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CTL eNewsletter: April 2014

ImmunoVent, LLC: A Novel Approach to Allergy Testing

Empire Robotics, Inc.

Immunovent, LLC is a Cornell startup focused on the commercialization of next-generation technologies for allergy diagnosis. The company is developing the Local Allergy Mucosal Brush Test (LAMB-Dx). LAMB-Dx is the first quantitative allergy diagnostic that will enable physicians to accurately test for both airborne and food allergies precisely where the clinical symptoms are occurring, in the mouth and nose.

Current allergy testing methods, which indirectly test for the activity of certain antibodies (antigen-specific IgE) in the skin and blood, often give negative results in highly symptomatic individuals, leaving physicians and patients with no clear answers as to what patients are allergic too. Research by Cornell suggests that testing directly for IgE in the mouth and nose identifies allergens that are causing clinical symptoms with more accuracy than testing the blood or skin.

“LAMB-Dx will be a useful tool for allergists because it gives the physician additional options when skin and blood testing are not conclusive. This test looks directly at the site of the problem, where symptoms are occurring,” explains the inventor, Dr. William Reisacher (CALS '90), Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Director of Allergy at Weill Cornell Medical College / NY-Presbyterian Hospital. “It’s allergy testing in real time.” For example, in one published study, the LAMB-Dx test detected peanut-specific IgE in 100% of participants with mouth and throat itching when eating peanuts, while blood testing only detected peanut-specific IgE in 50% of these participants.

LAMB-Dx provides an inexpensive, reliable, and patient-friendly method for identifying allergies with improved sensitivity. The patient sample is taken using a soft cytology brush to remove cells from the inside of the nose or mouth. LAMB-Dx can measure low levels of antigen-specific IgE after it has been released, via a proprietary process, from the cells in the nose and mouth.

Erick Berglund, the company's CEO, said that the company plans to partner with a CLIA-certified reference laboratory to introduce the test as a service, and to later introduce kits and devices that it will sell. Kate Rochlin (WCMC PhD '14), the company’s chief scientific officer, is supervising the development of LAMB-Dx. Michael Nelson (CALS '92), the company's CFO, and co-founder Tom Cirrito, are overseeing the fund raising efforts.

For more information contact Bruce Toman at

ZYMtronix Catalytic Systems, Inc. Biocatalysis in Motion©

Empire Robotics, Inc.

ZYMtronix is an industrial biotechnology Cornell startup currently focusing on improving biocatalysis for pharmaceutical and fine chemical production. Biocatalysis is the green alternative to classic chemistry and makes use of enzymes, the catalysts of living things. When immobilized within ZYMtronix’s systems, enzymes work faster, are more tolerant to changing environments and can be used over longer periods of time. In so doing, they have found a way to increase the efficiency of biocatalysis and are now fine-tuning key oxidative enzyme-based reactions within market-ready vehicles to deliver long-awaited green solutions.

The need for biocatalysis can be found in many industries including chemical manufacturing to produce drugs, dyes, aromas and perfumes. Synthesis of drugs can be costly, tedious, and material-intensive as it may require multiple steps that generate hazardous wastes. ZYMtronix offers manufacturers a competitive and environmentally friendly solution that increases yield and efficiency hence reducing cost, wastes, time of production and environmental impacts.

As a platform, the core technology also finds applications in waste management and sanitation using green solutions. Biocatalysis can be utilized in water treatment for the removal of organics and biological contaminants that can be difficult to remove using other methods. Recently, ZYMtronix demonstrated that its technology could enhance the ability of oxidative enzymes to remove toxic phenols from wastewater.

ZYMtronix was founded on technologies licensed from Cornell University. These technologies were developed in part by Dr. Stéphane Corgié as a cross-disciplinary collaboration between the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

For more information contact Alice Li


Upcoming Events

Upstate New York Tech Career Connection

Date: April 9, 2014

Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Location: Emerson Suites, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

The 2014 Upstate NY TechCareer Connection will feature experienced panelists who share their advice on finding a career in science and technology and an exhibitor session with STEM companies from a 15-county region in Upstate New York. Companies and attendees will have time to network with one another and learn what Upstate NY has to offer in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

For a list of speakers and exhibitors, and to register please visit Upstate New York Tech Career Connection.

CCTEC New Business and Emerging Technology Showcase

Date: April 10, 2014

Time: 12:30pm - 2:30pm

Location: Statler Ballroom, Statler Hotel, Cornell Campus, Ithaca NY

CCTEC will host a New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase and will feature emerging technologies and new business opportunities from the Ithaca campus, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. Researchers and business representatives will be on hand to discuss the technologies and companies.

The New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase is part of the annual Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration event. Celebration is a milestone annual two-day entrepreneurship conference that brings together more than 1,000 alumni, faculty, students, and staff. To learn more about Celebrations please visit their website.


IP & Pizza™ Opportunities in NYC for Commercial Bioscience

Date: April 29, 2014

Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Location: Belfer Research Building, New York, Conference Room 204 B & C

Join CCTEC and speakers Lenzie Harcum, Center for Economic Transformation, at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Raphael Farzan-Kashani, City of New York Early-Stage Life Sciences Fund as we discuss and learn about entrepreneurial life sciences and health care technology initiatives recently launched by NYCEDC. For more information please visit our website.

To RSVP for this event, please email

Upstate New York Health Sciences Symposium

Date: May 6, 2014

Time: 9:30am - 5:30pm

Location: G10 Biotech, Ithaca Campus

On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, Cornell University and the University of Rochester will host the Upstate NY Health Sciences Symposium & Technology Showcase focusing on cancer biology and neurobiology. The event will be held in G10 in the Biotech Building on Cornell's Ithaca campus to showcase the health sciences work being done in Upstate New York.

The morning session will feature talks from researchers about their research programs from both the University of Rochester and Cornell. There will be a keynote speaker at lunch. The day will end with a reception combined with a poster session showcasing technologies from both universities.

For more information and to register, click here.

Recent Events

Inventions Roundtable™

Date: March 25, 2014

On March 25th, the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization held an Inventions Roundtable™. Transformative materials, devices and systems for clean energy was presented.

Technologies presented included:

  • Large-scale Electric Vehicle Charging System
  • Novel Solar Tiles for 3-Dimensional Concentrated Solar Systems with Improved Light Capture & Efficiency
  • Fast-Dissolution Geologic Injection Strategy for Carbon Sequestration
  • Structured Porous Materials and Nanocomposite Sorbents for CO2 Captures


IP & Pizza™ - Digital Technologies: The Creative Process Produces Intellectual Properties

Date: March 10, 2014

The creative process can produce not only great technologies and content but also a wide variety of intellectual properties. Attendess joined Charles Valauskas, of Valauskas Corder LLC, and CCTEC staff as we discussed how this often overlooked value is produced automatically by anyone simply by being creative. The focus was on digital technologies, however, the principles discussed can be applied to any technology or content. The step-by-step presentation provided an overview of not only all five intellectual properties but also how simple contracts can manage data that is produced during the creative process.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: March 5, 2014

Vladislav Sandler from Weill Cornell Medical College’s Department of Medicine, presented a method of direct reprogramming of human endothelial cells (ECs) into functional hematopoietic multi-lineage progenitors (rEC-HMLPs), which could aid in bone marrow transplants (BMT). Attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: Febraury 12, 2013

Attendees learned about an exciting Cornell technology over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Alex Yu, Ph.D. ’14, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, presented on breakthrough battery materials to advance electric transportation.


A Reception for Cornellians at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Date: January 14, 2014

This event included representatives from CSV, CCTEC, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, along with other Cornellians for an evening reception at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Chris Schaffer, Director of Graduate Studies for Biomedical Engineering, and Alan Paau, Executive Director & Vice Provost for Technology Transfer & Economic Development (CCTEC), gave brief updates, as well!