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Three Biomedical Innovations Win WE-REACH Go-To-Market Awards

Three Biomedical Innovations Win WE-REACH Go-To-Market Awards

The Washington Entrepreneurial Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (WE-REACH) is pleased to announce three new awards to expedite early-stage product development for promising biomedical innovations. WE-REACH invests up to $200,000 for each project with added resources and support. Project funding is made possible by public-private partnerships including the NIH, University of Washington (UW) Office of Research, CoMotion, and the Institute for Protein Design, with matching support from our partners at the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and the UW School of Pharmacy.

The recipients and awards are as follows:

Randall Bly, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at UW and Seattle Children’s: His team is designing a device that enables endoscopy to be viewed, archived, and analyzed on a smartphone. This smart and portable endoscopy device will improve access to specialty care for patients. Once developed, this innovative product will facilitate collaboration and information exchange between physicians.

Wes Van Voorhis, MD, PhD and Stephen Plymate MD, Professors of Medicine at UW: Their team is developing a small molecule therapeutic drug to treat castrate-resistant prostate cancer, a form of prostate cancer for which current therapies have limited efficacy. Success in developing this small molecule inhibitor of prostate cancer could lead to a first-in-class therapeutic for this indication.

Taylor Sawyer, DO, M. Ed, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UW and Seattle Children’s: His team plans to design a device for neonatal intubation without blocking airflow. This innovative design includes built in video capability, making the procedure easier and safer. All three projects have received invaluable input from experts at the NIH, Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, third-party payers, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as an entrepreneurial committee of local experts in the Seattle area.

The next round of WE-REACH projects will begin in January 2021. For more information, please visit