Record Number of UC Davis Startups for 2017-18
UC Davis technologies enabled the foundation of 16 companies during the 2017-18 fiscal year, an all-time high for the University. This brings the total number of UC Davis startups made possible by university intellectual property during the past 10 years to 137. Many of these startups are targeting unmet needs in human health, with new tests, technology platforms and therapeutics for diagnosing, monitoring and treating a wide variety of conditions and diseases. Four of the new companies have innovations focused on cancer. Others are developing therapeutics aimed at treating obesity, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and optic neuropathy.

Below are 13 of the 16 startups that acquired foundational intellectual property rights from UC Davis during the 2017-18 fiscal year. The other three have elected to remain in “stealth mode” for competitive reasons and are not listed:

  • Accelerated Medical Diagnostics — Commercializing companion diagnostic tests that predict cancer patient response to chemotherapy
  • ARORCA Therapeutics — Targeting the ROR-gamma receptor for treatment of advanced cancers
  • Astrid Pharma — Developing a capsid-based platform for noninvasive mucosal drug delivery
  • Buto Corporation — Developing agents for treating obesity, diabetes and related disorders through Shc inhibition for rescue of fatty liver disease
  • Dalmoral Pharmaceuticals — Developing drugs that protect mitochondrial function in the context of mitochondrial disease, Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy and Parkinson’s disease
  • Eunicera — Developing small molecular inhibitors of androgen receptor variants for treatment of advanced prostate cancer
  • Ixchel Pharma — Developing drugs and formulations for treatment of Friedreich’s ataxia, Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy and mitochondrial myopathy
  • Meamer — Facilitating music-evoked autobiographical memory (MEAM) sharing and preservation for individuals and groups
  • NanoHue — Commercializing a system to be used in sports through which the landing spot of a ball can be precisely identified
  • Oomni — Preclinical development of oral small molecule dual Inhibitors of soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) for the treatment of cancer
  • ParaMag Theranostics — Developing novel amyloid agents targeting the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Safari Health — Commercializing software for psychosis clinics to monitor patients in between appointments and predict symptom worsening for rapid intervention
  • Somos Therapeutics — Developing a cell-free, multifactor, regenerative therapeutic for multiple sclerosis, radiation-induced tissue injury, ischemic stroke and aging-related indications
Commercialization of Innovative Treatments Aided by STAIR Plus Grants
Three research teams at UC Davis have received STAIR-Plus™ Grants to help demonstrate proof-of-concept and commercial feasibility for their innovations. Now in its second year, the Venture Catalyst STAIR-Plus™ Grant program is intended to offer additional support to Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) Grant recipients who have successfully achieved their projected commercialization milestones and are poised for commercial impact pending the completion of specific targeted activities.
All three teams are working on commercializing novel compounds that address needs in human health, including a platform for therapeutics for inflammatory diseases, a drug candidate that increases the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatment for advanced bladder cancer and compounds that may be effective at treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.... Read More
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
Tips for NIH Funding, IND Submissions, and Advancing Therapeutic Development Timelines
  • Michael V. Templin, PhD, DABT., Senior Principal Scientific Advisor, Charles River Laboratories

This talk will provide insights on developing therapeutics including strategies to advance the timeline to get to the clinic, out-license, or spin out a company. Dr. Templin will discuss what the NIH is looking for in funding submission for early discovery packages related to compounds and target engagement as well as what the FDA and other regulatory bodies are looking for in an IND submission for preclinical development.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018, 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Join us for Lunch @
Oak Park Research Building, UC Davis Health Campus
2700 Stockton Blvd, Seminar Room 1305
Sacramento, CA 95817

TechAccel Announces UC Davis STAIR Grant Award for Novel Gene Editing Approach
TechAccel, a Kansas City–based technology and venture development company, announced its selection of a grant recipient under the UC Davis Venture Catalyst Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) Grant program. Anne Britt, Ph.D., a professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Biology, will receive $50,000 to perform a proof-of-concept of her technology, a novel method of rapid and efficient gene editing in a tomato plant. TechAccel was also represented on the STAIR Grant selection committee that reviewed applications from UC Davis researchers for this year’s award. The winning candidate receives funding for proof-of-concept research aimed at demonstrating commercial feasibility.... Read More
BASF and UC Davis Collaborating to Unlock New Potential in Human Milk Oligosaccharides
UC Davis and BASF announced a collaboration to unlock new benefits of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs). The long-term objective of this strategic research partnership is to develop and validate second-generation HMO molecules as potent bioactive compounds that can influence the establishment and maintenance of the gut microbiome and provide benefits beyond the gastrointestinal tract, such as brain health, for infants, children and adults. The two-year partnership with UC Davis’ research team is part of BASF’s California Research Alliance (CARA), which brings together experts from major universities on the West Coast to collaborate on new materials and their applications, biosciences and related technologies.... Read More
UC Davis Researcher Receives $1.5 Million Grant to Develop DNA-Based Semiconductors (Sacramento Business Journal)
A UC Davis associate professor, Josh Hihath, received $1.5 million in funding from SemiSynBio, a partnership between the Semiconductor Research Corp. and the National Science Foundation, to develop DNA-based memory that can be programmed and read electronically. The funding will be used to build a platform to record information with less energy and a longer lifespan than existing technologies..... Read More
NIH Renews UC Davis Health's Clinical Research Work in Neurological Disorders
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) announced this week that it has renewed UC Davis Health in Sacramento for another five years as one of just two locations on the West Coast for its NeuroNEXT Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials. As an initiative funded through the National Institutes of Health, NeuroNEXT was launched six years ago to make neuroscience clinical trials more efficient and to help increase the number of treatments available to patients. The program is designed to encourage collaborations between academic centers, disease foundations and industry.... Read More
UC Davis to Lead National Cow Genomics Effort
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded UC Davis $2.5 million over four years for a national cow genomics project. The research effort aims to allow the cattle industry to use genetics more efficiently to predict the traits their herds possess. Despite cattle’s economic importance, scientists still have a long way to go to fully understand mechanisms that govern important genetic traits in the animals such as growth and disease resistance. The grant is one portion of a $6 million grant USDA awarded to create three functional genomics projects.... Read More
Dean's Fellowships in Entrepreneurship, Informatics and Precision Medicine Announced
The UC Davis School of Medicine Dean’s Fellowship Awards offer a unique opportunity for promising junior-to-mid-career level faculty to further develop their careers as independent research investigators and academic leaders. This year's awardees are developing new methods, tools and outcomes as well as institutional infrastructure in the areas of entrepreneurship, informatics and precision medicine. The entrepreneurship fellow was Aijun Wang, associate professor of surgery and co-director of Surgical Bioengineering Laboratory. The informatics fellow was Brooks Kuhn, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine. The precision medicine fellows were Eleonora Grandi, associate professor of pharmacology and Luis Carvajal-Carmona, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine.... Read More
The Big Ideas (Comstock's Magazine)
Comstock's magazine featured an interview with Niki Peterson with the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) discussing fostering regional entrepreneurship. IIE offers a wide range of programs to help entrepreneurs succeed ranging from workshops and business competitions to conferences and fellowship opportunities..... Read More
News from our Startups
Significant Reduction in Pathogenic Gut Bacteria Lowers Potential for Infection Risk in Infants Fed B. infantis EVC001
Evolve BioSystems announced publication of a study showing that two weeks of supplementation with Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 in breastfed infants led to an 85 percent reduction in virulence factor genes, the tools which enable pathogens to thrive and cause infection in humans.... Read More
Ennetix Launches Next-Generation AI-Powered Network Performance Management Solution
Ennetix announced availability of its flagship product xNET, which for the first time provides comprehensive network visibility, volumetric analysis, and diagnostic capabilities for monitoring cloud-based applications.... Read More
Project Green Schools and UgMO Partner to Inspire Water Conservation and Innovation Through Education
Project Green Schools and smart irrigation specialist UgMO announced a partnership to develop impactful water conservation curriculum for K-12 students.... Read More
Novoheart Appoints Biotech Industry Specialist as New Senior Vice President to Lead Commercial Development
Novoheart announced that it has hired Bill A. Williams, Ph.D., a highly influential leader in the life science industry, as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations.... Read More
Davis-Based Expanesthetics Raises Another $1.16 Million in Venture Capital (Sacramento Business Journal)
Expanesthetics, a UC Davis startup developing alternatives to general anesthetics, has raised $1.16 million in venture capital funding according to an SEC filing.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres Welcome Martin Mariani Ventura as General Manager for Verdeca Joint Venture
Arcadia Biosciences announced they have hired Martin Mariani Ventura as general manager of Verdeca, a joint venture to develop, deregulate and market soybean varieties with next generation agricultural technologies. Mariani Ventura is a seasoned agribusiness executive with nearly 20 years of experience in various roles, including business strategy, product licensing and commercialization, sales, marketing and research and development..... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences and Shriram Bioseed Reach Milestone in Developing Extended Shelf Life Tomatoes
Arcadia Biosciences and Shriram Bioseed, a leading research and hybrid seed development company announced the achievement of a key milestone in developing Extended Shelf Life (ESL) tomatoes. Significant and consistent improvements in field yield and fruit quality, such as firmness, shelf life and color development, were observed in these tests.... Read More
Verdeca Introduces Drought Tolerant Soybeans in Argentina
Arcadia Biosciences and Bioceres S.A., through their joint venture Verdeca, announced the introduction of soybeans that deliver compelling yield increases under drought conditions. The introduction marks the first step in commercializing the HB4 trait, which is the result of multiple years of research and development, both in Argentina and the United States..... Read More
Davis-Based Engage3 Taps Merger and IPO Veteran as CFO (Sacramento Business Journal)
Engage3, a Davis-based retail data analytics company, announced the hiring of O'Neil Nalavadi as its new CFO and head of investor relations. His previous post was with the consulting firm Innodata, where he helped lead through three acquisitions.... Read More
Entrepreneur Showcase (Comstock's Magazine)
Dermveda, founded by a UC Davis alumnus Venita Sivamani, was one of the 16 companies features in Comstock's entrepreneurial showcase. Dermveda integrates traditional and modern medicine to create personalized information about holistic skin wellness through their online platform..... Read More
Startup of the Month: Gray Mountain Sports Drinks (Comstock’s Magazine)
Comstock's Magazine named Gray Mountain Sports Drinks as their startup of the month. The company, which makes magnesium-rich sports drinks, was co-founded by Ishita Shah, an associate director of microbial programs at the Foods for Health Institute at UC Davis.... Read More
Regional Innovation News
Hacker Lab Lands Rancho Cordova Location for New Coworking, Training Space (Sacramento Business Journal)
Hacker Lab, with two locations in the Sacramento Area (midtown Sacramento and Rocklin), will open another location in Rancho Cordova in mid-August. Similar to its current location, the Rancho Cordova space will offer desk and office space, in addition to a machine shop. Hacker Lab is a member of the UC Davis Venture Catalyst Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE TM ) network of incubators.... Read More
City Council Approves Mace Ranch Business Park (Davis Enterprise)
The Davis City Council unanimously approved a business park on 6-acres of land in Mace Ranch. The business park will feature a 32,220-square-foot office building that Nugget market will occupy and two 16,200-square-foot buildings with office and R&D space intended for other tenants..... Read More
Marrone Bio Products Approved for Cannabis Cultivation in California (Sacramento Business Journal)
Two of Marrone Bio Innovations' products, Grandevo CG and Regalia CG, have been cleared for use on cannabis crops by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Grandevo CG will be used to control pests that feed on cannabis, while Regalia stimulates plant immune system to fight off mildew and molds.... Read More
Bay Area Economy Growing Nearly Twice as Fast as Rest of U.S. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Over the past three years, the Bay Area's economy experienced an annual growth rate of 4.3%, nearly double the average U.S. growth, to reach a GDP of $748 billion in 2017. The region's per-capita GDP is the highest in the United States of about $80,000. Globally, the Bay Area's economy is only behind 18 countries.... Read More
San Francisco Bay Area's Booming Economy Shows No Sign of Slowing Down, but Residents Struggle to Keep Up (San Francisco Business Times)
The Bay Area's economy has been growing rapidly over the past three years, but housing production not kept pace and its residents struggle to keep up with the cost of living. Between 2003 and 2017, for every 1,000 people moving into the region, only about 312 new homes were permitted, well below compared to other major metrapolitan areas. Furthermore, in the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area, residents spend, on average, over 30% of their income on housing.... Read More
Innovation Insight
The Five Biggest Startup Opportunities In Agtech Today (Forbes)
About $4 billion in venture capital was invested into the Agtech industry in 2017, creating new opportunities in the agtech startup ecosystem. Some notable opportunity areas include gene editing, alternatives to antibiotics, soil biologicals, aquaculture, and post-harvest technologies.... Read More
Serverless Computing Could Unleash a New Startup Ecosystem (TechCrunch)
A new startup ecosystem could emerge as developers discover the values of serverless architecture. Among many benefits, the serverless architecture will allow developers to focus more on the underlying code of their application and less on server management. This could bring about major opportunities in the near future for companies involved in security applications, tooling, libraries, APIs, monitoring and a whole host of tools serverless will likely require as it evolves..... Read More
Venture Funding Keeps Momentum Amid IPO Wave (Xconomy)
According to the latest Venture Monitor report produced by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association, nearly $58 billion was invested into U.S. companies during teh first six months of 2018. At this rate, venture investment in 2018 would surpass 2017’s investment, which totalled to nearly $82 billion.... Read More
Federal R&D Boosts Local Economic Development (State Science & Technology Institute)
The increase in federal R&D funds have significantly impacted local economic development. Researchers from the University of Michigan reported that 27 new jobs were created for every $1 million in R&D spending.... Read More
New DOE Partnering Service Provides Simplified Access to National Lab (State Science & Technology Institute)
The new Lab Partnering Service, launched by the US Department of Energy, provides an online platform for investors, innovators and institutions to obtain information on the Department’s 17 National Laboratories. The three main components include: access to national lab researchers, direct access to pre-validated and ready-to-license technologies, and, an online search and visualization database tool for patents associated with DOE laboratories.... Read More
What is IoT in Agriculture? Farmers Aren’t Quite Sure Despite $4bn US Opportunity (AgFunder News)
Internet of Things (IoT) in farming uses sensors, cameras, and other devices to obtain more farming data, such as weather, moisture levels, and plant health. Despite the $4 billion IoT market, only 10-15% of farmers are using IoT, collectively spending around $960 million, according to an Alpha Brown survey of more than 1,600 farmers. The survey further revealed that over two-thirds of the respondents were hearing the term "IoT" for the first time, while only about 12% indicated that they were completely uninterested in the technology.... Read More
Encouraging Entrepreneurship in University Labs: Research Activities, Research Outputs, and Early Doctorate Careers (PLOS One)
According to a study conducted by Michael Roach, an Assistant Professor in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, there was no difference between labs that encourage entrepreneurship and those that do not with respect to basic research activity and the number of publications. The study utilized a panel survey of 6,840 science and engineering doctoral students at 39 R1 research universities. Furthermore, the study showed that entrepreneurship was widely encouraged across university research labs, ranging from 54% in biomedical engineering to 18% in particle physics.... Read More
Funding Opportunities
Alzheimer’s Drug Discover Foundation Diagnostics Accelerator
Application Deadline: September 14, 2018.... Learn More
FDA Innovation Challenge: Devices to Prevent and Treat Opioid Use Disorder
Application Deadline: September 30, 2018.... Learn More
Sony Research Award Program
Application Deadline: September 15, 2018.... Learn More
Capital Region AR VR Accelerator
Application Deadline: September 2018.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Team Grant Program
Application Deadline: October 3, 2018.... Learn More
Y Combinator Winter Cycle
Application Deadline: October 23, 2018.... Learn More
THRIVE Accelerator
Application Deadline: October 31, 2018.... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Applications Accepted on the 15th of Each Month Until Full.... Learn More
Autodesk Entrepreneur Impact Program
Application Deadline: Ongoing... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
NASA iTech
Date: August 31, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship UC Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: September 12-14, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Central Valley Entrepreneurship Academy
Date: October 2-4, 2018.... Learn More
Register for the Mixer and Keynote Address: Insights from a Serial Ag Biotech Entrepreneur here
Samsung CEO Summit (San Francisco, CA)
Date: October 11, 2018... Learn More
Submit startup to be features at 2018 Samsung CEO Summit here
Founder’s Institute Fall Sacramento Program
Application Deadline: October 14, 2018.... Learn More
Biomedical Engineering–Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance (Atlanta, GA)
Date: October 16-17, 2018.... Learn More
California Life Science Institute From Lab to Leadership
Date: October 18, 2018.... Learn More
SBIR/STTR Fall Innovation Conference
Date: October 23-25, 2018.... Learn More
Big Bang! Business Competition Kickoff
Date: October 25, 2018.... Learn More
Inaugural Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning Symposium
Application Deadline: October 26, 2018.... Learn More
UC Davis Graduate School of Management Building and Leading Great Teams
Date: October 26, 2018.... Learn More
Innovations in Ag Irrigation Technology Demonstration and Showcase
Date: November 16, 2018.... Learn More
Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy
Applications Accepted through Early-December 2018.... Learn More
Apply to Present at the BIO Investor Forum
Application Deadline: Ongoing, Open Until Filled.... Learn More
Valley Ventures Fall 2018 Cohort
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Regional Events
Elevate Women’s Summit
Date: August 25, 2018.... Learn More
Seeds of Our Future: Innovating Global AgTech
Date: August 27-30, 2018.... Learn More
Aging 2.0 Alive Inside: Brain Health and Technology
Date: August 28, 2018.... Learn More
The Past, Present, and Future of the Total Artificial Heart
Date: September 6, 2018.... Learn More
IP Piracy in Life Science: Threat Landscape and Defensive Tactics
Date: September 13, 2018.... Learn More
CleanStart Cleantech Meetup: Solar Power
Date: September 20, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Dale Carlsen, Sleep Train / Ticket to Dream Foundation
Date: September 20, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Jeremy Perkins, Precision Medical Products
Date: September 28, 2018.... Learn More
Startup Grind Sacramento, Anis Uzzaman, Fenox Venture Capital
Date: October 9, 2018.... Learn More
US Immigration Policy for Life Science Employees and Entrepreneurs
Date: October 9, 2018.... Learn More
Hacker Lab Hands-On Education
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Small Business Development Center Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Silicon Valley USPTO Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
1 Million Cups
Date: Weekly (Wednesdays).... Learn More
Industry Events
RESI Healthcare Week (Boston, MA)
Date: September 5-7, 2018.... Learn More
Ag Innovation Showcase (St Louis, MO)
Date: September 10-12, 2018.... Learn More
LA BioMed Innovation Showcase (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Date: September 13, 2018.... Learn More
The MedTech Conference (Philadelphia, PA)
Date: September 24-26, 2018.... Learn More
Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa (La Jolla, CA)
Date: October 3-5, 2018.... Learn More
Defense Innovation Summit and Expo (Tampa, FL)
October 23-25, 2018.... Learn More
About Venture Catalyst 
UC Davis Venture Catalyst facilitates the translation of University research and technology by enabling the development of new ventures. Venture Catalyst engages with the Davis and Sacramento business, governmental and economic development community to highlight the development of technologies and ventures coming out of UC Davis that will drive tomorrow’s regional job creation. Working closely with these partners, Venture Catalyst is invigorating the technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem of the entire region. 
The Venture Catalyst START™ Suite of programs and services provides the ABCs to equip UC Davis entrepreneurs with the tools they need to form and grow robust startups. The program gives founders the START they need to create a well-structured company and ensure the company is prepared for success. 
Contact Venture Catalyst 
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