MIP Finalists: Life Science Products in Clinical Stage

Sep 28, 2017

This November, CONNECT is proud to host the 30th annual Most Innovative Product Awards on Thursday, November 30. At MIP, CONNECT honors San Diego’s stars of innovation along with their newly launched groundbreaking products. This year’s finalists were announced on September 14, and in the weeks leading up to the event we are going to be introducing you to these companies by category. To kick it off, this week we will be getting up close and personal with the companies in the category: Life Science Products (Clinical Stage)

Want to come see who takes the final prize for Life Science Products (Clinical Stage)? Buy your ticket or table here!

Poiesis Therapeutics


CEO & President: Jessica A. Dugan
About Poiesis: Why be satisfied with medicines that were approved last century to treat the members of your fur family? Poïesis can do better and intends to leverage modern technological and scientific advances through our partnerships to bring high quality medicines to the pet health veterinary market.
How did you come up with the idea for your product? When we lost our family dog suddenly in 2012, I realized there was a huge innovation gap in veterinary medicine, making it impossible to offer high quality medicines to extend the quality of our pet’s lives. My goal is to speed up innovation to pet health by partnering with human biotech R&D and developing their assets for pets. These first 2 products are based on an amazing nanoparticle technology.
Who is someone who believed in you/your product? One of my mentors, Dr. Laurent Fischer, is a very successful biotechnology executive. He has been a big believer since the beginning and has been a great resource for Poïesis.




CEO & President: Paul Laikind
About ViaCyte: Patients with high-risk type 1 diabetes have a particularly urgent unmet medical need as they are at constant risk of serious complications that often require hospitalization and may be accompanied by seizures, unconsciousness, coma, and even death.  ViaCyte has achieved breakthroughs in stem cell differentiation and medical device engineering that have enabled invention of the PEC-Direct product candidate, which is designed as an islet cell replacement therapy that may become a functional cure for high-risk type 1 diabetes. 
Why did you apply to MIP?
For 30 years CONNECT has been recognizing outstanding innovation in the San Diego life science sector through their Most Innovative New Product (MIP) Awards.  With a very innovative, potentially life-saving therapy like PEC-Direct and strong ties to the San Diego area, we wanted to share the excitement of the PEC-Direct product candidate with our community.  The CONNECT MIP Awards is a great opportunity to showcase the multiple areas of San Diego life science innovation and leadership contained within one product — from stem cell research to medical device engineering to cell therapy manufacturing and scale-up.  
What is one of your favorite parts of being a startup?
When it comes to diabetes treatments, little has changed in the last 100 years as far as novel and potentially curative treatments for this lifelong disease.  As a startup, we can take an innovative approach to developing a novel treatment that could make a substantial impact on people’s lives. It takes an innovative start up environment to attract the right team and work on a project such as this with single-minded determination.  That makes for a very exciting and rewarding environment.



Founder & CEO: Thomas Hitchcock
About Xycrobe Therapeutics: In the year 2017, the failed, “scorched-earth” strategy of skincare has led us to a place where we have more skin inflammation, skin issues, and antibiotic resistant microbes than ever before. The Xycrobe Microbioforming™ Kit is a true innovation delivering actual skincare that works with (rather than against) the skin’s microbiome, using live “Xycrobes™” to balance the skin microbiome while delivering skin-healthy anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories and anti-staph substances 24/7.
Why did you apply to MIP? While innovation is a great starting point in the development of a successful company or product, you can’t really get very far unless you attract the funding necessary to take the company/product to commercialization. The MIP award has come to be seen in the San Diego startup community as a mark of validation, and just to be selected as a finalist gives a startup a degree of distinction during a time where every bit helps to get noticed by potential investors.
Who is someone who believed in you/your product? Every person that has funded, volunteered or even worked for Xycrobe thus far has taken calculated risks to do so, because they believe in the potential of the Xycrobe technology. I cannot give one name, because I admire and respect every individual that has chosen to take this journey with the Xycrobe team.