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Two UAB companies among finalists in Alabama Launchpad competition

Posted Mar 11 2011 9:34am
UAB start-up companies 4K NutriPharma International and KOR Therapies are among the nine finalists for the 2011 Governor's Business Plan Competition.

Alabama Launchpad , a partnership between the state's university, business and economic development communities to encourage and support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, made the announcement last week .

UAB had a state-leading nine of the 20 top start-up companies in this year’s competition. The two finalists are a life-sciences and biotechnology company and an early stage drug discovery company.

4K NutriPharma is focused on the development of natural adjunct and primary therapeutics (or "nutriceuticals") for human disease that have their foundation in natural products, including medicinal plants and other botanicals.

KOR Therapies will meet the market need for truly effective anti-arrhythmic drugs with protected, first-in-class targets and lead compounds that suppress arrhythmic activity.

The finals of the competition will be held Friday, April 15 at the University of South Alabama as the start-ups vie for $175,000 in seed capital.

UAB has had success in the competition previously. Barry Andrews, Ph.D., Uday Vaidya, Ph.D., and Selvum Pillay — all School of Engineering faculty members and researchers — became the first UAB group to win the contest this past spring, and they received $100,000 to help start their company, Innovative Composite Solutions (ICS).

The UAB Research Foundation (UABRF) helped ICS protect its intellectual property rights and negotiate, manage and monitor its research, option and licensing agreements. UABRF also helped the three colleagues form a business plan to design, develop and manufacture high-end thermoplastic composite components for the military, aerospace, mass transit and other high-demand industries.

The UABRF aided more than half of this year's UAB participants in the competition, helping the groups lay the groundwork for their companies and prepare to present their ideas to the Alabama Launchpad reviewers and judges.
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