioMed

Founded in 1952, LA BioMed is one of the country’s leading nonprofit independent biomedical research institutes. It has approximately 100 principal researchers conducting studies into improved treatments and therapies for cancer, inherited diseases, infectious diseases, illnesses caused by environmental factors and more. It educates young scientists and provides community services, including prenatal counseling and childhood nutrition programs. LA BioMed is academically affiliated with the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and located on the campus of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

LA BioMed’s technologies have helped to generate numerous global medical breakthroughs, including the invention of the modern cholesterol test, the conception and development of the modern-day U.S. paramedic model of emergency patient care, the first isolation and administration of a lung surfactant to treat premature babies, the FDA-approved drug Kybella® for submental fullness, the FDA-approved drug Aldurazyme® for a Mucopolysaccharidosis, the development of low-cost antiseptic eye drops that prevented blindness in hundreds of thousands of newborns in developing countries and an effective treatment for Sickle Cell disease.

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About Larta Institute

Larta Institute, founded in Los Angeles in 1993, is an internationally recognized and mission-driven innovation accelerator that provides a runway of success for world-changing ideas in healthcare, agriculture and energy. Larta Institute has helped more than 10,000 companies transform ideas into commercialized innovations that feed, fuel and heal the world. With a global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, industry leaders, research institutions, government agencies and support organizations, Larta conducts commercialization assistance programs throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 countries. Follow us on Twitter @LartaInstitute.