Author Archives: Bob Minkus

TECH 50 2021: HONORING PITTSBURGH’S TOP TECH COMPANIES

The Pittsburgh Technology Council celebrated the 25th annual Tech 50 Awards on Nov. 10, 2021 to honor the fastest growing and most innovative technology companies, service providers and CEOS in the Pittsburgh region.

WHICH OF PITTSBURGH’S TOP INNOVATORS WON THE 2021 TECH 50 AWARDS?

Technology looked a lot different 25 years ago when the first Tech 50 Awards were presented by the Pittsburgh Technology Council. There was an internet (just barely), cell phones were big and clunky (but not smart), and self-driving cars were science fiction (except for researchers at Carnegie Mellon University).

CYTOAGENTS’ TERESA WHALEN SELECTED FOR COMPETITIVE EY ENTREPRENEURIAL WINNING WOMEN™ NORTH AMERICA CLASS OF 2021

EY announced today that Teresa Whalen, CEO of CytoAgents, a biotech company developing a therapeutic treatment for Cytokine Release Syndrome, is one of the women founders selected for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America Class of 2021. The program, in its 14th year, identifies ambitious women entrepreneurs who are leading thriving organizations and provides the access, advisors and resources needed to scale their companies to their full potential and ultimately become leading market innovators. Program engagement offers participants executive education and introductions to the vast EY global entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as the Entrepreneurial Winning Women community worldwide.

“It’s a true honor to be named, among the best of the best entrepreneurs across North America, to the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women Program. The recognition validates the momentum and potential of CytoAgents,” said Teresa Whalen, RPh, CEO of CytoAgents.“I congratulate my fellow winners and look forward to forging connections with the vast EY network that will help propel our success, as it has for the prestigious group of winning predecessors.”

This year’s class of women-led high-growth companies across the US and Canada span a variety of industries, with a particularly strong showing in companies offering sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. The companies are also concentrated on tech-driven solutions across industries ranging from higher education to executive coaching, food and beverage, health, and wellness, and more. The judging panel for the Class of 2021 consisted of Beth Ferreira, General Partner at FirstMark Capital; Naomi Whittel, founder of Reservage Nutrition and best-selling author; David Liu, serial entrepreneur and advisor; and Lara O’Connor Hodgson, co-founder and CEO of Now Corp.

“We are proud to welcome another class of driven, strategic and ambitious founders into the EY entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Maranda Bruckner, Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Program Lead, Ernst & Young LLP. “We are honored to have the opportunity to foster these entrepreneurs with resources, guidance and community to help them scale their businesses, support their missions and reach their goals.” The Class of 2021 will be officially recognized this week during the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, one of the nation’s most prestigious gatherings of high-growth, market-leading companies.

The North America program targets women business owners who are founding CEOs of any US or Canadian privately held company that is 10 years old or younger. Company revenues typically range from at least $2m to as much as $30m annually.

“It is crucial that we focus on women business owners and encourage female entrepreneurship,” said

EY Americas Solutions Leader Cheryl Grise, who also serves as the Entrepreneurial Winning Women North America Executive Sponsor. “The Winning Women program exemplifies how, when systemic barriers are removed, women-led businesses can reach their full potential and spur immediate and long-lasting impact across sectors and the globe. The successes women founders who are part of this community have built individually and with each other are numerous and impressive. We are proud to be part of their journey.”

On an ongoing basis, Entrepreneurial Winning Women take part in additional workshops, conferences and training sessions. They become part of the EY global community of more than 800 Entrepreneurial Winning Women in 49 countries and on every continent, forging connections with our vast community of EY Entrepreneur of The Year™ alumni throughout the world. In a recent survey, when asked about the program’s impact on their success, 80% of Winning Women said it had a positive impact on their confidence and leadership to grow their businesses. Meanwhile, 66% said the program helped them grow and lead their team, and over half indicated the program impacted their willingness to take risks to scale their business.

“For more than 35 years, EY has been associated with great entrepreneurs worldwide,” said Lee Henderson, Americas EY Private Leader. “It is a privilege to be a part of these entrepreneurs’ business journeys. We believe opportunity available to any entrepreneur should be available to every entrepreneur, and the Entrepreneurial Winning Women program helps support our goal of closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship.”

About CytoAgents

CytoAgents is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of life-threatening symptoms associated with Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), an overreaction of the immune system causing systemic inflammation. There are many causes of CRS, and our mission is to develop a broadly accessible treatment for multiple indications of high unmet need, including oncology CAR T-cell therapy, COVID-19, and respiratory epidemics. Using a novel, host-directed approach, our lead compound, GP1681, targets the underlying cause of life-threatening CRS, by modulating the body’s natural immune response to sickness or disease. We are committed to developing first-in-class, best-in-class products that meet a major medical need now and into the future. www.cytoagents.com

About EY

EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.

Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.

Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax, and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data, and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. EY member firms do not practice law where prohibited by local laws. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

Ernst & Young LLP is a client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited operating in the US.

About EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™

The EY organization is committed to seeing women lead. EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ is a global program for successful women entrepreneurs whose businesses show more potential to scale. Through access to EY professionals and global EY networks throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem, pioneering women founders on every continent secure the resources, advice, operational know-how, contacts, and community they need to unleash their ambitions, expand their companies to full potential and become the role models they never had. ey.com/winningwomen

About EY Private

As Advisors to the ambitious™, EY Private professionals possess the experience and passion to support private businesses and their owners in unlocking the full potential of their ambitions. EY Private teams offer distinct insights born from the long EY history of working with business owners and entrepreneurs. These teams support the full spectrum of private enterprises including private capital managers and investors and the portfolio businesses they fund, business owners, family businesses, family offices, and entrepreneurs. Visit ey.com/private

Contacts

Kelley Skoloda for CytoAgents

412.897.3369

kskoloda@cytoagents.com

EY ANNOUNCES 27 WOMEN FOUNDERS SELECTED FOR THE EY ENTREPRENEURIAL WINNING WOMEN™ NORTH AMERICA CLASS OF 2021

EY announces the 27 women founders selected for the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America Class of 2021. The program, now in its 14th year, identifies ambitious women entrepreneurs who are leading thriving organizations and provides them with the access, advisors and resources needed to scale their companies to their full potential as market-leading innovators.

MEET ALPHALAB HEALTH’S INAUGURAL CLASS OF COMPANIES

Seven companies have been selected to be part of the inaugural cohort of AlphaLab Health.

CYTOAGENTS RECEIVES SECOND ROUND OF NIH FUNDING TO ACCELERATE TREATMENT FOR CYTOKINE STORM

PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CytoAgents, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of life-threatening symptoms associated with Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), announced today that it has been awarded a $2 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, the second NIH grant in a year. The funding will accelerate the development of its lead drug candidate, GP1681, an investigational new drug that targets hypercytokinemia, more commonly known as “cytokine storm.”

Scientific consensus is building that overwhelming inflammation and severe illness is triggered by a phenomenon known as cytokine storm, a severe form of cytokine release syndrome when an excessive immune response attacks the body. There are many causes of cytokine storm and the CytoAgents mission is to develop a broadly accessible treatment for multiple indications of high unmet need of cytokine storm, including for Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS) in CAR T-cell therapy and in COVID-19 patients. GP1681 uses a novel approach by calming the natural immune response addressing the underlying cause of life-threatening symptoms associated with cytokine storm.

Nearing the completion of its Phase 1 clinical trial for COVID-19, GP1681 has demonstrated a strong safety profile, with no serious adverse events reported to date. Phase 2 trials for CAR T-cell therapy CRS and Phase 2 clinical trials for COVID are slated to begin by mid-2021.

“We thank the NIH for these awards, which, accompanied by our exceptional grant scores, are a tremendous validation of our science and the enormous potential of GP1681 to treat SARS-CoV-2, as well as to serve as the foundation for a broad pipeline of indications causing Cytokine Release Syndrome or cytokine storm with high unmet needs,” said Teresa Whalen, RPh, CEO, CytoAgents.

The Phase II SBIR grant of $2 million is non-dilutive funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH, under Award Number 1R44AI157719-01, and will advance the research of GP1681 through IND-enabling toxicology studies expanding the initial toxicology screens; Pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis in a non-human primate (NHP) model; and assessment of the efficacy of delayed GP1681 treatment in an NHP model of COVID-19.

About CytoAgents

CytoAgents is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative pharmaceutical products for the treatment of life-threatening symptoms associated with Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), an overreaction of the immune system causing systemic inflammation also known as cytokine storm. There are many causes of CRS and our mission is to develop a broadly accessible treatment for multiple indications of high unmet need, including oncology CAR T-cell therapy, COVID-19, and respiratory epidemics. Using a novel approach by calming the natural immune response to a multi-organ disease, CytoAgents’ lead drug candidate, GP1681, is positioned to become the new best practice in medicine.

15 PITTSBURGH TECH COMPANIES TO WATCH IN 2021

We checked in with experts in the tech sector and, based on our own knowledge, came up with our picks for the top tech companies to watch in 2021.

NEW DRUG DEVELOPED BY PITTSBURGH-BASED COMPANY SHOWING PROMISE IN TREATMENT OF COVID-19

A new drug developed by a Pittsburgh-based biotechnology company is showing promise in treating COVID-19. The Wolf Administration hosted a news conference Wednesday morning to announce the development of the new drug.

PITTSBURGH-BASED COMPANY BEHIND ‘PROMISING’ NEW COVID-19 TREATMENT

On Wednesday, the Wolf Administration plans to highlight what it calls in a news advisory a “promising new drug candidate to treat COVID-19.”

PROMISING NEW TREATMENT

CytoAgents, based in Pittsburgh, says it is beginning its Phase 1 clinical trial for a new drug showing promise in the treatment of COVID-19.

CYTOAGENTS WORKING ON DRUG TO TREAT COVID-19

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Community and Economic Development introduced CytoAgents, a Ben Franklin Technology Partners company.

NEW COVID-19 TREATMENT SHOWS ENCOURAGING EARLY RESULTS, NORTH SHORE BIOTECH COMPANY SAYS

A North Shore biotech company is reporting encouraging early clinical results for a new COVID-19 treatment that targets the disease’s inflammatory process.