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CTL eNewsletter: November 2014

TeraPore Technologies, Inc. High Performance Ultrafiltration

York Diagnostics

TeraPore Technologies, Inc. is a new Cornell startup that is developing cutting edge membrane technology for high-permeability, high-resolution separations needs. TeraPore's technology facilitates rapid and efficient purification of biological fluids. Combining uniform pores with large pore densities enables purification of high-value products with fast processing times.

"TeraPore's filters contain nanoscale holes that are ideal for protein purification," says Rachel Dorin, President and CEO of TeraPore and co-inventor, describing the benefits and use of their technology. "Our company's filters address unmet purification needs in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry. As demand for protein-based drugs that treat diseases ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to cancer increases, TeraPore's products will serve to make the manufacturing process faster and cheaper."

Technology licensed from Cornell University formed the basis of TeraPore Technologies. These technologies were developed in part by Co-Founder of TeraPore and Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University, Ulrich Wiesner. These technologies included a method that improves uniformly mesoporous membrane films through the use of tri-(multi-) block copolymers having tunable structural characteristics and controllable chemical functionality so that the mechanical properties of the films can be adjusted.

In the past year TeraPore has pitched their company at MedTech Metro event in New York City, the Bright Buffalo Niagara Forum, and the Upstate Venture Association of New York Venture Forum in Rochester, NY. They have received NSF Phase I SBIR grant and won second place at the annual Cornell Venture Challenge at Cornell's Johnson school.

MirCan Therapeutics: Preventing the Metastatic Spread of Breast Cancer


MirCan Therapeutics, a Cornell startup, is a development stage biotechnology company focused on finding a safe and effective solution for prevention of metastatic breast cancer, including Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). MirCan is dedicated to advancing cancer therapeutics for the difficult to treat TNBC population as well as all breast cancer patients.

"We are passionate scientists and entrepreneurs, we value an idea, and we are trying to use it to help find a cure for breast cancer metastasis--a devastating disease for women," says Sanjoy Mahanty, Chief Executive Officer of MirCan. "We just started our journey but with trust, respect, and confidence in each other and the incredible science behind the technology, we feel we are closer to making it happen."

While breast cancer patients are treated using two therapies depending on its genotype, patients with TNBC cannot be managed with these therapies. Many breast cancer patients have a negative outcome due to the cancer's high rate of recurrence and metastatic spread. However, there are no approved targeted therapies for breast cancer patients with metastasis. Surgical resection and standard chemotherapy remain the only options for women with TNBC. Therefore, there is a need to develop new-targeted therapeutic approaches.

MirCan scientists have identified that the expression of a regulatory microRNA, miR-708, is dramatically reduced in metastatic breast cancer. In preclinical studies, introduction of miR-708 into the cancer cells prevented breast cancer metastasis. This restoration of miR-708 expression provides a unique opportunity for treatment. MirCan is pursuing the development of miR-708 as a specific targeted therapeutic for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The drug targets the more aggressive metastatic breast cancer cells that lack miR-708 and should not affect normal tissues.

Mircan Therapeutics was founded on technologies licensed from Cornell University. These technologies were developed in part by Vivek Mittal, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center. Cornell researchers identified that miR-708 is suppressed in human metastatic breast cancer cells and that expression of miR-708 suppresses tumor cell migration.

Upcoming Events

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Recent Events

IP&Pizza™ Startup Primer

October 22, 2014

Intellectual property (IP) is an important part of most startups in technology sectors and can significantly impact the startup’s fund raising, valuation, growth and its future.

CCTEC professionals and Cornell’s outside patent counsel Dr. Bing Ai of Perkins Coie LLP discussed IP issues of startups. This discussion covered IP topics during formation and fund raising stages in a technology startup, including protection of trade secrets, patent filings and management, and preparation for IP due diligence in raising capital.

Formerly a physicist, Dr. Ai has been advising startups, universities and national labs on IP matters for over 18 years. He has represented both startups and venture capital firms in corporate financing.

For a copy of the presentation please click here.

To view photos of the event please click here.

NEXUS-NY Information Session

October 21, 2014

NEXUS Executive Director Doug Buerkle talked about how you can qualify for business support and prototyping grants. University and company researchers who have completed basic research and are ready to identify and pursue potential commercial pathways attended to hear more about the structured NEXUS-NY technology commercialization program, and the pending release of a 2nd RFP for clean energy projects. NEXUS-NY is a NYSERDA sponsored clean energy proof-of-concept center.

To view the NEXUS-NY presentation click here.

Cornell Technology Venture Forum

October 16, 2014

CCTEC hosted its eighth annual Cornell Technology Venture Forum™ (CTVF) on Thursday, October 16, 2014 in the East Hill Office Building Training Room and Atrium (395 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca, NY). Emerging technologies and Cornell startups were presented and showcased throughout the day. Ample networking and poster viewing breaks allowed attendees to mingle and form useful business relationships.

IP & Pizza™ Patent Primer

September 30, 2014

William Greener, Patent Attorney at Bond Schoeneck & King, and CCTEC staff discussed the function of a patent and the purpose they serve in a competitive global economy. Greener talked about the process inventors use to identify their inventions and what path forward they should choose. Lastly, he touched on how an entrepreneur can leverage a patent for business development.

To view photos from the event click here.

IP & Pizza™

September 17, 2014

ELabNYC is a competitive entry 7.5-month networking and education program for entrepreneurs in New York City's life sciences and healthcare technology community. ELabNYC provides extensive support to graduate students of science, post-docs, researchers and engineers interested in forming new life science ventures with intellectual property.

Launched by the Mayor's Office and New York City Economic Development Corporation, and led by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, the Lab is designed to:

  • Provide practical business concepts to refine business plans that will help make introductions to prospective partners and funders
  • Teach start up business concepts to entrepreneurs, including concepts that are fundamental to the life sciences and healthcare industries
  • Connect participants to the NYC life science entrepreneur eco system
  • Build a local platform for the next generation of life sciences and healthcare technology entrepreneurs in NYC thru an ELab alum program


ELabNYC ( started its third application cycle, with a deadline of November 3, 2014. Program Manager, Mary Howard, introduced the program and joined ELab Alums, who shared their ELab experience.

View Mary Howard's presentation here.
View ELab Alum Vallen Graham's presentation here.

To view photos from the event click here.

BayHelix Reception

September 16, 2014

CCTEC and the BayHelix group (an organization of Chinese-American executives in the life sciences) hosted a networking reception at the Cornell Club in New York City. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served.

This reception was sponsored by Scully Scott Murphy & Presser.

To view photos of the event click here.