SAN DIEGO (December 15, 2006) – CONNECT today announced the winners of the 19th Annual Most Innovative New Product (MIP) Awards. The Awards honor the vision, hard work, and perseverance that transform ideas and technologies into products. This year’s theme, Innovation Starts Here, recognizes the global contribution made by products and technologies that originate within San Diego’s vital technology and life sciences communities.
The 2006 MIP Award winners are:
NovaCardia for KW-3902 - KW-3902, is in Phase III trials for treatment of acute Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients with volume overload and renal impairment. Data from Phase II studies demonstrated that KW-3902 has significant diuretic activity, may allow for preservation of renal function in patients on diuretic therapy, and may enable earlier hospital discharge. Findings also suggest that KW-3902 may prove beneficial in facilitating diuresis in patients refractory to standard diuretic therapy while simultaneously protecting renal function. Most acute CHF patients have some degree of renal impairment and acute worsening of renal function is a strong predictor of outcome.
Communications Technology & Hardware
Airgain, Inc., for Airgain MaxBeam75 Smart Antenna - The Airgain MaxBeam75 is a compact smart antenna for residential wireless routers, gateways and access points. Multiple beam-forming antenna elements focus radio energy while Airgain’s revolutionary switched-beam technology rapidly steers the beam, resulting in triple the signal strength, double the coverage, better throughput, greater connection availability and reduced interference over conventional dipole antennas. The MaxBeam75 constantly adjusts the beam to its environment, differentiating between client devices, distances, obstacles and interference to optimize the connection for each networked client. Its unique, low-cost design enables it to be embedded in Wi-Fi devices eliminating external antennas while supporting voice, video and data delivery.
M Ship Co., LLC, for M80 Stiletto - The M80 Stiletto is a revolutionary vessel designed and built for the Pentagon’s Office of Force Transformation, which believes the vessel could transform the way U.S. forces conduct coastal and riverine operations. The patented M Hull® configuration represents a breakthrough because its M-shaped hull captures the bow wave and redirects this energy under the vessel, creating a cushion of air.
With a top speed of 50 knots and a draft of only 2.5 feet, the 88- foot Stiletto provides a smooth ride from inland waterways to the high seas. The company now has a military contract to further refine the design.
Life Sciences – Diagnostics & Research Tools
Biomatrica, Inc., for SampleMatrix, SampleGard, SampleWare - Nature shows us the way of sample storage at room temperature. Biomatrica, the Biostability Company, has combined the molecular principles of extremophile biology (organisms surviving in extreme dry environments), small molecule chemistry and dissolvable polymer chemistry. Our revolutionary, proprietary biological sample storage system keeps nucleic acids, proteins and cells stable, protected and safe at room temperature. With the novel SampleMatrix™ storage medium, SampleGard™ system and SampleWare™ software, biological samples can be easily collected, transported, assayed and stored--without the need for a freezer. The SampleMatrix™ dissolvable polymer-based medium protects samples from heat, UV and enzymatic degradation. The SampleGard™ system is a secure storage device that contains the SampleMatrix™ medium. The SampleWare™ software is a complete laboratory management solution that interfaces stored materials with research data.
Life Sciences – Medical Devices
Dexcom, Inc., for DexCom STS Continuous Glucose Monitoring System - Dexcom’s FDA-approved STS sensor wirelessly transmits a patient’s blood glucose levels to a small cell phone-sized receiver, which allows the patient to view real-time and trended blood glucose information with the touch of a button and alerts the patient when glucose levels are inappropriately high or low. Studies have demonstrated that patients who intensely managed blood glucose levels significantly reduced the incidence and severity of diabetes-related complications. The STS is inserted by a patient and used continuously for three days after which it is replaced by a new sensor.
Life Sciences – Therapeutics
Pfizer, Inc., for SUTENT - SUTENT is an oral multitargeted cancer treatment that attacks the growth, reproduction and survival of cancer cells in several ways. SUTENT starves tumor cells of nutrients by targeting critical signals necessary for the growth of new blood vessels. These signals are received and transmitted by growth factor receptors. Growth factor receptors act as antennas receiving and transmitting specific signals without which tumors shrink and die. SUTENT also inhibits the receiving and tansmitting activity of eight different growth factor receptors that when present on tumors may enable many cancers to estimulate their own growth in an uncontrolled way.
Verimatrix, Inc., for VideoMark - VideoMark™ is the industry’s first secure and invisible content tracking solution that enables forensic, user-specific marking of video at each PC or STB client in a pay-TV system. The VideoMark payload is robust against a wide range of video content manipulations, with recovery of the unique client identification possible from all unauthorized analog and digital distribution formats. Because any pirated copies can be traced to a unique user, and not just a system operator, content owners are assured of protection that extends beyond the digital network. VideoMark also complies with the rigorous requirements of the Digital Cinema Initiatives, LLC (DCI).
Software & IT
Softmax for 1Voice Noise Cancellation - Softmax for 1Voice Noise Cancellation -- 1Voice is signal processing software that can run on a Bluetooth headset or a cellular handset. It works with the sound that is received by the microphone when you are talking from a noisy location. It separates out your voice, so the person you are speaking with can't hear the noise around you. In addition to celebrating the most innovative new products of the year, CONNECT also features the CONNECT Distinguished Recognition Awards in Technology and Life Sciences and the William W. Otterson Award.
The CONNECT Distinguished Contribution Awards in Technology and Life Sciences recognize individuals in San Diego who, through community involvement and business activities, have encouraged life sciences or high technology innovation, thereby supporting the advancement of the regional economy. This year, the awards went to David Hale, Chairman of CONNECT and Micromet, Inc., and Peter Preuss, President of The Preuss Foundation.
In memory of CONNECT’s first Executive Director, Bill Otterson, the William W. Otterson Award recognizes San Diego-based companies whose product has demonstrated a significant positive impact on society or on our quality of life. This year, the Bill Otterson Award went to Tandem PSA, developed by Hybritech. Previous winners include QUALCOMM for CDMA (2001), IDEC Pharmaceuticals for Rituxan, a drug to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (2002), Agouron Pharmaceuticals for Viracept, an antiretroviral drug to treat HIV (2004), and HNC Software for Flacon, a fraud detection and prevention software system (2005).
The winners were announced December 15th at the Hilton Torrey Pines Hotel to a sold-out audience of over 800 of San Diego's top executives, entrepreneurs, service providers, and academics.
“The companies and individuals honored today exhibit the best qualities of the entrepreneurial spirit that established San Diego’s reputation as a leader in innovative products,” said Duane Roth, chief executive officer of CONNECT. “They confirm the region’s position at the vanguard of innovation.”
Now in its 19th year, the CONNECT MIP Awards continue the tradition of showcasing local companies with cutting-edge high technology. From early stage biotechnology companies to the first products generated by the region’s telecommunications boom, the awards program has been an indicator of the industries and technologies that have stimulated the San Diego economy.
CONNECT is a globally recognized public benefits organization fostering entrepreneurship in the San Diego region by catalyzing, accelerating, and supporting the growth of the most promising technology and life sciences businesses. Founded in 1985 at the urging of San Diego's business community, CONNECT is widely regarded as the nation's most successful regional program linking high-technology and life science entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success: technology, money, markets, management, partners and support services.