Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD
Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, is executive vice chancellor and vice chancellor for research at the UNM Health Sciences Center.

UNM researchers and inventors will have a unique opportunity to meet and network with potential investors in an invitation-only event designed to spur the growth of a homegrown bioscience industry in New Mexico.

The UNM Health Sciences Center BioVenture Partnership Event, sponsored by the UNM Clinical & Translational Science Center (CTSC) and the New Mexico Bioscience Authority, will unfold on Wednesday, March 7, at the UNM SUB ballroom.

“We’re bringing together faculty, business people and entrepreneurs to try to harness some of the innovation potential that comes from the UNM Health Sciences Center,” said co-organizer Jeffrey Norenberg, PharmD, PhD, professor of radiopharmaceutical sciences in the UNM College of Pharmacy and commercialization lead for the CTSC.

The program, which runs from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., will include welcoming remarks from Richard S. Larson, MD, PhD, executive vice chancellor of the UNM Health Sciences Center and chair of the New Mexico Bioscience Authority.

A round of “lightening talks” will include presentations from UNM faculty members David Peabody, Larry Sklar and Mark Burge and the entrepreneurs they partnered with to found the successful biotech startups Agilvax Technology, Intellicyt and Vision Quest.

That will be followed by a “Shark Tank”-style pitch event in which Health Sciences Center faculty members Pavan Muttil, Brandi Fink, Jason McConville and Nancy Kanagy will present their inventions to “angel” investors and entrepreneurs in a competition whose winner will be announced at the end of the afternoon.

Confirmed guests include representatives from ABQid, Agenda Global, Albuquerque Economic Development, Biosafe Defenses LLC, Bridgers and Paxon Consulting Engineers, EquiSec, Hanger Prosthetics, NMBio, PNM, Qynergy Corp., Sandia BioTech, Satorius, Southwest Lab, TriCore Reference Laboratories, U.S. Bank, Viome and Yearout, as well as New Mexico State University and New Mexico Tech.

The event – the first of its kind in recent years – will give UNM inventors and researchers a chance to interact directly with business people who can translate their discoveries into marketable products, Norenberg said.

“We hope that this will be impactful and that we’ll do it again with some frequency,” he said.