What is the critical gap in cancer treatment that you are addressing?
As the world endures the coronavirus pandemic, it has become imminently clear that a highly accurate test for identifying those infected with COVID-19 will dramatically help reduce the number of coronavirus casualties.
That said, knowing whose infected is not enough to halt the spread of disease. It is equally important to be able to distinguish between those who will react to coronavirus infection with mild or no symptoms, and those who will exhibit severe symptoms, sending them to the ICU. A diagnostic tool of this kind and caliber offers clinicians the capability of deciding which patients need aggressive treatment and hospital support, and which can simply go home, stay isolated and ride it out. By stratifying patients in this regard, limited medical resources – i.e. staff, medicines, ventilators, etc. – would be conserved and devoted only to patients who are most in need. This approach would both save lives and reduce the burden on our medical system.
IES Life Sciences is well-positioned to quickly develop and rapidly scale a COVID-19 test for both identifying and stratifying coronavirus-infected people. We have developed a platform diagnostic technology that can identify disease and patient outcomes based on early signals (interferons) launched by the immune system. Previously we outfitted our platform to test for lupus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common and very contagious respiratory virus, and other diseases. Now we are preparing to do the same for COVID-19. (See our previous campaign for an ovarian cancer test).
What is the key product development milestone you seek to fund?
IES urgently NEEDS blood specimens from patients with confirmed mild, moderate and severe cases of COVID-19! This will allow us to develop a test for COVID-19 that will 1) identify the presence of the disease at the earliest stage of infection (including patients who are asymptomatic) and 2) determine how each patient is likely to react to the disease.
How will funds be used? Please provide a breakdown of major budget items.
Funds will be matched by the 9:1 by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program and will be allocated as listed:
- Acquisition of patient samples $20,000
- Purchase of testing materials $20,000
- Direct Labor costs $60,000
What key resources have/will you acquire to facilitate the accomplishments of the above product development milestone? (current funding sources, strategic partnerships, talent, infrastructure)
IES has the staff as well as access to the laboratory facilities and equipment to complete the required testing and analysis. With appropriate funding, IES can rapidly acquire the necessary materials for the test itself.
However, our big challenge is securing blood samples from patients with confirmed cases of Covid-19. To acquire these samples rapidly, IES intends to strategically align with the CDC or another government agency who can readily provide the blood specimens. Alternatively, IES may secure the samples through a University laboratory that is currently conducting research on COVID-19 or through private sector biotechs working on complementary technologies for fighting COVID-19, such as therapeutics and vaccines.
If successful, how would you leverage funds raised through our portal to access key funding from other sources (i.e. matching grants, investments)
IES will strategically leverage private equity funding through sources that have already expressed interest in our platform if IES can, in fact, demonstrate further proof of concept with COVID-19. We believe funds raised through this platform can help us demonstrate this, which will, in turn, attract downstream capital needed to continue our work.
If your technology were to disappear in the “Valley of Death” funding bottleneck, how might this impact society?
COVID-19 has become a national emergency. There is great concern that as the pandemic grows, existing resources will be strained far beyond current capacity. Without a test that can predict the likely course of the disease for a patient, significant resources will be spent on unnecessary treatment, limiting the availability of resources for those who would most benefit from intervention. IES believes our diagnostic technology can help!
Founder and CEO
Mr. Spiegel is an Entrepreneur, CEO and Consultant with more than 30 years of experience in executive management, leadership and finance. He is experienced in all aspects of business formation from conception to go-to market. Mr. Spiegel is an effective communicator with the ability to leverage opportunities to achieve funding and organizational goals. Mr. Spiegel has worked with Fortune 100 companies in the arenas of Marketing, Logistics and Finance.
During his tenure at IES Life Sciences as one of the founding partners he has worked to bring the vision from concept to an operational company. He has worked with a team of scientists that developed cutting edge technology in molecular diagnostics and worked with legal counsel to patent, both in the US and internationally, a unique technology using the human immune system to diagnose diseases. Mr. Spiegel has presented this technology for usage in real-world scenarios to both the US Department of Defense, Homeland Security and a large hospital group. He has also interacted with legislators and helped to modify existing tax incentive legislation in Maryland to meet the needs of and attract the biotechnology industry. Upon completion of the tax incentive legislation, he relocated both the corporate office and laboratory from Pennsylvania to Maryland, including a laboratory partnership with the University of Maryland.
MARC D. MANOFF
After law school Mr. Manoff clerked in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. Following his clerkship, Mr. Manoff joined the corporate department of a prominent regional law firm. After becoming a partner, he left the firm to form his own practice focusing on start-up, early stage and high growth companies. Over the next several years Mr. Manoff helped guide numerous firms to significant success. In 2005, Mr. Manoff was asked to join the management team of one of his clients, an innovative environmental company. After serving as General Counsel for a year, he was asked by the company Board to assume the role of President and CEO to lead the company through its entry into the public market. After steering the company through a successful entry into the public marketplace Mr. Manoff left to form his own management and financial consulting firm focusing on helping high growth companies with the management, legal and financial needs. In 2014, Manoff closed his consulting practice to focus all of efforts of IES Life Sciences.
Mr. Manoff holds a BS in Political Science from Albright College and a JD from The National Law Center at George Washington University.
With over 30 years of experience as an Accountant, Controller and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Andrews has experience in all aspects of financial management in both Private and Public companies.
He has extensive experience with S.E.C. Filings, identifying public shell organizations and facilitating the reverse merger process. Mr. Andrews has prepared quarterly and annual earnings announcements along with required 10-Q and 10-K filings. He has coordinated the preparation of S-1 and S-4 S.E.C. reports, and has directed S-18 filings, M & A financial statements and financial disclosure documents. Mr. Andrews has raised $21,000,000 in equity and up to $25,000,000 in Bank Credit Lines for public and private entities and negotiated the sale and lease-back of assets.
Mr. Andrews has led teams of investment bankers in preparation for “offer memorandums.” He has been the primary contact for Wall Street analysts and investors. He has directed pricing and due diligence activities for acquisitions. He was the director for the reorganization of accounting divisions and the implementation of the conversion of accounting computer software from ACCPAC to Great Plains.
Mr. Andrews earned a BS in Accounting from Villanova University.
Director of Research and Development
Mr. Figliozzi is a freshly trained doctoral human disease research scientist raised by entrepreneurs who faced a devastating road through diagnostics at a young age. Inspired by countless experiences with exploratory tests and procedures he is determined to the development of diagnostics for elusive diseases. In addition to strong heart Mr. Figliozzi brings a learned mind to the laboratory. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Salisbury University and is an all but defense Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He has co-authored numerous grants and peer reviewed research papers on human diseases and immunology. His research and entrepreneurial activities have been funded by all levels of support from the NIH and University System of Maryland funds to his friends and family. He has directed and mentored dozens of student and professional scientists within several labs at the academic, municipal and commercial level. In addition, Mr. Figliozzi has experiences founding, consulting, growing, volunteering and working for a dozen startups including healthcare facilities, diagnostics labs, biotech research organizations.
Mr. Figliozzi was honored by the University System of Maryland for his efforts as a student entrepreneur scientist and has served on economic development and commercialization advisory panels for the USM Board of Regents and a consultant to some of its investment funds. His academic and professional network united to form a grant-funded diagnostic research campaign between IES Life Sciences, UMES and Beebe Healthcare.
Founder & CEO Vertex Labs
Mr. Bell is a serial entrepreneur, CEO, and investor with more than 12 years of experience in building and leading technology start-ups. He has founded and funded eight technology companies. All of which have built cutting edge technologies, developing solutions that have set world records. He is the Founder and CEO of Vertex Labs, a custom Artificial Intelligence solutions provider which specializes in Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Automation. Mr. Bell is an expert in building teams and strategies to solve complex and impactful problems. His experience in business strategy, marketing, operations, and sales have lead to successful partnerships with industry and academic leaders. In addition to his role at Vertex, he serves as a board member and adviser to several Philadelphia-based start-ups as well as a non-profit organization.
Mr. Bell holds a BS in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from the Lebow School of Business at Drexel University.