“Thousands of our cancer patients are alive today because of an early focus on drugs that activate immunity against cancer.” — Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health
A $11.5M boost for immunotherapy
Grab your headphones
Triple the number of kidney transplants?
Support for Black-owned businesses
Vogt Awards Demo Day — Oct. 15
GoWild closes on $2.25M funding round
Car Keys Express makes Inc.'s 5000 list
Around the region
September 29, 2020
UofL: First immunotherapy center for cancer
Image courtesy UofL
One of the most promising areas of treatment for cancer is the use of the patient's own immune system to fight the disease. These treatments, known as immunotherapy, are providing hope for millions of people worldwide today.
The five-year grant will also allow UofL to support young investigators and develop additional translational and clinical research at the UofL Health – James Graham Brown Cancer Center. In addition, Kosair Charities has donated an additional $200,000 for the center to extend its focus on immunotherapy research to children.
Patients at UofL Health’s Brown Cancer Center have access to the latest cancer treatments. One treatment, CAR T-cell therapy, modifies a patient’s immune T cells to attack cancer cells. “Thousands of our cancer patients – our neighbors and family members – are alive today because of this early focus on drugs that activate immunity against cancer,” said Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health, at a media briefing.
Perhaps the most impactful statement at the media briefing came from Jeff Habermel, a patient who received an experimental combination of a new immunotherapy with a genetically engineered virus to treat his melanoma (his third cancer diagnosis).
“I thought the melanoma diagnosis was my death sentence but my spirits were lifted when [I was told] that I would likely be treated with the latest immunotherapy drugs, which have shown amazing results. I tell anyone who will listen how fortunate we are to live in a time and place where we have the ability to combat a disease which typically has an unhappy ending.” Habermel said.
Keith Inman, President of Kosair Charities, said, “I couldn't pronounce immunotherapy when I first heard it. But let's get used to it because it's going to cure cancer.”
Flyover Future, along with Louisville Future and other local publications keep up with hundreds of top innovators making huge impacts on our quality of life in the Midwest and beyond. We see amazing research being turned into world-changing technologies and Fortune 500 companies investing in the future like never before. And, we never cease to be amazed by the creativity we are privileged to see each and every day. Now, we want you to hear their stories directly.
Ben Reno-Weber, entrepreneur and director of the Future of Work Initiative in Louisville and Brian Eichenberger, producer and podcast extraordinaire will co-host season one.
You will hear from innovators pushing boundaries — whether that’s starting a company from scratch, a billion dollar company re-imagining its business, or a new way to leverage data. Speaking of data, in Season 1 we will be discussing how data and AI are driving innovation across Flyover Country. Join us and our sponsor, the Future of Work Initiative powered by Microsoft, for an exciting and insightful first season.
Episode 1: Judy Nichols, CEO of Breakpoint Technology
Predicting cardiac arrest, discovering why ER admissions increase for one town when it rains, and optimizing supply chain — thank you data revolution!
Frontline data worker turned CEO Judy Nichols of Breakpoint Technology is our guest in the inaugural episode of Flyover Future Presents: Innovators podcast. We talk with Judy about how harnessing data fundamentals and fostering a data culture through change management will transform our future.
Louisville biotech’s breakthrough in kidney transplants
Talaris Therapeutics, Inc., a Louisville-based biotech company, is teaming up with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) to dramatically improve outcomes for kidney transplant patients. A significant hurdle for transplant recipients is the immunosuppression medication they must take to stop the body from attacking the transplanted kidney.
Those medications are toxic and often cause organ failure. Talaris’ treatment, FCR001, uses stem and immune cells from kidney donors to create tolerance, eliminating the need for the immunosuppression medication in the first place. However, about 68% of donated kidneys come from deceased donors.
In the new collaboration, KODA will gather the vertebrae of deceased organ donors, harvest the stem cells and freeze them for later use after transplantation. If it works, the breakthrough could triple the number of kidney transplants. The Talaris drug is also under study for treatment of autoimmune disorders.
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ON OUR RADAR
Black-owned businesses participate in The Collective
The Collective will recruit 10 Black-owned businesses to participate every couple of years. The members will develop events around cultural experiences that will educate and enlighten the community, while also generating revenue for its member businesses. Businesses involved will provide events services like video, photography, public relations, marketing, catering, and merchandising. The kickoff event, called Black Harvest, is October 24 at Encore on 4th.
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Attend the virtual Vogt Awards Demo Day on Oct. 15
Meet the six 2020 early-stage companies selected to each receive a $25,000 grant, participation in a 10-week lean startup program, coaching from scalable startup CEOs, industry mentorship, and strategic introductions. With the announcement of these winners, the Community Foundation of Louisville is honored to have supported 84 companies with $3.5 million in Vogt Award grants throughout the program's 20-year history. You don’t want to miss this celebration, register here.
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GoWild lands $2.25M for outdoor enthusiast platform
Louisville startup GoWild has, well, gone wild, closing on a $2.25 million funding round thanks to board members and investors Jack Danehy and Bruce Lunsford, who led the round, with participation by Louisville’s Venture First, along with numerous investors across the country.
GoWild is an app providing a community and resources for fans of the outdoors—those who love hunting, fishing, archery, hiking, climbing, camping, biking—you get the picture. On 2017, CEO Brad Luttrell launched the GoWild app with Donovan Sears, Zack Grimes, and Chris Gleim.
Luttrell told Louisville Future, "GoWild was founded to provide a place for sportsmen and women to share their stories without the censorship and bullying that occurs on so many major social platforms. We embrace the outdoors lifestyle because it's one we love and live."
With the latest funding, the company plans to launch a new website and expand their ecommerce platform, moving it from their app to the web. The platform, which began with 60,000 products, has grown to roughly 350,000 products, all catering to outdoor enthusiasts. To further the effort, GoWild has brought on seasoned ecommerce guru Matt Kubancik, who thinks the company could become “the top outdoor technology and retail company in the world.”
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Car Keys Express makes Inc 5000 list for 5th straight year
Once upon a time, people used what were called “keys” to start their cars. Today, when car fobs have more processing power than all the Apollo moon missions combined, what is a driver to do when, say, he loses his car fob?
Car Keys Express is the answer. The Louisville company has landed on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing, privately held companies for the fifth straight year.
Its wizards invented the world’s first universal car remote and universal car keys. It has a robust business selling to retailers, but it also just launched a key-replacement app that lets anybody order a replacement key to any vehicle (so long as they own it).
Over the next few weeks, we will be covering other Louisville companies that landed on the Inc. 5000 list.
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Image courtesy UofL Digital Archives
In 1849, William Burke Belknap started the Louisville Rolling Mill Co. and gained the reputation of a “manufacturer of quality iron.” With all of that quality iron handy, it made sense to start a hardware company, which Belknap did with his brother Morris Locke Belknap. They named it Belknap Hardware. The brothers sold blacksmith’s tools, springs, axles, nails, and horseshoes on Main Street in Louisville. Business boomed.
For the next century, under the business savvy of numerous Belknaps, the business sold everything from revolvers, rifles, and ammunition to church bells, table knives, and croquet sets. Over the years, the business grew to comprise 14 buildings on 42 acres on Main between Second and Jackson Streets. By 1960, Belknap Hardware was the largest hardware wholesaler in the world, with more than 90,000 items in its inventory.
Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt in 1986. Two of Belknap’s warehouses now house the Presbyterian Church USA Center and Humana Waterside. Two others were imploded on MTV in the 90s.
AROUND THE REGION
We hope you enjoy these headlines from the latest issue of Flyover Future, chronicling innovation throughout the Midwest. If you'd like to subscribe to Flyover Future, click here.