AgLaunch Initiative (AgLaunch) has been named one of seven new Small Business Administration’s Region Innovation Clusters. The program is built to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within a region focused on a specific industry vertical. AgLaunch, based in Memphis, will lead the Mid-South Delta Agriculture Innovation Cluster (“Delta Ag Cluster”), the first SBA cluster to be focused on agtech and value-chain companies that is centered on a major farming region.
In a new report by Iqvia, small biotech companies were found to be responsible for nearly two-thirds of the new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year, rivaling big pharma in their ability to develop experimental medicines. With R&D budgets dwarfed by those of larger drug makers, this group of emerging companies successfully developed 38 of 59 therapies that were approved in 2018 and accounted for almost half of the regulator applications leading to those approvals. These numbers suggest emerging biotechs are retaining control of drugs they develop for longer, holding off on the licensing or partnering deals smaller companies typically sign with pharma.
Sofia Tomov, Founder of Qardian Labs, University of Tennessee sophomore and 15-year-old young woman, says she has “always been passionate about healthcare… finding new solutions to improve outcomes.” The budding entrepreneur became interested in healthcare after her grandmother collapsed at her 10th birthday party; no one in the family knew she had heart problems. After learning that heart disease kills 17 million people a year and one in three people are misdiagnosed, Tomov decided to find a better way to help with early and reliable diagnosis of heart disease.
An argument has been brewing on Capitol Hill and elsewhere that boils down to the theory that U.S. taxpayers are fronting billions of dollars’ worth of public research that translates into early-stage products that are later sold to companies, go on to win FDA approval and then reap millions or billions in sales, although the government never sees a dime of those earnings. With the help of a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published Friday and some other materials, check out a break down on what’s happening.