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BIO Start-Up Stadium: A Springboard to Partnering Success

May 20, 2016
An exciting BIO initiative, the BIO Start-Up Stadium, is back by popular demand at 2016 BIO International Convention! Pulling on ideas from reality TV shows and other biotech meetings, the Start-Up Stadium was designed to give newly formed—usually founder funded—biotech companies an opportunity to actively participate in the BIO Convention. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovations and following its outstanding success at BIO Philadelphia in 2015, the Start-Up Stadium promises to be a popular feature at the annual BIO International Convention.

ViRAZE, a University of Pennsylvania PCI incubator company, was an inaugural presenter in Philadelphia in front of a “stadium” of about 30 people, plus three seasoned judges. According to ViRAZE's  CEO, Rajiv Khosia, the benefit of presenting to professionals who provide meaningful critiques and constructive feedback was invaluable for a fledgling company. Equally rewarding, he said, was the increased awareness that resulted in post-presentation interaction with BioPharma companies and service providers interested in learning more – some of which is proving fruitful today. For recent university spin-outs or newly emerging biotech companies, the Start-Up Stadium is a must.

More from Kosia: "Encouraged by our positive experience, ViRAZE will be back this year at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco. No longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, this year we will be actively engaged in BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ and Business Forum. From my Business Development career in corporate Pharma, BIO Partnering was the stimulus for at least 65% of licensing deals. For both the bigger Pharma “buyer” and the smaller biotech “seller”, the BIO Partnering mechanism is amongst the most efficient uses of time and money. Having had success from the buy-side, I am now back and eager to achieve the same for the sell-side. And the benefits are not only the BIO scheduled one-one meetings, but the ad hoc conversations in the Business Forum area, or the chance meeting with someone who knows someone, and makes an introduction. So if you are a Biotech company looking to partner-out your asset or a Pharma company seeking to partner-in for your pipeline: the Start-Up Stadium, the One-on-One Partnering™, and BIO International, are essential events in your annual plans.

[caption id="attachment_22308" align="alignright" width="141"]ViRAZE Molluscum Contagisum A patient with Molluscum contagisum[/caption]

As ViRAZE seeks a partner to develop the first and only approved drug to treat the highly contagious and painful viral skin, Molluscum contagiosum, we will be enthusiastically utilizing all the assets at the 2016 BIO International Convention: partnering, presenting at the BIO Business Forum, engaging in myriads of conversations—all in an effort to make the connections to secure the meaningful partnerships that are the lifeblood of all BioPharma companies."

[caption id="attachment_22311" align="alignright" width="232"]Rajiv Khosia - PhD, CEO ViRAZE Rajiv Khosia - PhD, CEO ViRAZE[/caption]

Rajiv Khosla has had an extensive career in the BioPharmaceutical industry, with experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. His most recent corporate stint was VP BD Biovail; since then he has been CEO and Board member at emerging Biotechs, and now a co-founder of ViRAZE.

About ViRAZE: ViRAZE has a proprietary drug discovery platform, which exploits the proteins necessary for DNA replication as novel drug targets, to discover and develop first-in-class small molecules to treat viral diseases. ViRAZE has a lead program for the first and only FDA approved topical drug product to treat the skin disease, Molluscum contagiosum. The program recently secured a $3 million NIH grant for certain IND-enabling studies. ViRAZE is actively seeking investors and partners to file the IND within about 18 months.