The Authority

The Authority

The Authority

Kansas Bioscience Authority to dramatically increase available funds

General published Mon, 2015-02-23 17:31

By Alyssa Scott, KU Statehouse Wire Service

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA), a venture capital fund covering animal, human and plant health, intends to further invest in the Kansas bioscience sector in 2015 by quadrupling its available funds.

KBA CEO and Chairman Duane Cantrell told the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday that the KBA intends to make $420 million available for corporate investment, which is four times more than between 2009-14. He said KBA is able to quadruple its investment after restructuring.

“We’ve established two investment structures, and for every dollar we put into those structures, we expect two to four other dollars to come in from outside of Kansas,” he said. “In other words, when we put an investment in a company, we expect to get it back with the returns so we can do that again and again, and that’s how we’ve become sustainable.”

To become more effective, the KBA switched to a market-based, self-sustaining financial model two years ago.

“The money is now beginning to come back into the KBA,” Cantrell said. “Prior to two years ago, not a single dime ever walked back in the door of the KBA. In the last two years, $19 million has come back in, $17.7 million of that just last year.”

Sen. Jeff Melcher (R-Leawood) said he is pleased with the changes the KBA has made in how it invests.

“I was a harsh critic of us just giving away money and not expecting anything in return,” Melcher said. “On the other side of the coin, KBA 2.0, I’m fully supportive of it, and I would like us to fully fund it. It’s one of the few things that we fund in government that actually returns something to us that’s greater than what we put into it, and because of that I support it.”

The KBA has five key objectives that are expected to work with the new investment structures to help reach its goal of increasing available capital for the next five years. These include improving the return of investment, investment in opportunities, attracting private equity dollars to Kansas, increasing job availability, and increasing the export of products and services to a global market.

Cantrell said the bioscience sector is a key area of improvement because not only does bioscience work to solve global issues, such as food supply and safety, but it also benefits communities by providing high-quality and high-paying jobs. In addition, it is a relevant field in terms of Kansas’ strengths and resources.

“Basically one third of the global GDP, a $20 billion industry, of animal health is represented in the ‘corridor’ between Columbia, Missouri, to Manhattan, Kansas,” Cantrell said. “There is no other place in the United States, there is no other place in the world, that has that kind of concentration of animal health. Collectively, Kansas is well-positioned, and quite frankly about as well-positioned as any other state in the United States.”


- Alyssa Scott is a University of Kansas junior from Wichita majoring in journalism and French.


InvestMidwest starts application process for entrepreneurs

General published Mon, 2015-02-23 17:53

The InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum is accepting applications from entrepreneurs with high-growth companies hoping to raise capital from investors. The KBA is a co-sponsor of this annual event.

The event is April 1-2, 2015, at  the Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center and typically attracts about 300 attendees and 45 presenting companies. It's a showcase for the best new high-growth businesses in the Midwest seeking growth capital. Presentations last about 10 minutes each.

Companies presenting at the previous 15 events raised more than $1 billion.

"We are seeking applications from throughout the Midwest from high-growth companies in search of substantial investment to punch their growth to a new level," Executive Director Christine Walsh said in a release. "We're not talking slow, organic growth. We're looking for fast-track companies."

The early application deadline ends Nov. 14. The late deadline is Jan. 16. Companies applying early are given deeper consideration by the selection committee, which will have more time to ask questions and seek clarification. Click the logo below for more information.



CritiTech Names Mechanical Systems, Inc. As Its Exclusive Drug Manufacturing Equipment Supplier

General published Tue, 2014-08-26 14:17

LAWRENCE, KS – CritiTech, Inc. has named Mechanical Systems, Inc. (MSI) of Wichita, Kan., as its official and exclusive supplier of fine-particle drug manufacturing equipment.

As a long-time partner, MSI has been instrumental in helping CritiTech develop manufacturing equipment that produces commercial quantities of fine-particle drugs using CritiTech’s proprietary supercritical fluid carbon dioxide-based technologies.

MSI has decades of experience designing and constructing manufacturing equipment for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, serving clients such as Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hospira, Bayer, Abbott, Pfizer, and Shering-Plough.

“This is an ideal match for both companies,” said Matthew McClorey, president of CritiTech. “CritiTech is in the business of enabling new and improved drugs with our technology, not constructing manufacturing equipment. Thus, the relationship with MSI allows us to focus on what we do best. We are extremely fortunate to have MSI as our exclusive equipment supplier. Its engineering experience and expertise is outstanding.”

MSI has already built, designed and installed equipment that CritiTech is currently using to provide fine-particle drug development services to its clients. The exclusive supplier agreement with MSI ensures CritiTech will have the commercial engineering expertise required to scale its technology and meet customers’ drug manufacturing demands.

Equipment from MSI will also be used to produce Nanotax®, a novel, fine-particle reformulation of paclitaxel to treat intraperitoneal cancers enabled by CritiTech’s technology. A Phase I Trial for Nanotax that produced positive results was recently completed.

“MSI is very excited about the partnership with CritiTech,” said Greg Johnson, president of MSI. “CritiTech’s technology is unique and very valuable, as evidenced by its ovarian cancer drug, Nanotax. Just as the technology was used to develop Nanotax, we believe it can be used to develop other drugs that are more effective, safer and better tolerated.”

About CritiTech, Inc.
CritiTech is a drug delivery and development company focused on using the company’s proprietary Supercritical Fluid Technology (SCF Technology) to help its clients and partners develop and manufacture unique and differentiated drugs and medical devices. CritiTech specializes in optimizing the delivery of challenging drug substances, potent molecules and poorly soluble compounds. By combining its SCF Technology with its ability to simplify formulations, CritiTech can expand and improve the drug delivery options for oral, injectable, and inhaled drugs, as well as implantable devices.

About Mechanical Systems, Inc.
MSI is a leading mechanical construction firm with support engineering and IT staff. The firm specializes in working with clients that service the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and chemical fields. MSI has significant experience and expertise in designing, building, and installing equipment used to manufacture biologicals and chemicals. In addition to the mechanical design services provided, MSI also operates three biotechnology facilities in Wichita. These facilities produce a variety of biological products for agriculture and food additives. The agricultural products include bio-fungicides, plant growth promoting bacteria and nitrogen fixing bacteria. These facilities include clean production space, clean packaging suites and analytical laboratories.


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