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Archive for Monday, April 4, 2011

$425,000 grant from Kansas Bioscience Authority would help Pinnacle Technology Inc. develop biosensors

April 4, 2011

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The Kansas Bioscience Authority’s investment committee recommended on Monday that the authority grant nearly $425,000 to Lawrence-based Pinnacle Technology Inc.

The money would be used to further develop the company’s biosensors that can detect brain activity, said David Vranicar, president of Heartland BioVentures, the commercialization arm of the KBA. It would serve as a matching grant for the company’s $850,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The full board of the KBA could consider the committee’s recommendation during a meeting in May, Vranicar said.

Though Pinnacle Technology has shifted its focus several times over the years, it now primarily focuses on biomedical tools used for data acquisition in mice and rats, said Donna Johnson, Pinnacle’s CEO.

This particular project would measure real-time alcohol levels in the brain, Johnson said. It would improve the rate of data collection, which today is taken about every five minutes. The new technology would collect data every second.

The data can be used to determine, for example, the effects of alcohol on long-term sleep patterns, along with other brain activity, Johnson said.

It is based on technology originally developed in chemistry laboratories at Kansas University.

Since it began receiving KBA funding in 2008, the company has grown from eight or nine employees to 25, Johnson said. The KBA funds have been used to help grow her company’s marketing efforts to help sell the company’s products, she said.

“We’re really starting to move from a research company to a manufacturing and sales company, and the KBA has essentially allowed us to do that,” Johnson said.

Comments

Joe Blackford II 3 years ago

$425K, why that's less than KBA paid Tom Thornton & his wife in 2010.

Half a $ Million here, half a $ Million there; it really doesn't all add up, does it Mr. Thornton?

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susieparker 3 years ago

Janice Katterhenry is the CFO/COO of the KBA. Her son, Christopher Katterhenry works for Pinnacle. HUMMMMM!

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svenway_park 3 years ago

After the election is over, I can think of a couple of alcoholic rat brains which will be available for study.

One can be easily located in town for lack of gas money. The other can be easily cornered in a basement in a nearby county, sitting in front of a computer.

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devobrun 3 years ago

The link between government and industry and government and research has made the distinction between the three almost non-existent. A state research organization (KBA) funds a private company which also gets fed dollars to produce a new product.

All this money is pre-wired in the sense that Pinnacle, NIH and KBA are staffed by people who attended KU. NIH tells Pinnacle what it wants, Pinnacle tells them how much it will cost. People go from KU to Pinnacle or NIH and the personal connections grow. It is a culture of play.....with taxpayer money. Nobody gets rich because there just isn't much money in rat brain research. But you have to play the game to get anything done today and that game is played with government money.

There is no free market. There is no independent research. There is no activity which is not controlled by the government today.

I think that a day of reckoning is due. The government is broke. Rat brain research and its results are not yielding wider successes in science and human behavior. In short, the money is drying up and the strange, spurious products from people like Pinnacle are doomed. Budgets are being cut everywhere. Pinnacle's high speed brain sensor might just not have a market because the government is broke.

Sad how science and business have nestled up to the government teat and gotten so dependent upon it.

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Les Blevins 3 years ago

This seems to fit with what we know about the KBA and things in general. For example we can see the KBA will toss any amount of taxpayer's money at any human or animal health related idea they can find to throw it at here in Kansas, but will not invest in any alternative energy innovation. Why? Because we value our own health as infinite in value but also value future generations as somewhat less than say tickets for sporting events for example. Don't we just love living here in a red state? Also GE and the big oil firms don't need to worry about paying income taxes in America because Americans don't expect huge firms that supply things such as military jet aircraft and ever higher fossil fuels to pay their fair share but we will readily allow the poor, infirm and unemployed to suffer unaided. Don't you just love our tax policies here in America?

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