Oregon’s bioscience industry expands, invests

Oregon Translational Research and Development Institute expanding to Corvallis; Cambia invests in pair of startups.

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A Portland-based bioscience incubator will be growing its scope in the Willamette Valley as it plans on opening OTRADI South on the Oregon State campus.

From Elizabeth Hayes’ story in the Portland Business Journal:

“This year it became clear that we could best serve new biotechnology concepts emerging from OSU and University of Oregon by opening a second location much closer to their facilities and researchers,” OTRADI Executive Director Jennifer Fox said in a statement.

Dr. Robert Allen, OTRADI’s scientific director, will head OTRADI South. He previously was associate director for Antiviral Discovery for SIGA Technologies in Corvallis.

The bioscience industry is flourishing in Oregon, and executive director of the Oregon Bioscience Association Dennis McNannay said recently that it should continue to grow in 2015.

One of the leaders of the industry in the state, Cambia, made news over the last couple weeks by its interactions with startups. First was an in-house operation that aims to make diagnoses clearer and more easily attained.

The idea behind Muse, which stands for “medically unexplained symptoms expertise,” is to break the cycle by teaching patients new ways of interacting with their symptoms and strengthen the body’s natural tendency to heal.

Patients work with a licensed coach. Muse clinicians are Ph.D level psychologists who specialize in pain disorders, unexplained symptoms treatment and health psychology. They use a “cognitive-behavioral” approach. Treatment plans include eight to 10 sessions.

Read more about Muse in the Portland Business Journal.

The group also invested in True Link Financial, which aims to help seniors protect themselves against scams. Cambia also invested in Caremerge LLC, which makes sharing seniors’ information easier to help make better care a possibility.

True Link offers a customizable and monitored credit card that reduces the risk of misuse. The customizable prepaid Visa permits an administrator, such as a trusted family member, to set up per-purchase or per-day spending limits or cap ATM withdrawals, according the New York Times. It can also block charges to individual merchants or entire categories. It costs $10 per month.

Last week, Cambia announced it led a $4 million institutional financing round, along with four other investors, in Caremerge LLC. In 2012, Caremerge launched a Hipaa-compliant, mobile/web-based platform that allows senior living staff and others to capture and share seniors’ clinical information to facilitate the best care possible. (SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

Read Cambia’s Oregon Business op-ed co-written with the Oregon Business Council about the importance of health to the state’s economy here.