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Parsvnath Developers, Institute of Translational Research, BioStorage Technologies, TEDCO, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, BioMedomics, Frank Harmon Architect

India’s Commerce Ministry Approves $4B Biotech SEZ in Hyderabad
Parsvnath Developers, a Delhi-based real estate company, has received approval from India’s central government to establish a biotech and pharma Special Economic Zone over 25 acres in Hyderabad.
The SEZ will be developed by the company’s subsidiary, Parsvnath SEZ over 2.15 million square feet at a cost of 4 billion rupees ($99.3 million). The company announced it has already acquired land for the project and is moving towards early notification of the SEZ.
The board of approvals of the ministry of commerce and industry cleared the proposal at its meeting held on July 12, 2007.

Parsvanath has 15 SEZ projects, 11 of which have been approved, across India focusing on biotech and other industries.

The company raised around 11 billion rupees ($273.3 million) from an initial public offering at the end of last year.
The SEZ is one of two biotech projects planned for Hyderabad, India’s fifth-largest metropolis. Its local government last week allotted 75 acres near the city at Karkapatla, within the Medak district, for the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology to develop a new 10 billion rupee ($248.5 million) facility for the Institute of Translational Research as part of under phase three of Biotech Park in Karkapatla

BioStorage Technologies Provided $3.3M Lease Line of Credit
BioStorage Technologies of Indianapolis announced July 16 that it has been provided a lease line of credit of up to $3.3 million by GE Healthcare Financial Services. BST said the credit line “will be used to support additional BST capital acquisitions” and would be available through April 2009.
BST said it plans “in the near future” to purchase additional walk-in and stand-alone freezer units, back-up generators, liquid nitrogen tanks, and other equipment to meet growing customer demands. The company also said it will also continue to build out its information technology infrastructure and software development needs.
BioStorage Technologies currently owns and operates its flagship 22,500-square-foot Indianapolis headquarters, as well as a new full-service facility in Frankfurt, Germany, that began offering services July 1.
BioStorage Technologies specializes in short-term and long-term biomaterials storage, sample management and cold chain logistics.

TEDCO Awards $519,991 to Seven Maryland Startups
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)said July 16 it awarded a total $519,991 from its Maryland Technology Transfer Fund to seven startup companies across the state.
Five of the companies received $75,000 each:
  • of Rockville, Md., is working with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to develop software for automatically creating and processing electronic case report forms for use in clinical trials.
  • Powergrid Fitness of Beltsville, Md., is working with University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to advance its proposed Leg Joystick, which is a practical walking and running interface for virtual reality simulations
  • InfraTrac of Baltimore is working with the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to advance its counterfeit technology, which uses patent-pending near-infrared spectroscopy to detect counterfeit pharmaceuticals, chemicals and consumer products.
  • Signal and Storage Innovations of New Market, Md., is working with the National Security Agency to advance its wide-band data recording and communications solutions.
  • Quickpath Technologies of Clarksville, Md., is working with the US Department of Agriculture to commercialize products in the emerging field of glycomics.
SEGMA of Silver Spring, Md., which received $74,991, is working with NASA to develop and deploy software to provide near-real-time information on the performance of the leadership team of public companies.
Instant Access Networks of Cumberland, Md., which received $70,000, is working with Frostburg State University to develop prototypes of new shielding systems that can protect infrastructure from electromagnetic interference.
The MTTF is designed to help businesses transfer technology from Maryland universities and federal laboratories into the marketplace.
To date, 71 companies have received combined funding of nearly $4.1 million from MTTF, and completed their projects. Those companies subsequently received funding from angel and venture investors, federal awards and other sources exceeding $152.4 million. The July issue of Entrepreneur magazine recognized TEDCO for the fourth straight year as the nation’s most active early/seed stage investor.

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse Invests $180,000 in Cartesia Dx
Cartesia Dx (formerly Arthritis Imaging) will receive $180,000 from the private-public Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, which promotes biotech development in greater Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania.
The money will support development and testing of a final device prototype of its arthritis imager and a software interface that will facilitate accurate and simple data collection and analysis. The company uses three-dimensional and thermal images to diagnose and track the progression of inflammation in patients.
Cartesia Dx is the first commercialized company based on technology developed and clinically tested at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Carnegie Mellon University's Medical Robotics Institute and the University of Pittsburgh also have contributed technological expertise to the project.

BioMedomics Parlays NC Biotech Center Loan Into $100,000 in SBIR Funding
BioMedomics has received $100,000 in Phase I Small Business Innovation Research funds from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to advance the firm’s technology development work in personalized medicine.
The company was able to pursue SBIR funding after receiving a $25,000 loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a private, non-profit corporation supported by the state’s General Assembly.
Frank Wang, the company’s president and CEO, said in a press release the firm already has developed several biomarker reagent products and begun to sell an advanced biosensor system for advanced cell assay applications.

Frank Harmon to Design UNC-W's Marine Biotechnology Center
Frank Harmon Architect in Raleigh has been commissioned to design the new Marine Biotechnology Center for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Administered by UNCW’s Center for Marine Sciences, MARBIONC will be a 75,000-square-foot facility consisting of academic research laboratories; labs for other companies and agencies seeking satellite and/or joint lab space within a university setting; as well as one of the North Carolina Aquarium Division’s three proposed oyster hatcheries to be built along the coast for the North Carolina Aquarium Division.

Harmon’s firm will incorporate sustainable “green” design into MARBIONC, and will also design the other hatcheries. David Swanson of Swanson & Associates in Chapel Hill will serve as landscape architect.
Harmon’s firm will incorporate sustainable “green” design into MARBIONC, and will also design the other hatcheries. David Swanson of Swanson & Associates in Chapel Hill will serve as landscape architect.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.