Innovative Biotech Startup, TheraCea Pharma, Wins University of Arizona Center for Innovation Sponsored Launch Fueled by BIOSA | Tech Parks Arizona
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Innovative Biotech Startup, TheraCea Pharma, Wins University of Arizona Center for Innovation Sponsored Launch Fueled by BIOSA

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is pleased to announce the winning startup of the UACI Sponsored Launch Fueled by BIOSA competition. TheraCea Pharma will receive a sponsored year’s admission at the new biotech incubator, UACI at Oro Valley. Included with entrance into the program and space at the new location, the startup will also be awarded a cash prize of $5,000. The total package value is $15,000 and funded by the Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIOSA). Program entrance will grant the winning startup with resources, facilities, services and expert guidance to grow their business. 

TheraCea Pharma is a R&D stage Arizona-based biotechnology company that develops diagnostic positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agents for the detection of cancer, cardiology, neurology and infectious diseases. The company's platform is a novel chemical process enabling efficient, quick and high yield preparation of diagnostic agents. TheraCea Pharma’s management team consists of Chief Executive Officer, Iman Daryaei, Business Development Officer, Justin Jeffery and Chief Technology Officer, Arthur Shaw. The underlying technology was developed at the University of Arizona and licensed through Tech Launch Arizona. TheraCea founders also took their business through the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management. 

Access to UACI provides this startup with a structured incubation program, customized business support and the ability to work alongside UACI’s 36 other startups. UACI provides access to the people, programming and places needed to scale a business. Along with support, entrepreneurs have a direct line to funding opportunities and mentors who guide them in turning their idea into a product. Other tools the incubation program provides are office and lab space, a prototyping center and assistance through a 27-point roadmap that helps them with creating a business plan, identifying a target market, product development, marketing resources and much more.   

“We appreciate UACI and BIOSA for their trust in TheraCea technology and the team. We are very excited about this opportunity as the award provides us a well-equipped laboratory and office space to further develop TheraCea technology while we get support and help from business mentors and industry experts. We, at TheraCea, highly believe that moving to this new UACI facility in Oro Valley is a significant milestone in our progress toward achieving our goals,” expressed Iman Daryaei, Chief Executive Officer of TheraCea Pharma. 

“Our team is thrilled to welcome TheraCea Pharma to the UACI family. Their novel technology addresses a real-world medical need, and they have the right team to execute. The fact that this technology was developed at the university, licensed through Tech Launch Arizona and is now about to grow in our incubator highlights how the university collectively serves innovation from idea to success,” stated Eric Smith, Executive Director, University of Arizona Center for Innovation. 

“We welcome TheraCea into the Arizona life sciences community through this competition. We are excited to see them as one of the inaugural companies establishing operations in the new UACI at Oro Valley incubator,” shared Nina Ossanna, Chair, BIOSA. 

The winning startup was selected based on their biotech-focused innovation and dedication to making a significant difference in the local and global community through their innovation. 

Applications were reviewed, and TheraCea Pharma the winner was selected by a panel of judges. Judges included: 

·        Mary O’Reilly, Vice President, Bioscience Research Programs, Flinn Foundation  

·        Andy Lombard, Executive Vice President, Innovation & Venture Development, Arizona Commerce Authority   

·        Anil Nair, Vice President, Icagen 

·        Susan Rosenfield, Registered US Patent Attorney, Fennemore Craig 

·        Patrick Marcus, Chief Executive Officer, Marcus Engineering, LLC 

TheraCea Pharma will be immersed in the UACI incubation program starting December 15, 2020 through December 15, 2021 thanks to the generous sponsorship of BIOSA. 

About the UA Center for Innovation 

​The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with outposts across the Southern Arizona region and a mission to grow scalable science and technology startup ventures that fuel the Arizona economy. For nearly two decades, the program has directly served over 150 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs. This is done through providing access to people, programming and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. Startups go through a structured program that takes them through a continuum of education provided by mentors, advisors and community collaborators. UACI also provides access to service providers, industry cluster groups, interns and connections to potential customers and strategic partners. Entrepreneurs utilize various physical spaces that include offices, wet and dry labs, meeting rooms, a prototyping center, collaboration areas and the infrastructure to support these spaces. The UACI is part of Tech Parks Arizona, which brings together university, industry and community, creating “interactive ground” to advance technology innovation. 

About BIOSA 
The Bioindustry Organization of Southern Arizona (BIOSA) is a non-profit trade association that supports the creation, operation and expansion of life science enterprises as well as the commercialization of higher education and research institute-based technologies in Southern Arizona. 

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