Mtech TAP Company CosmosID™ Wins Best Life Sciences Company in the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards

MIPS Company WellDoc Named Best Graduate Company

COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CosmosID™, a company in the Mtech Technology Advancement Program (TAP) incubator developing comprehensive pathogen identification technologies, was named company of the year in the life sciences company category during the 2011 Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101005/MTECHLOGO)

In all, eight Mtech-affiliated companies were finalists for the awards. Three additional TAP incubator companies and one in TAP's fast-track, early admission program, called VentureAccelerator, were finalists. WellDoc Inc., a company that used Mtech Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) funding to develop its next generation of technology solutions to support chronic disease management, won the graduate company of the year award. Two additional MIPS funding recipients, Plant Sensory Systems and Emerald Sky Technologies, were also finalists.

Companies were recognized at a ceremony held June 2 at The Center Club in Baltimore, Md.

"We are honored to be recognized among the very exciting technology startups in Maryland," said Distinguished University of Maryland Professor Rita Colwell, who founded CosmosID™.  "I am pleased to have the support of Tom Cebula, our chief technical officer, and Doug Brenner, our chief executive officer, who are both playing significant roles in developing CosmosID™ to be a leading company in pathogen diagnostics. We hope to continue the tradition of successful companies, including Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation, that have emerged from TAP."    

CosmosID™ has developed patent-pending software called GENIUS™ (Genomics Identification Universal System) that drives its end-to-end, metagenomics process, Cloud SequencingTM, for identifying pathogens present in clinical (medical), environmental (water, soil, biofuel or food), or other research  (laboratory) samples. Cloud Sequencing™ is a single, rapid and accurate test that is universal for all types of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.

CosmosID™'s technology employs a proprietary approach based on fundamentals of bioinformatics and computational biology, combined with genomics, microbiology, and mathematical algorithms, and serves organizations and companies whose missions include medical diagnosis, public health (food and water safety), biosecurity, bioforensics, force protection and force health protection, according to Colwell.  

CosmosID™'s strong pipeline of government grants, as well as private funding, has fueled its product development since 2007. That pipeline includes funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), and the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.  

Additional TAP and VentureAccelerator finalists included:

  • OmniSpeech LLC is developing speech extraction technology for cellular and additional communications. OmniSpeech's technology solves a major problem—background noise in cell phone conversations—with cost-effective software, while current solutions require bulky, cost-intensive hardware. The company won the high tech category in the 2010 UM $75K Business Plan Competition and is currently in the VentureAccelerator program. OmniSpeech was founded by Carol Espy-Wilson, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Remedium Technologies Inc. develops hemostatic (blood-clotting) technologies that stop severe bleeding more effectively and safely than existing products. Remedium won second place in the faculty and graduate student category in the 2007 UM $50K Business Plan Competition and is a graduate of the VentureAccelerator program. The company's technology was invented by doctoral candidates Matthew Dowling and Peter Thomas, as well as associate professor Srinivasa Raghavan, all in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering.
  • Renova Life Inc. develops novel animal embryo biotechnologies and provides quality animal embryo products and services to the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, as well as the biomedical research community
  • Resensys LLC develops self-powered, energy-harvesting, wireless, distributed sensors for monitoring structures such as bridges, buildings, and pipelines. The company's patent-pending technology, invented by electrical and computer engineering assistant research scientist and alumnus Mehdi Kalantari, detects strain, deformation and cracks forming in structures and provide early warnings when problems arise. Resensys' sensors attach to existing structures. Resensys won the high technology category in the 2008 UM $50K Business Plan Competition and graduated from VentureAccelerator to TAP in March, 2010.

Six TAP companies have won Maryland Incubator Company of the Year awards in the past four years. Last year, FlexEl won the technology transfer category. Lurn Inc. won the technology service category in 2009. In 2008, AccuStrata Inc. won the best new incubator company category; TRX Systems won the homeland security company category and Zymetis Inc. won the best technology transfer company category.

TAP winners in previous years also include Martek Biosciences, Digene Corporation and DataStream Content Solutions.

Sponsored by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO), RSM McGladrey Inc. and Saul Ewing LLP, the Maryland Incubator Company of the Year Awards are selected by a committee of regional industry leaders and early-stage investors.

Winners were selected based on a company's goals and its success in achieving its objectives. Judges also considered factors such as technology or product development, intellectual property, increase in employees, growth in revenue or earnings, engagement of significant customers and strategic partners, receipt of awards or grants, attraction of outside investors, innovation, self-sufficiency, impact on the region and usage of incubator services.

About the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) (www.mtech.umd.edu)

The mission of Mtech is to educate the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, create successful technology ventures, and connect Maryland companies with university resources to help them succeed. Founded in 1983, Mtech has had a $25.7 billion impact on the Maryland economy and helped create or retain more than 5,300 jobs. Top-selling products such as MedImmune's Synagis®, which protects infants from a deadly respiratory disease, and Hughes Communications' HughesNet®, which brings satellite-based, high-speed Internet access to the world, were developed through or enhanced by our programs. Billion dollar companies such as Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation graduated from our incubator.  Mtech offers three experiential learning programs and 30 entrepreneurship and innovation courses, served to 1,244 enrollees in 2010, at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and executive education levels.

SOURCE Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute



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