KemPharm, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Coralville, earlier this month entered into a new license agreement with an affiliate of Gurnet Point Capital (GPC), a private investment firm focused on the life sciences and medtech sectors.
The agreement provides GPC's affiliate with an exclusive worldwide license to develop, manufacture and commercialize KemPharm's product candidates containing serdexmethylphenidate (SDX) and d-methylphenidate (d-MPH), including KemPharm's attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) product candidates, KP415 and KP484.
In exchange, KemPharm will receive an upfront payment of $10 million and reimbursements for most, if not all, of KP415's pre-approval development costs. It will also be eligible to receive other regulatory and sales milestone payments of as much as $483 million, as well as tiered royalty payments based on net sales.
GPC will receive an option to certain other prodrugs in KemPharm's pipeline, including KP879, a product candidate based on SDX and intended for the treatment of stimulant use disorder, and KP922, a new prodrug of amphetamine intended for the treatment of ADHD.
In a conference call with analysts, KemPharm President and CEO Travis Mickle described the deal as "the end of a long journey to reach a very valuable point in the KemPharm story," and lauded GPC's track record of commercializing "many, many products worth billions of dollars."
"Ultimately, we have struck the balance between what we feel are near-term cash needs that have already been substantially reduced, and the real possibility of meaningful royalties post-launch," Mr. Mickle told analysts. "With GPC so invested in commercializing these products, we see this as a very large piece of the value proposition of this particular license."
Dr. Sophie Kornowski, a senior partner at GPC, said in a release that the firm's first priority will be to help KemPharm secure regulatory approval for KP415 and launch it "as rapidly as possible, if approved."
KemPharm also announced its entry into a debt exchange agreement and other amendments to its senior debt facility with funds managed by Deerfield Management Company, which provided $60 million in funding to KemPharm in 2014. Under the new agreement, $3 million in convertible notes was immediately converted into a combination of KemPharm common and preferred shares, with an option for Deerfield to exchange another $27 million in the coming months. The deal also reduces the interest rate on KemPharm's senior debt to 6.75 percent.
RBC Capital Markets served as KemPharm's financial advisor for the deals.
Para5Corridor startups shine in Pappajohn venture competition
Two Iowa City startups were among the podium finishers in this year's statewide John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture competition, winning a combined $65,000 during a Sept. 12 awards luncheon in Des Moines.
The annual contest invites startups and young companies to participate by submitting applications and potentially pitching to judges at one of the state's six John Pappajohn Entreprenurial Centers, including one at the University of Iowa. The top three companies were then awarded a share of $80,000, with an additional $20,000 split among the remaining nine finalists as part of an awards luncheon in Des Moines.
Iowa City agtech startup Rantizo was this year's first place winner, taking home a $40,000 check from Mr. Pappajohn, an iconic entrepreneur and philanthropist in the state.
Rantizo was founded in 2017 by Michael Ott to provide autonomous, drone-based crop spraying for precision agriculture. Mr. Ott told the CBJ last year that he believes his company's system can reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of ag chemical application by applying just the right amount at just the right time to the areas of the field that need it.
The company in August became authorized in Iowa and Wisconsin to use drones for the aerial application of agrochemicals, and plans to expand state by state through partnerships with neighboring departments of agriculture.
Iowa City-based CartilaGen, a medtech spinout from the University of Iowa's Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, took second place and a $25,000 prize. The company is working to commercialize a novel therapeutic hydrogel, capable of preventing osteoarthritis after traumatic injuries. The company's invention has already been awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Defense to support human clinical trials.
"We're very excited to receive this recognition from the premier startup competition within the state of Iowa," Jaison Marks, CEO and co-founder of CartilaGen, said in a release. "The award money will assist us in preparing our FDA IND [investigational new drug] submission, which has the direct benefit of expediting our clinical trial initiation date. We are very optimistic about the potential impact of our technology and quite keen to begin initial human testing." 
Other Corridor finalists receiving funding through the competition included Firefly Photonics, of Coralville, and Stratafolio, of Cedar Rapids. Firefly, a producer of mid- and long-wave infrared LEDs and lasers, received $2,500. Stratafolio, the creator of a cloud-based suite for real estate asset management, received $1,000.
OmniLife, of Coralville - formerly HealthTech Solutions - and Member Marketplace Inc., of Cedar Rapids, were named semi-finalists in the competition but did not receive funding.
Para3Last chance to register for CBJ Cybersecurity Breakfast

The Corridor Business Journal has announced the speaker lineup for its fifth-annual Cybersecurity Breakfast, to be held Sept. 24 at the Coralville Marriott.
The event invites local experts to discuss the current cybersecurity threat landscape, steps businesses can take to mitigate risks and what to do in the event of a breach. Aaron Warner, founder and CEO of ProCircular, will kick off the event with a presentation on what's new and trending with cybersecurity. Additional speakers and topics will include:
Understanding the Mind of a Hacker ProCircular's Zach Zaffis will share his experiences working for nearly two decades in IT and InfoSec. As a Certified Ethical Hacker, Mr. Zaffis will help businesses better understand their security posture from both sides of the field.
Public Cloud Security : Chief Innovation Officer Michelle Bates and Chief Information Security Officer Annalea Ilg, both of Involta, will present on public cloud security. Throughout her career, Ms. Bates has had extensive experience working with cloud service providers such as Google and Amazon Web Services. Ms. Ilg has more than 15 years of information security and compliance experience, and is responsible for leading the development of Involta's security-related services and products.
Cybersecurity Insurance Cyber Liability coverage is in a constant state of evolution as hacks and attacks increase.  Matt Evans and Aaron Voss, of TrueNorth Companies,   will share how companies can customize their cybersecurity policy to fit their needs. Their presentation will focus on what questions organizations should be asking themselves and how to place the correct policy.
Incident Response As an associate attorney at BrownWinick,   Caitlin Andersen represents organizations and individuals in matters related to data security and privacy law, particularly related to compliance with technical and legal requirements. Ms. Andersen will share what to do in the event your organization is hacked.
Tickets are $40 through Sept. 17, and $55 after. Breakfast will be provided. For more information or to register, visit  www.corridorbusiness.com/events  or call Ashley Moore at (319) 665-6397, ext. 311.
Universal Radio Group-IV. CREDIT COLLINS
Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has launched a new wideband high-frequency (HF) communications system that promises to deliver reliable, high-speed data and digital voice beyond line-of-sight communications without needing satellites.

Called Universal Radio Group (URG)-IV, the new portable ground station was showcased for the first time at the recent Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) trade show in London.
URG-IV features the latest 4G Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) technology, which automatically determines the optimal bandwidth for transmission and links much faster than legacy HF equipment. This makes it a more reliable and easier to use HF communications platform, according to the company.

Beyond clear voice communications, the URG-IV's capabilities also enable users to transmit images and use real-time chat functionality.
"The URG-IV provides an ideal alternative for communications in areas where warfighters are facing SATCOM denied and jammed environments," said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions for Collins Aerospace. "Modernized HF is an integral component of a communication system's PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency) plan and helps maintain situational awareness on the battlefield."
The URG-IV is a modernized version of the company's URG-III HF communications system, which has provided customers with reliable communications for decades.
Para2In the CBJ: Nature center's 'Living Building' joins an elite club 

An active solar power panel at Indian Creek Nature Center's Amazing Space.
Three years after opening its new Amazing Space in Cedar Rapids, the Indian Creek Nature Center has delivered the goods on its sustainable design claims.

The nature education facility at 5300 Otis Road SE is now the first in Iowa and one of only 31 buildings worldwide to receive Living Building Challenge Petal Certification from the International Living Future Institute.

Indian Creek Executive Director John Myers said the nonprofit started its Amazing Space project by considering pursuit of the popular LEED certification for sustainability.

"But while LEED is a wonderful program that has advanced sustainable building and design, LEED still has a negative environmental impact," Mr. Myers said. "And so we needed to look to an organization, a certification, that was 20 years ahead, at minimum, of where the current building standards are."

One of the main differences between the two certifications, Mr. Myers said, is that Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification requires an extensive period of documentation following the opening of a facility. That documentation focuses on verifying performance metrics submitted in the application for things like water usage, electricity usage and generation, and indoor air quality.

Amazing Space Project Manager Jean Wiedenheft spent well over 1,000 hours documenting the facility's performance, tracking records on electricity consumption, the amount of electricity generated by its large solar power system, and the amount of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, inside the building.

The process ordinarily takes about a year, but setbacks like a broken water meter that couldn't be replaced quickly required resetting the monitoring process, Ms. Wiedenheft said.

The Seattle-based institute certified the nature center in six of the seven petals required for full Living Building Challenge certification. 

Read the full members-only story in this week's print or digital editions  of the CBJ. 
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stockCorridor Stocks

AEGON AEG 4.20 -0.04 -0.94%
Alliant Energy LNT 52.81 0.88 1.69%
Casey's General Stores CASY 166.15 2.34 1.43%
Deere & Company DE 163.99 -0.60 -0.36%
Dow Jones ^DJI 27,110.80 33.98 0.13%
General Mills GIS 55.03 0.49 0.90%
GoDaddy GDDY 67.07 0.45 0.68%
Great Western Bank GWB 32.85 -0.18 -0.54%
Heartland Express HTLD 21.52 -0.15 -0.69%
KemPharm KMPH 0.83 -0.04 -4.60%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 101.46 1.43 1.43%
MidWestOne MOFG 31.22 -0.36 -1.14%
Pearson PSO 10.84 0.08 0.74%
Pepsico PEP 135.7 0.82 0.61%
Principal Financial PFG 57.17 0.25 0.44%
QCR Holdings QCRH 38.47 -0.21 -0.54%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 3,005.70 7.74 0.26%
Procter & Gamble PG 121.13 1.38 1.15%
United Fire Group UFCS 47.79 0.50 1.06%
U.S. Bank USB 55.90 0.04 0.07%
United Technologies UTX 137.21 -0.87 -0.63%
Wells Fargo WFC 48.76 -0.22 -0.45%
West Bank WTBA 21.45 -0.33 -1.52%
Whirlpool WHR 152.20 3.43 2.31%
Short-Term Event Planner
Sept. 18
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join for community connections, free coffee and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, free coffee and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more . Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MillionCupsIC/ .
Leading Edge Workshop, by Clickstop, 9-11 a.m., 202 Blue Creek Drive, Urbana. L earn how to make better decisions and increase your impact. Cost: $90. To register, visit bit.ly/2KwNzZM.
North Liberty Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., McDonald's, 675 Pacha Parkway, North Liberty. Members are invited to network and keep up to date with chamber and community events. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2lDTTFW.
Sept. 18-19
Creating a Culture Connection, by Association for Talent Development, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mount Mercy University Graduate Center, 1650 Matterhorn Drive NE, Cedar Rapids. This workshop is intended to boost employee engagement, productivity, collaboration and innovation. Facilitated by Michael and Katie Stallard, of the Connection Culture Group. Ticket prices vary. To register, visit bit.ly/2MJujLe.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
The popular blackout license plates that previously sold out in multiple Iowa counties are back in stock in Linn County. Three of the state's four most populous counties (Polk, Linn and Johnson) sold out of the special license plates earlier this month. Linn County treasurer Sharon Gonzalez said they got an order of about 500 plates on Sept. 3, and ran out by Sept. 11. According to the Johnson County Treasurer's Office, the Iowa DOT is having trouble keeping up with demand. For more information about the blackout plates, click here.
An Iowa State University fan asking for beer money through his sign on "College GameDay" is now donating the thousands to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. According to the Des Moines Register, 24-year-old Carson King held up a sign reading "Busch Light supply needs replenished," with his Venmo account listed below. Mr. King told the Register he was hoping for a little beer money, but so far, he's received more than $8,000. "It just goes to show that no matter if you're a Hawkeye fan, Cyclone fan or Grand View Viking, we're all Iowans, and Iowans take care of each other," he told the paper. Today, Busch Beer announced it will match his donation.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Weather First Forecast
It will be another summer day with mostly sunny skies, temperatures in the low to mid 80s and mugginess. There will be a few clouds passing through tonight with temperatures in the mid 60s. A cold front will approach the state early Wednesday and may lead to a few showers and storms north of Highway 20. The greater chance for rain will be late Wednesday night into Thursday as a disturbance moves in. There will be a mix of sun and clouds both days (when it's not raining) and it will be muggy. Temperatures will be in the low to mid 80s both days.