The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is the state’s largest basic and applied research institution with a total budget of $1.3 billion and more than $100 million in annual research funding, notes Dr. Nancy Gray, president of BioVentures, the technology transfer/startup development/business incubator arm of UAMS.
BioVentures has spun off more than 40 life-science startups with 30 still in operation and boasting an annual payroll of $27 million.
“Our mission is to foster commercial investment in the development of inventions, discoveries and other work products flowing from the research at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s and the local VA Hospital in order to enhance human healthcare and stimulate economic development in the state of Arkansas,” Gray says.
BioVenture’s role is to partner UAMS research, business models and intellectual property with industries seeking to collaborate on commercialization. In short, BioVentures exists to promote the biomedical and life-sciences technology industries in the state while linking UAMS research to global markets and to help UAMS researchers turn their marketable research and innovations into viable products and services, Gray says.
BioVentures has partnered on several successful accelerators and boot camps, and some of its more prominent alumni startups include RxResults, a pharmacy risk-management startup; Angel Eye, which developed camera systems designed to allow parents of premature babies to remotely view their children in the hospital, and InterveXion Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm that developed innovative treatments for addiction disorders.