Friday, November 30, 2007


Walter Goldstein, PhD., MBA, P.E. will talk about his patented method of creating a universal blood supply using bioreactors. He has co-founded a company, TransCyte, Inc. to develop the technology,

Tuesday, December 11th at 11:30 AM Check-in/Networking 12 PM Lunch
McCormick & Schmicks: Lunch $30. 355 Howard Hughes Parkway, Las Vegas, NV
R.S.V.P. Judith Lynn Rebholz 839-7201 or
Dr. Walter E. Goldstein is the former Coordinator of the UNLV Biotechnology Center. He is the co-founder of TransCyte, Inc. (a company formed to produce red cells from stem cells) as well as the President of Goldstein Consulting Company. He has led a research and development organization of 140 persons (35 Ph.D.'s) at Bayer (Miles, Inc.), a leading firm in biotechnology, clinical diagnostics, therapeutics, food ingredients, materials, chemicals, and consumer products. He led 35 persons (10 Ph.D.'s) at ESCAgenetics Corporation, which was a leading developer of plant-based technology for food, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals. He designed and developed cryogenic processes and equipment for Union Carbide Corporation. At the UNLV Biotechnology center he developed programs in forensic DNA profiling, microbiological identification, food safety, genetic basis for biotechnology improvements, and prevention of nosocomial infections.

Dr. Walter Goldstein holds a BS in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MS and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA from Michigan State University, with emphasis in finance, marketing, business law, and business organization. He is a Registered Professional Engineer. He has held faculty and research appointments in both the University (Notre Dame, UNLV) and private sectors.

Dr. Goldstein holds a number of patents including the process for producing a transfusable, oxygenating composition of human red blood cells by the ex vivo culturing, expansion and differentiation of human primitive hematopoietic cells. The process involves expansion of primitive hematopoietic cells in a first bioreactor containing one or more growth factors, differentiating the cells into erythroid progenitor cells in a second bioreactor containing one or more differentiation factors and effecting maturation of the erythroid progenitor cells into mature erythrocytes in a third bioreactor containing one or more maturation factors. The invention also provides a process for producing a transfusable, oxygenating composition of red blood cells by expansion and differentiation of primitive hematopoietic cells in a bioreactor containing a nutrient medium which includes perfluorocarbons which improve the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the cells and the nutrient media.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

NevBio Luncheon Showcases UNLV College of Sciences

NevBio showcased the UNLV College of Sciences at its November luncheon. The audience included a large number of local business people and a wide range of UNLV administration, faculty and students, including University Regent, Mark Alden who briefly spoke about his support for the university.

Dean Ron Yasbin provided an overview of the College of Sciences’ many accomplishments and previewed the new Science and Engineering Building now under construction.

UNLV EVP and Provost Neal Smatresk briefed the attendees on the challenges and opportunities facing UNLV. Dr. Helen Wing and a number of other researchers explained their research work on large posters that surrounded the room. (Thanks to Dave Archer who wrote this post from Nevada's Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, a sponsor of NevBio.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NevBio to Present at MedExpo at UNLV

Nevada Biotechnology & Bioscience Consortium will be presenting at the 2007 MedExpo trade show on Friday, November 9, 2007 at the UNLV Student Union building.
The MedExpo Trade Show starts at 11AM and runs through to 5 PM and the admission is free. At 1:30 the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium will make a presentation on “Building the Biotechnology Marketplace in Nevada, A Community Collaboration.” MedExpo 2007 targets medical professionals including physicians, nurses and health care professionals and is sponsored by M.D. NEWS Magazine, Southern Nevada Edition. Free parking for MedExpo 2007 is in the UNLV Parking Garage located off of Maryland Parkway on Cottage Grove Avenue (adjacent to Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall).

Cutting Edge Bisocience Research at UNLV Luncheon

The November 7th lunch meeting of Nevada Biotechnology & Bioscience Consortium will be hosted by the UNLV College of Sciences. The program will start with opening remarks from Executive Vice President and Provost Neal Smatresk and a powerpoint presentation on the College of Sciences from Dean Ron Yasbin and Associate Dean Carl Reiber. Faculty and students from the College of Science will have large posters that summarize their current research projects in bioscience and biotechnology fields.

Check in and networking will start at 11:30 AM and the program with lunch will start at 12 noon. The meeting will be in the Blasco Events Wing of the UNLV Foundation Building which is close to the corner of Cottage Avenue and Maryland Parkway, next to the Judy Bayley Theatre.

Parking for the event will be in the lot adjacent to the UNLV Foundation Building (Lot Y) and metered parking is also available in a nearby parking garage.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NevBio-Mission, Vision & Goals

The Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio) is an organization of institutes, companies, and academia in Nevada engaged in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical research and production, medical devices, and health science research.

The mission of the NevBio is to foster and support biotechnology and life science-related businesses in Nevada and to promote and elevate the presence of life science research in Nevada.


1) To create forums for non-profit and for-profit entities that allow business networking and the opportunity to exchange ideas that will move Nevada forward in the field of biotechnology and life sciences research.

2) To support life science businesseses in all aspects of moving a potential product from the laboratory, through the approval process, to the marketplace.

3) To provide a centralized data resource for all health science-related research entities and companies in Nevada.

4) To work with universities to enhance the knowledge transfer to the community to create new companies and new partnership opportunities for Nevada companies.

5) To promote the study and understanding of science for all Nevadans, with an emphasis on elementary, middle, and high school students

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Chancellor Jim Rogers Pushes for Applied Medical Programs and State of the Art Research

Chancellor Jim Rogers gave his 2007 State of the System Address in which he said that the Nevada Health Sciences System will develop quality medical care and state of the art research. The eight institutions have 150 related health programs which the system is expanding to create more nurses, doctors, and health care professionals. The institutions are forming partnerships with doctors, hospitals and researchers to raise the quality of health care in Nevada. Rogers said that Nevada is ranked 45th for doctors, 49th for nurses and 39th in state health status.

Rogers also believes that the university need to develop business partnerships which will help drive the economic engine of Nevada. Rogers believes that a key part of Nevada’s economic future requires 1) research and technology transfer and 2)workforce development and training. Rogers is committed to increasing the number of kids that finish high school and complete a college education which is an area that Nevada can improve.

Rogers would like to see more businesses and individuals invest in education. He believes that a great university system cannot be built alone by legislators; 75% of the funding must come from the private sector. Although he believes it is crucial in 2009 that the legislature increases its funding of higher education.

Health Sciences are definitely a priority for Chancellor Rogers.

1. Nevada’s State of Education October 2007. Copy of speeches by Chancellor Jim Rogers, Superintendent Walt Rulffess, et al. October 10, 2007.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

NeoStem to Hold Press Conference at Nevada Biotechnology Meeting

NeoStem, an adult stem cell collection and storage services firm, will announce its plans to open a facility in Las Vegas at the October 23, 2007 meeting of the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio). Dr. Denis Rodgerson, Ph.D., Director of Stem Cell Science for NeoStem and a co-founder of NeoStem will speak at the meeting on “Using Our Own Stem Cells for Therapeutic Purposes.” After the program, NeoStem and the Nevada Development Authority will have a press conference to announce NeoStem’s plans for a facility in Las Vegas. Carl Reiber, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for UNLV's College of Sciences was excited to hear that NeoStem was coming to Las Vegas, “the School of Life Sciences at UNLV has a fully functioning Genomics Laboratory and is developing a tissue laboratory. Our faculty and students welcome the opportunity to develop public-private research partnerships and we look forward to working with the expanding number of businesses in southern Nevada who are applying this technology.” NeoStem currently has one facility in California and is licensed for one in New York.

NeoStem is the first company to provide adult stem cell collection and bank services to the general adult population. Previously, stem cells had to be collected from the bone marrow under a procedure known as “bone marrow aspiration” which could be painful. NeoStem uses a procedure called mobilization which involves two injections that temporarily cause a person’s stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the blood. NeoStem then uses use a procedure known as apheresis. It is procedure that is similar to donating blood in which a person’s blood is collected, the stem cells removed and the blood is returned to the person’s body. The process takes several hours. The stem cells are stored in a cryo-preservation tank. NeoStem says studies have shown that 3% of stem cells off every 30 years.

According to NeoStem, adult stem cells have been used as treatments in humans for over 30 years to treat cancer and certain blood disorders. Storing one’s own stem cells, autologous, has many advantages such as there are no issues with immune rejection, the stem cells are readily available and autologous cells are less costly than allogeneic.

Currently, adult stem cells are used in the treatment of Leukemia, Neuroblastoma, Lymphoma, Anemia, Multiple sclerosis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritits, Oteochondrosis, Retinoblastoma and radiation sickness. In the future, it is hope that adult stem cells can be used to treat Heart Disease, Diabetes, Renal Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Stroke, Spinal Cord injury and wound healing.

John Laub, Executive Director of the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio) said, “We are very pleased to welcome NeoStem to Las Vegas. We look to help them integrate with our growing biotechnology community.” The NevBio meeting is October 23rd at 12 PM noon, 11:30 AM check-in at Panevino Restaurant (E.Sunset & Gilepsie) 246 Via Antonio Avenue. The public is welcomed. The cost is $30 which includes lunch. All payments are taken at the door. To guarantee a seat you must RSVP with Judith Rebholz at or call 702-839-7222. A press conference will follow at 2 PM.

The Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium is a non-profit, educational organization with the purpose of advancing life science research and promoting the biotechnology and life science-related industry in Nevada.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Linda Rubinson Joins the Board of NevBio

Linda Rubinson has joined the Board of Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio).Ms.Rubinson brings over 20 years of biotech, scientific, pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing experience for several global companies. Her work repeatedly captured top market share position. With extensive experience in developing affiliations, strategic alliances and partnerships, Ms. has built marketplaces, products, programs, services and new businesses. As a product manager she has directed eleven products, in Healthcare, Life Science and Information Technology, launching eight and shutting down six. Her work with academic and government labs has facilitated collaborations, technology transfer and the seeding of several start-up companies. She has spearheaded three development stage companies, as well as worked for and with several global enterprise operations. Her work with the pharmaceutical industry resulted in her earning an Achievement Award given by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She has worked for Stanford Health Services, Digital Equipment Corporation, Memorial Hospital, New England Deaconess Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Ms. Rubinson earned her Bachelor of Arts at Northeastern University, Boston, MA with degrees in biology and chemistry, and specialty training in medical technology. Ms.Rubinson said that she joined the board of NevBio because, “As a new resident of Nevada, I feel compelled to offer my assistance in building a world class biotechnology and bioscience marketplace here.” John Laub, Executive Director, said, “Linda is great addition to our board. She has great experience, drive and contacts. She has quickly made a very positive impact on our group.”

Operating Costs for Regional Clusters:A Closer Look at 34 Major and Emerging Biotech Hubs

By John H. Boyd, Genetic Engineering News: Biobusiness:Sep 1 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 15)

This article in Genetic Engineering News notes the development of Las Vegas as an emerging Biotechnology area.

A new corporate location study compares the cost of doing business for the bioscience industry in 34 U.S. and Canadian cities. The study, prepared by the The Boyd Company (, focuses on all the major cost drivers for this sector. These include salaries for employees with advanced degrees in the life sciences, wages for workers in other laboratory and administrative support positions, fringe benefits, utilities, lease rates, construction costs, and other geographically variable operating costs.

Comparative locations in the Boyd analysis include major market centers of current and emerging life sciences industry activity. The survey included U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of approximately two million or greater. It also looked at current industry clusters within or proximate to metropolitan areas that employ at least 15,000 bioscience workers, according to latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Emerging bioscience centers are those major market locations identified in “Bioscience 2007, Growing the Nation’s Bioscience Sector: A Regional Perspective” published by Battelle Memorial Institute and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. They are situated within metropolitan areas having bioscience sector employment ranging from 500 to 5,000 and job growth rates exceeding 20% during the recent four-year period.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Factors
Comparative locations featured in the study include long-standing centers of bioscience industry such as Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Montgomery County, MD, as well as emerging hubs of investment like Las Vegas, Palm Beach County, FL, St. Louis, MO, and Sacramento, CA. The study also looks at New York City, which is striving to capture a greater share of commercial life sciences activity.

Today, operating costs are the white hot issue in the boardrooms of bioscience companies. Owing to the competitive forces of global free trade, rising energy and drug production costs, soaring civil litigation and regulatory expenses, and a lean and mean message being sent by the post dot-com crash venture capital community, quantitative factors focusing on the cost of doing business are trumping qualitative lifestyle factors when it comes to siting new bioscience facilities. For many firms, start-ups especially, the only way to improve the bottom line is by reducing expenditure, and there is little help on the revenue side of the ledger.

Operating cost differentials between an acceptable city and an optimum bioscience site can be very substantial, running into the millions of dollars per year.

In the Boyd study, annual operating expenses under a new construction assumption in the U.S. range from a high of $11.4 million in New York to a low of $9.7 million in Las Vegas. In Canada under the same assumption, annual operating costs range from a high of $8.1 million in Vancouver to a low of $7.3 million in Saskatoon, home of the University of Saskatchewan and a flourishing agribio sector.

Under a lease assumption in the U.S., annual operating costs range from a high of $10.9 million in New York to a low of $9.6 million in Las Vegas. In Canada under this assumption, annual operating costs range from a high of $8 million in Vancouver to a low of $7.1 million in Saskatoon. All amounts are scaled to a hypothetical 22,000-sq-ft bioscience laboratory employing 110 workers.

States like Texas, Florida, and Nevada that have no state personal income tax provide additional relocation benefits to biotech transferees and start-ups by enabling them to keep more of what they earn. Lowest cost Las Vegas has neither a personal nor a state corporate income tax.
Canada continues to offer a low-cost environment for the bioscience industry, even with the double digit rise in the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. greenback during the past year. Biotech companies enjoy lower labor expenses in the area of fringe benefits due to Canada’s nationalized healthcare system.

Boyd biotech clients in the U.S. typically shell out about 35–40% of their payroll toward benefits, mostly healthcare-related. In Canada, however, companies spend between 15% and 20%. This cost disparity facing U.S. multinational firms, both in and out of the life sciences industry, will likely be a key talking point as the U.S. once again revisits the topic of national healthcare during the upcoming election cycle.

Redevelopment through Bioscience: New York and Las Vegas
In both the highest and lowest cost cities in the Boyd study—New York and Las Vegas—strong mayors are leveraging public-private partnerships to spur bioscience investment in their urban centers. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is championing the East River Science Park located on the Bellevue Hospital campus on the east side of Manhattan. Long term, over 800,000 sq. ft. of laboratory, office, and conference space is planned for the Park.

In and around the Park’s location are a number of renowned healthcare institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering, NYU Medical Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Rockefeller University. High operating costs, space limitations, housing constraints for entry-level researchers, and a difficult business climate have historically hampered New York’s efforts to capture its fair share of commercial life sciences investment despite the city’s tremendous scientific and medical assets. The city’s East River Science Park initiative is being developed to overcome these hurdles.

In Las Vegas, bioscience as a redevelopment tool has seen early success with the attraction of two major research institutions to this high-growth metropolitan area. Ground breaking on the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute took place in February within Las Vegas’ 61-acre Union Park urban development zone, a project being led by Mayor Oscar Goodman aimed at revitalizing downtown Las Vegas and diversifying its economy.

The five-story Lou Ruvo Brain Institute was designed by architect Frank Gehry and will house clinical, research, and outpatient exam rooms for brain disease patients. The Keep Memory Alive Foundation, a nonprofit that supports research into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain disorders, is funding the $70-million construction. The project builds on the city’s emerging biomedical research community led by the $52-million Nevada Cancer Institute and ongoing research initiatives at the UNLV Medical School funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

John H. Boyd is founder and president of The Boyd Company. Email John Boyd

Friday, August 31, 2007

Las Vegas-based Phage Biotechnology Corporation Receives Approval from CA

Phage Biotechnology Corporation with headquarters in Las Vegas received word from the State of California Department of Public Health that Phage was approved for a license to manufacture drugs at its San Diego facility. The approval came in August, 2007. Phage Biotechnology manufactures bio-similar proteins. The company will use the facility to make Interferon Alpha, Beta-interferon, Human Growth hormone, Parathyroid hormone, Neupogen and Fibroblast Growth Factor. Phage manufactures protein pharmaceuticals that utilize a proprietary process in which recombinant proteins can be produced relatively rapidly and at low cost utilizing the Phage manufacturing process.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

John Laub is the New President of NevBio

John Laub has accepted the position as the Executive Director of the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NevBio). John was one of the founders of NevBio and stepped in to replace Dr. Jennifer Montague, who had to resign due to her husband’s relocation to North Carolina. John is also the Executive Director of the Regenerative Medicine Organization, which is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of regenerative medicine. The Regenerative Medicine Organization holds its annual conference in Las Vegas each year. John has lived in Las Vegas for over forty years and is dedicated to developing the Life Science community in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Las Vegas based-CardioVascular BioTherapeutics Okayed for Phase II Trial

Las Vegas-based CardioVascular BioTherapeutics, Inc.was approved by the FDA to enter into Phase II of its clinical trials for its heart drug. The approval by the FDA for Phase II is a major accomplishment for CVBT. In the first Phase I trial, the company demonstrated, as required for a Phase I study, that there were no side effects of the drug. Although the Phase I trials are solely focused on toxicity of the drug, the patients in Phase I saw a marked improvement in their severe heart disease. CVBT’s heart drug FGF-141 was injected into the hearts of no-option heart patients to grow new blood vessels. Eligible patients must have had at least a double by-pass operation and not have any other options available for treatment. The patients in Phase I reported feeling better and showed marked improvements in their SPECT tests. Many of the patients said that they could resume their normal activities, such as walking, going up stairs, shopping and even, returning to work. At a reunion of patients from the US Phase I trials in Cincinnati in 2006, patients and family members thanked the team from CVBT. Some of the patients’ stories:

Constance Donley, age 51, of Cold Spring, Kentucky was the first patient in the
United States to receive the FGF1 injection in November 2003. Donley began
suffering severe angina following the first of three open-heart procedures in
1998. A medical records clerk at Deaconess Hospital, Donley found it hard to
work a full day, crippled by her constant chest pain. Now, twelve weeks later the
results are promising. "I feel great," said Donley. The mother of five smiled as
she reported, "I am back at work full time and doing more and more everyday."
Claudia Robertson, age 54, of Kettering, Ohio, near Dayton was the second
patient to undergo treatment. Robertson developed severe angina a few months
after her 1999 emergency quadruple bypass. The mother of three, grandmother
of three, is now back to playing trivia on Wednesday nights and shopping
around town.

James Duke, age 57, of Forest Park, Ohio was the third patient to receive
treatment. Duke developed severe angina also after a quadruple bypass in
June 2002. The father of three, he is delighted to have received the option of
angiogenesis treatment. "I am glad it was available to me," said Duke. He is
now happy to be back at work for the Winton Woods School District. [1]

CVBT will now enter Phase II with its heart drug. In this phase they plan on treating 100 patients at sites in the United States and Europe. In Phase II the company will use a catheter to deliver the drug to the heart instead of cutting the chest open to deliver the drug. A small incision in the leg will be made and a catheter will be inserted through the arteries to the heart. The new procedure required two approvals from the FDA, one for the drug and another for the device. CVBT hired a clinical research organization, Kendle International, to help with its application and the Phase II trials. Kendle is among the world's leading global clinical research organizations and is the fourth-largest provider of Phase II-IV clinical development services.

Disclosure: John Laub wrote this article and owns shares of CVBT.

1. “Growth Factor Protein Succeeds in Growing New Coronary Arteries.” News-Medical.Net March 26, 2004.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Nevada Cancer Institute to host Biotech Meeting-Friday-July 20th

The Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium meeting in July will be at the Nevada Cancer Institute. The meeting will be on Friday on July 20th and will be open to all interested parties. The lunch is $20 which includes the meeting and a presentation on tea before the meeting. Kathy VanWagenen, Program Administrator of the Nevada Cancer Research Foundation (NCRF) will be speaking on the number of cancer trials that are taking place in Las Vegas. According to Clinical, there are 578 on-going clinical trials in Las Vegas with 192 recruiting new patients.

The NCRF’s goal as a Community Clinical Oncology Program is to introduce the latest clinical research findings into a community. This program allows Las Vegans to take part in trials with some of latest advancements in cancer treatments.

The Nevada Cancer Institute (NCI) is a Nevada-based research and clinical facility. NCI opened its new facility in Summerlin on September 23, 2005 to much fanfare. NCI’s clinical side focuses on treating patients and their caregivers with the upmost care and in an uplifting environment. The building and the interior design are as beautiful as any of the top strip hotels.

The luncheon will start at 11:30 for a pre-meeting talk and demonstration on the beneficial health effects of tea and the actual meeting will start at noon. NCI is located at One Breakthrough Way at 10441 W. Twain Avenue which is off of the 215 and S. Town Center Drive. You will need to register for the meeting by Thursday, the cost is $20 and to RSVP you may contact Jennifer Montague at 702-869-8830 or email

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

NevBio Meeting: Dr.Gardner to Discuss New Medical Approach to Back Pain

Dr. Vance Gardner, board certified orthopedic surgeon and associate clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, will speak at the June 21st meeting of the Nevada Biotechnology & Bioscience Consortium (NevBio) on his research to study the vascular status of the lumbar spine in patients with chronic low back pain. This research was commissioned by a grant from a Nevada-based biotechnology company, CardioVascular BioTherapeutics.

Dr. Gardner will discuss his on-going research in which 50 subjects with chronic low back pain undergo a very detailed angiography using a 3.0 Tesla research scanner to show dynamic perfusion of the vertebral bodies and disc diffusion. According to a number of research studies, spinal ischemia (lack of blood flow) is believed to be a contributor to lumbar disc disease. Gardner’s study is looking to determine whether decreased blood flow affects the vertebral bodies and the discs. Gardner believes that by using these techniques, a sub-population will emerge that derives its etiology more to ischemia and disc nutrition than to mechanical and genetic factors. If this population can be defined, then new treatments for lower back pain can be developed.

Dr. Jennifer Montague, Executive Director of the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium (NB2C) said “Dr. Vance Gardner grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and through his ties to Nevada is now performing research for a Nevada-based biotechnology company, CardioVascualar BioTherapeutics, Inc. In addition to speaking at our meeting, Dr. Gardner plans on taking a tour of the facilities at the Nevada Cancer Institute. He believes that there might be projects that they could collaborate on in the future.” Dr. Montague continued, “Biotechnology is happening in Las Vegas and the more we can come together as a community of researchers and supporters, the more we can build up the biotechnology industry in Nevada.”
The Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium’s meeting is June 21st (Third Thursday) at 12 PM noon at McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant at 355 Howard Hughes Parkway.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nevada Biotechnology & Biosciences Meeting: Using Proteins to Kill Cancer Cells

UNLV Biochemistry Professor, Dr. Bryan Spangelo spoke at the first meeting of the Nevada Biotechnology & Biosciences Consortium (NevBio) about his research on a specific protein that could be helpful to fight certain types of cancer, such as leukemia. The protein is part of thymosin fraction 5 (TF5) which is derived from the thymus gland.

Dr. Spangelo’s research indicates that a thymic hormone immune surveillance mechanism may suppress neuroendocrine and hematopoietic tumor formation. Thus, certain thymic peptides act to suppress leukemia as well as neuroendocrine tumor cell proliferation. The active peptide is small and may enhance apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death. The isolation of the active component of TF5 that inhibits neuroendocrine and hematopoietic tumor cell proliferation will provide a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these tumors.

Dr. Spangelo made his presentation on May 25th to the members of the Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium, which is an organization dedicated to advancing life science research and promoting the biotechnology and life science-related industry in Nevada.

Dr. Jennifer Montague, Executive Director of the Consortium, said “Dr. Bryan Spangelo’s research is a perfect example of the exciting work being performed in the fields of biotechnology and science in Nevada, and which our organization will continue to highlight.”

Dr. Montague continued, “Our first meeting of NB2C had 27 attendees, including 8 Ph.D.s with representatives from the Nevada Cancer Institute, the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the University of Southern Nevada-School of Pharmacy, Cardiovascular BioTherapuetics, Inc. and the Regenerative Medicine Organization. We also had support from the Nevada Development Authority, the University of Nevada Health Science System and the economic agencies from Henderson, Las Vegas and the State of Nevada. The enthusiasm for a group such as this is summed up well by one of the attendees who stated, “We’ve all been doing our own thing. This is a great way for all the research groups to come together..”

The Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium’s next meeting is June 21st (Third Thursday) at 12 PM noon at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant at 335 Howard Hughes Parkway. The speaker is Dr. Vance Gardner with the Orthopaedic Education and Research Institute of Southern California. He will discuss his research work for a Nevada-based biotech company, CardioVascular BioTherapeutics, Inc. This work involves studying the vascular status of the lumbar spine in patients with chronic low back pain. Dr. Gardner is using a 3.0 Tesla research scanner at the Irvine Center for Functional Onco Imaging to examine 50 subjects with chronic low back pain.

The Nevada Biotechnology and Biosciences Consortium is a non-profit, educational organization with the purpose of advancing life science research and the biotechnology industry in Nevada. The meetings are open to researchers, educators, students and public and private-sector health care professionals, as well as interested citizens. For more information on the meetings, please visit the website of Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience is or call Dr. Montague at (702) 869-8830.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Biotechnology and Bioscience Non-profit Group to Start in Las Vegas

The Nevada Biotechnology & Biosciences Consortium (NevBio) is having its inaugural luncheon on May 17th at McCormick and Schmick’s restaurant. The speaker will be Dr. Bryan Spangelo of the UNLV Chemistry Department. The title of his speech is “Certain Peptides Can Kill Cancer Cells: Characterization of Thymosin Fraction 5.” You can RSVP to Dr. Jennifer Montague at or call her at (702) 869-8830. The cost is $30 which can be paid at the door.

Dr. Jennifer Montague is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the NevBio, along with John Laub, Steven Zak and Judith Rebholz. The purpose of the NBBC is to foster and support biotechnology and life science-related businesses in Nevada and to promote and elevate the presence of life science research in Nevada.

Dr. Montague believes that there is enough activity in Las Vegas in the fields of biotechnology, medical devices, and life sciences to start bringing scientists, researchers, doctors and companies together to network with one another, with the goal of sharing information, encouraging business development and enhancing scientific investigation. “Las Vegas has several biotechnology companies such as Cardiovascular BioTherapeutics, Inc. and Phage Biotechnology, and several research institutes such as the Nevada Cancer Institute and the Lou Ruvo Brain Institute. In addition, UNLV has started a biotechnology center, Touro University provides a medical campus in Henderson, and The University of Southern Nevada has a pharmacy school. There are also a number of medical device companies, such as Kloehn Ltd and Non-Invasive Medical Technologies, as well, non-profit groups, such as the Regenerative Medicine Organization, are located in Las Vegas. The Regenerative Medicine Organization holds their annual conference in Las Vegas, and many other scientific and medical conferences are held throughout the valley, too. Many other states have an organization that provides a voice to those in the biotechnology and bioscience fields. It’s time for Nevada to have one too,” said Dr. Montague.

Dr. Montague went on to say, “through the NevBio, we plan to create forums in which different groups can exchange ideas that will move Nevada forward in the field of biotechnology and life sciences research. We also plan to work with our local universities to enhance the knowledge transfer to the community, which will help create new companies and new partnership opportunities for existing Nevada companies. In addition, the NevBio will provide a centralized data resource for all health science-related research entities and companies in Nevada. Another one of our goals is to promote the study and understanding of science for all Nevadans, with an emphasis on elementary, middle, and high school students.” Dr. Montague would like to see anyone who shares these goals to join her at the inaugural meeting on May 17th. You can reach her at or (702) 869-8830.