News & Events

Atlanta-based Allconnect sales and service center comes to Coldstream Research Campus

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 30, 2011)—Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Allconnect Inc., a leading consumer services company, is locating a new in-bound sales and customer care center in Lexington. The company is investing nearly $7 million to establish an approximately 32,000 square-foot facility in the Coldstream Research Campus that will add up to 220 new jobs in the community.


Allconnect will occupy all 32,000 sq. ft. of the 4th floor of the Lexhold building at Coldstream, 1648 McGrathiana, behind the Embassy Suites Lexington. The Atlanta-based company is expected to move into their new space at Coldstream in May. Allconnect is a client of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership between the University of Kentucky, Commerce Lexington and city government.


"I'm pleased to welcome Allconnect to the Commonwealth," said Gov. Beshear. "The company's new facility will have a positive economic boost on the Lexington community, creating new jobs for Kentuckians. We look forward to continuing an ongoing partnership with Allconnect to create additional opportunities in the future."


The new operation will allow consumers to order or transfer home services, such as satellite and cable TV, Internet, phone, and home security service. Allconnect is based in Atlanta, Ga., and has relationships with a variety of service providers across the country, including AT&T, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. The facility is expected to be operational in summer 2011.


"Our new Lexington facility provides the technology foundation and first-rate workforce required to support our growing customer base with the best consultation and service as they compare and select home services," said Allconnect CEO Mark Miller. "The opportunities for growth and the pool of talent in Lexington are an ideal fit as we continue our rapid expansion and deliver the highest quality service to every single customer."


The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Allconnect for tax incentives up to $2.2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive will allow Allconnect to keep a portion of its investment over a 10-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.


"It's good to welcome Allconnect, a new corporate citizen bringing jobs to Lexington. Our people need jobs and we need to compete in every arena," said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. "Thanks to Governor Beshear, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes and Commerce Lexington for their recruiting efforts."


"We are excited to announce the location of Allconnect to Lexington," said Bob Quick, president & CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc. "Lexington is thrilled to be the top city selected amongst four cities and three states. We look forward to working with Allconnect as they establish a new operation creating new jobs for our citizens. Welcome to Lexington!"


For more information on Allconnect, visit or follow them at and For press inquiries, contact Candidates can apply at


Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at

View a detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County).

Lexington area early-stage companies attract $65 million in venture funding

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2011) — In 2010, entrepreneurial companies in the Bluegrass Region attracted $65 million in venture funding, including angel and venture capital investments, according to the annual survey by the Lexington Venture Club. The 89 Central Kentucky early-stage companies that participated in the survey reported a total $94 million in revenue and 748 people employed with an average full-time salary of $63,485. These companies hired 240 people for newly created jobs in 2010.


The Lexington Venture Club released the survey results at Buster's Billiards & Backroom during the annual entrepreneur celebration. The keynote speaker was Jeri Smith, president and founder of Galmont Consulting in Chicago, Ill. Smith, a UK alumna, has opened a software testing center in downtown Lexington and plans to hire UK engineering graduates.


UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. received the lifetime achievement award for promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in Kentucky. Todd, a graduate of UK and MIT, is a former UK engineering professor who helped found two Kentucky technology companies.


"It was another remarkable year for early-stage companies in the Bluegrass," said Dr. Todd. "I applaud the entrepreneurs in our community who dare to do something new – to do something different. And I thank those who provided funding to these entrepreneurs, as strategic investment holds the key to creating a thriving high-tech economy."


A total of 465 technology jobs have been created in the Bluegrass Region in the last five years. The employment total of 748 reported for 2010 represents 537 full-time and 211 part-time jobs.


"The Lexington Venture Club is proud to work with entrepreneurial companies in Central Kentucky that are creating quality, high paying jobs," said Bob Quick, President and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. "These companies are strengthening Lexington's high-tech sectors and we're impressed each year by their growth. They truly are rocks stars in our community!"


The Lexington Venture Club event was hosted by Bob Quick and included remarks from Dr. Todd and Mayor Jim Gray. New companies APO CMS, founded by UK alumnus Tony Schmidt, and Intralink, that moved from Austin, Texas to Coldstream Research Campus last year, were also recognized.


Venture funding rose 38 percent over 2009 and is at an all time high since the first Lexington Venture Club survey in 2003. In the past eight years, $300 million in early-stage capital has been raised by these Lexington area companies. Early stage funding not only comes from angel investors and venture capital firms, but also from founders, friends and family; federal funds including SBIR and STTRs; Kentucky state funds; and from strategic partners.


The majority of the companies participating in the survey are in the biotechnology and healthcare, advanced manufacturing, IT and software, and energy and biomass sectors.

The Lexington Venture Club was founded in 2002 to bring entrepreneurs, investors and service providers together to share new business opportunities. It is co-founded by Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center in the UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development. Survey results are available at

UK ranks 1st for creating startup companies among benchmarks for third consecutive year

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2011) —For the third consecutive year, University of Kentucky faculty, staff and student entrepreneurs have created more startup companies than their colleagues at UK's 19 benchmark institutions according to a recently released report by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).


UK also ranks 4th for startups among all public institutions and 6th among all public and private institutions in the 2009 report. One hundred forty nine top research institutions participated in the AUTM survey. AUTM is the global network of universities, teaching hospitals and others charged with licensing innovations from academic and nonprofit research.


"These rankings are not only an opportunity to measure our work in economic development against the top universities in the country, but also to draw attention to our mission as Kentucky's land grant institution to be an economic engine for the Commonwealth," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

UK is also 13th among its benchmark institutions in licensing income per $10 million of research expenditures.


"Now more than ever it is important that we commercialize UK technology and create spin-off companies and new jobs," said Len Heller, UK's vice president for Commercialization & Economic Development. "Long term, we grow Kentucky's economy by growing these startups and attracting investors to get them to the next level and help them succeed."


During last fiscal year, UK received $2.2 million in gross licensing income and managed 162 total licenses. Twenty new licenses were issued, including 10 new licenses to UK startup companies.


"Research harvesters work campus wide with faculty to drive disclosures, educate faculty on the commercialization process, and provide market research services to encourage researchers and clinicians to consider the business potential of their ideas," said Dean Harvey, executive director of the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship and part of UK's economic development office.


UK's 19 benchmark institutions, which include universities such as Wisconsin-Madison, Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, Illinois and Florida, are selected in collaboration with the Council on Postsecondary Education. View more information online.

Tom Hedman and new UK research team work on low back pain treatment

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 9, 2010) — For anyone who has suffered a long-term, chronic ailment like low back pain, a simple cure such as a shot in the back sounds like a miracle. You should know that University of Kentucky researcher Tom Hedman is working on just that—a miracle medical device that will alleviate and prevent future back pain for more than 15 million Americans annually.


Tom HedmanThis miraculous treatment will come in the form of NEXT, a one-time spinal injection developed by Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine using Hedman's research. Hedman comes to UK from Texas A&M and will hold joint appointments in the UK neurosurgery and biomedical engineering departments as he sets up a new lab to expand his research.


Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine, a biotechnology company, also moved with Hedman from Texas to UK's Coldstream Research Campus to manufacture the chemical reagent that permanently stabilizes the spine, relieving pain and pressure without surgery, recovery time or missed work, which costs America $100 billion every year.


"The implications of this treatment are just dramatic," said Hedman who has 25 years experience in spinal research and 30 issued or pending patents. "You have four out of five people who will have a serious episode of back pain in their lifetime. At any particular time about 30 percent of people will have low back pain. It is a huge problem that is poorly addressed by health care today."


Hedman and his team diverged from new and emerging treatments that biologically engineer parts of the body to take a path less traveled, pursuing a biomimetic approach. How does it work? Twelve years in the making, Hedman's research imitates the body's own function and design. He describes it as "humbling" himself to the body, realizing that trying to recreate the body's tissue would yield years of research and no remedy. Instead his team studied the natural processes of the body and found a chemical that would speed up the body's natural behaviors and do in just a few minutes what the body could do over a period of decades.


"As a scientist you look for applications where your research efforts can meet a need in your lifetime," Hedman said of the project, which is now ready for clinical trials. "I can see my research benefiting people in my lifetime."


Hedman intends to bring Phil Tibbs, chair of UK's Department of Neurosurgery, to Malaysia where they will initiate the clinical trials process for the medical device.


Hedman will partner with UK faculty and graduate students to explore other applications for the NEXT technology. They are looking at using the NEXT technology to repair knee meniscus tears. This new technology has the potential to stabilize the joint, increase its durability and strength and prevent the progression of deterioration. Of the 200,000 people who undergo knee replacement surgery every year, Hedman said most have first experienced a failure of the knee meniscus. "One million people yearly have this injury and there is no good procedure for repair," he said.


Another application that drew Hedman and his company from Texas to Kentucky is equine medicine. The team believes their treatment could be used to halt some forms of spinal degeneration including Wobbler Syndrome and treat injuries in the stifle joint in the horse's leg which is similar to the human knee. Hedman is looking forward to working with Dr. James MacLeod in equine medicine at UK and other veterinarians on a hybrid treatment using the NEXT technology alongside a biological treatment to provide an instant and long-term solution to the problems that often end a horse's life or viability. "These animals are very valuable to their owners," Hedman said. "They can be worth dollars and a simple orthopedic problem can put a horse out of service."

Faculty recognized for 2010 commercialization success at Bench2Business event

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2010) — More than 100 faculty and local entrepreneurs, investors, civic and government leaders turned out for the biannual Bench2Business networking event to applaud those involved in commercialization activities during 2010. Keynote speakers were UK alumni entrepreneurs John A. Williams Sr. '62, founder of Computer Services Inc., and Kim Knopf '82, founder of Sleep Outfitters. B2B was sponsored by the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, which includes UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development, Commerce Lexington and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.


Lee T. Todd Jr.Lee T. Todd Jr. congratulates faculty for commercialization activities.UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. recognized faculty and companies for new patents and licenses, SBIR-STTR grants and contracts, investments from Kentucky programs and the Bluegrass Angels, and projects from the new HHS therapeutic discovery program. Two companies, Escent Technologies and TrackFive Diagnostics, moved into the ASTeCC campus incubator this year, and three companies graduated including Adaptive Intelligence Systems, ParaTechs Corporation and Yaupon Therapeutics.


Companies receiving licenses for technology developed at UK included CoPlex Therapeutics, Equine Diagnostic Solutions, Escent Technologies, Medical Scan Technologies, NuForm Materials, Phillip Morris Products, Porifera, Secure Analytics, Seikowave, Therix Medical Development LTD Co., and TrackFive Diagnostics.


Faculty members were also recognized for receiving patents during 2010. Those receiving patents include Clair Hicks in animal and food sciences; Lou Hersh, Hans Peter Spielmann and Douglas Andres in biochemistry; Stephen Testa, biological chemistry; Darrell Taulbee and John Stencel, Center for Applied Energy Research; Sylvia Daunert, chemistry; Robert Houtz and Mark Alan Williams, horticulture; Brian Murphy, internal medicine; Sue Straley and Bob Perry, microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; John Littleton, Kentucky Tobacco Research Development Center; Marwan Khraisheh, mechanical engineering; Philip Landfield, Eric Blalock, Kuey-Chu Chen and Olivier Thibault, molecular and biomedical pharmacology; Peter R. Oeltgen, pathology; Jeffrey Moscow, pediatrics; Peter Crooks, Jurgen Rohr, Chang-Guo Zhan, Hsin-Hsiung Tai and Kyung Bo Kim in pharmaceutical sciences; William Bailey, plant and soil sciences; and Vivek Rangnekar, radiation medicine.


Guest speakers were UK alumnus entrepreneurs John Williams '62, Gatton College of Business and Economics, and Kim Knopf '82, College of Arts and Sciences. Williams founded Computer Services Inc. in 1965. The company that provides banking services such as online security, check image capturing and debit card transactions has grown to six brands with more than $150 million in annual sales. Knopf started Mattress Warehouse/Sleep Outfitters in 1983, just a year out of UK. Today, the business has more than 90 retail locations in four states. Williams and Knopf also met with the UK Entrepreneurs and Wildcat Investment student groups.

Beshear announces launch of Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 6, 2010) —Gov. Steve Beshear announced the Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit (KSBIC) program, part of the Governor's Incentives for a New Kentucky (INK) legislation, will start accepting applications in January 2011. The KSBIC program is designed to spur job creation by providing a nonrefundable state income tax credit to small businesses.


The program provides state income tax credits ranging from $3,500 to $25,000 per eligible small business that creates, fills and maintains one or more new, eligible jobs and invests at least $5,000 in qualifying equipment or technology. With certain exceptions, most for-profit small businesses with 50 or fewer employees are considered eligible for the program.


"I am delighted that Kentucky's small businesses will soon be able to benefit from the Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit program, established through my INK legislation," said Gov. Beshear. "Small businesses are vital to our state's overall economic health and prosperity and this new tax credit program will allow us to provide a new resource that will encourage new jobs and investment."


Businesses may apply one year after the latter of creating and maintaining at least one new eligible job and purchasing $5,000 or more in qualifying equipment or technology. Eligible hires and qualifying equipment and technology purchases dating back to Jan. 1, 2010, will meet program requirements. The KSBIC program is subject to a statutory limit of awarding $3 million in state tax credits per state fiscal year. Learn more.


The start date for the KSBIC program was accelerated from January 2012 to January 2011, in HB 2 of the 2010 Special Session. Subject to funding availability, all eligible applications will be scored and ranked, with the highest ranked applications being submitted to the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority for review and approval.


In addition to meeting the required program criteria, other factors will increase an applicant's score including: the amount of qualifying equipment or technology purchased from businesses physically located in Kentucky; the average base hourly wage for the eligible position(s); the number of eligible position(s) created and filled in enhanced counties; and having not been previously approved for a tax credit under this program.


"More than half of all Kentuckians work for small businesses," said Rep. Tanya Pullin of Greenup County. "This legislation will encourage small businesses to create jobs all over Kentucky. By creating jobs, small businesses have led the way out of past recessions and I believe it will be small businesses who will lead us out of this recession. I was pleased to sponsor this legislation."


Kentucky economic development officials worked with Rep. Pullin, the Department of Revenue, the Commission on Small Business Advocacy and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center to craft the program requirements. Additionally, small business organizations across the state, including the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation and Partners for Entrepreneurial Advancement in Kentucky provided input on the program.


"The Commission on Small Business Advocacy was very pleased to support the development of the Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit program," said Cathy Zion, chair of the Commission on Small Business Advocacy. "We worked closely with the Cabinet for Economic Development to review proposed program regulations and were grateful for the opportunity to provide comments. This program is a significant step toward helping job-generating small businesses as they continue to power our economy."


"I would like to thank Governor Beshear, the Kentucky Legislature, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, the Commission on Small Business Advocacy and all of the organizations that supported the Kentucky Small Business Investment Credit program," added Becky Naugle, state director of the Kentucky Small Business Development Center. "Their efforts acknowledge the importance of small businesses in Kentucky's economy. Helping Kentucky small businesses grow and add jobs is a giant step in supporting the future of our Commonwealth."


Additional information, including a program fact sheet, guidelines and application are available at The Cabinet for Economic Development, which routinely works with small business organizations from across the state to provide resources, advocacy and assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses. For more information about the Cabinet's other small business programs, visit The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, which is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2009 totaled nearly $ 977 million with the creation of more than 6,600 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at

Bluegrass Business Development Partnership wins EDA innovation award

Editor's note:The Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is an economic development initiative between Lexington city government, Commerce Lexington and the UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development (UKCED). The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, the Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, including the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center, are part of UKCED.


ATLANTA, Ga. (Oct. 25, 2010) —U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez today announced the winners of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 2010 Innovation in Economic Development Awards during the Southeast Workforce and Economic Development Conference co-hosted by EDA and the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.


"The 2010 Innovation Award winners showcase some of the nation's best practices for promoting economic development through collaborative initiatives and highlight outstanding examples of regional success in the global marketplace," said Fernandez. "I congratulate all the winners for their tremendous contributions to strengthen our nation's economy."


Formerly known as the Excellence Awards, this year's awards encompass four categories: Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs); Innovation in Commercialization; Innovation in Global Export Promotion; Innovation in Green Technology. The winners are:


Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) Category:
CONNECT, La Jolla, Calif.

CONNECT is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 with the mission of commercializing technology coming from San Diego's many federally-funded research institutions and offering on-going education, networking and recognition to start-up companies in emerging technology business clusters. The California Governor's Office of Economic Development designated San Diego as one of California's seven Innovation Hubs (iHUB) and CONNECT serves as the leader of San Diego's local iHUB effort.


Innovation in Commercialization Category:
Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP), Lexington, Ky.

Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is a collaboration among the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Commerce Lexington's economic development divisions, and three University of Kentucky based organizations – the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, the Lexington office of statewide Innovation & Commercialization Centers, and the Lexington office of statewide Small Business Development Centers.


BBDP's goal is to be a one-stop, super-service provider, linking small businesses and entrepreneurs with the information they need to be successful. They offer a full range of business development services.


Innovation in Global Export Promotion Category: Pennsylvania Center for Trade Development "Envoy Program," Harrisburg, Pa.
The Envoy Program is designed to increase Pennsylvania companies' global competitiveness by providing them with a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development-supported low-cost, low-risk, and high-performance method of building a continuous and pro-active bilingual sales and marketing presence in international markets. Envoy services vary depending on the needs of the client, but the key concept is to allow the company to employ a representative who is laser focused on implementing the sales plan, pursuing leads, developing customer, agents, and channels.


Innovation in Green Technology Category: University of Arizona Tech Park's "Solar Zone," Tucson, Ariz.
The Solar Zone, an innovative strategic partnership between the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power is working to create a supportive environment where companies can develop, test and demonstrate the next generation of renewable energy products and technologies. The goals of the Solar Zone are to attract private investment, create sustainable, high-wage jobs, develop a skilled workforce, reduce the region's reliance on traditional energy sources, and educate the public on the importance of sustainable energy.

Allylix releases first product developed from UK technology

Editor's note: Allylix is an industrial biotech company that has its R&D lab at the UK Coldstream Research Campus. Allylix uses proprietary yeast-based fermentation technology developed by the UK College of Agriculture and the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences to produce a group of natural products called terpenes in greater quantities, of higher quality, and at significantly lower cost than traditional sources. With significant commercial value to a variety of industries, Allylix has plans for seven more products in the next two years. Last spring, the company raised $9 million in Series C venture capital from seven investor groups across the country including the Bluegrass Angels in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky Technology Inc., UK's for-profit corporation, was an early investor in Allylix through the Bluegrass Angel Venture Fund along with several individual Bluegrass Angels members.


Kerry A. Dolan, posted Oct. 21, 2010
Forbes Magazine dated Nov. 8, 2010


In a Lexington, Ky. research lab 16 biologists and chemists are producing aromas and flavors that thus far only nature has been able to make. When their first products, an orange and a grapefruit flavor and fragrance, go on sale in December it could revolutionize a $21 billion industry.


The scientists work for tiny San Diego-based biotechnology company Allylix. They have spent five years engineering baker's yeast to produce a variety of smells and flavors. Feed sugar to the altered yeast, ferment it in a 6,000-gallon tank for five days and you have your citrus essence.


Currently flavor and fragrance companies must extract the oil from peels to get those tastes and smells, used in beverages and expensive perfumes. But because supply of these fruits is limited and the quantity of desired molecules in the oils is low, the price for the grapefruit product, called nootkatone, is a steep $2,000 a pound. The orange product, valencene, sells for $600 a pound or more.


"Long term we're looking at producing these for a fifth or a tenth of the cost. We see opening up new markets in personal care and household cleaning," says Allylix Chief Executive Carolyn Fritz. Allylix has developed six other flavors and fragrances (Fritz won't say what they are yet) and aims to create new markets for those, too.

To read the rest of this article, visit

Governor Steve Beshear and State Officials Break Ground on the Eastern State Hospital at Coldstream Research Campus

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2010) —Governor Steve Beshear joined local leaders, other state officials and representatives from the University of Kentucky (UK) and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) to break ground for the new Eastern State Hospital facility. The new hospital will be located at UK's Coldstream Research Campus in Lexington. Construction on the project is expected to be complete by fall 2012.


Eastern State Hospital The 239-bed, approximately 300,000 square foot replacement facility will provide a modern setting for inpatient psychiatric treatment, along with specialized services for individuals with acquired brain injuries, individuals with psychiatric disabilities requiring nursing facility level of care and forensic mental health services.


In addition to the inpatient hospital, the new Eastern State Hospital campus will include three 11,000 square foot personal care homes, each with 16 beds that will offer a less restrictive level of care that promotes patients' return to a community setting. These personal care homes will provide residential psychiatric services and serve as a step-down from the acute care setting.


"It's exciting to officially launch the construction of this much-needed facility that will undoubtedly transform how Kentucky cares for individuals with mental health needs," said Gov. Beshear. "Today is indeed a day of celebration for all of those who have played a role in reaching this milestone, including Rep. Jimmie Lee and other strong advocates and family members who have lobbied for this project for many years."


"The $129 million facility will replace the 185-year-old Eastern State Hospital, the second oldest psychiatric hospital in the country. The project involves a unique agreement between UK, Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), the state and the city of Lexington in which Eastern State will move from its campus on Newtown Pike to the Coldstream Research Campus location; BCTC will move from UK's Lexington campus to the current Eastern State location; and UK will take over BCTC's location on Cooper Drive, also providing UK with additional parking.


"I am so pleased to be part of finally breaking ground on Eastern State Hospital," said Rep. Jimmie Lee, of Elizabethtown. "The new, state-of-the-art facility will provide inpatient care for adults with acute disorders, persistent mental illness, and inpatient care for psychiatric evaluation, rehabilitation, and many other services for patients and their families at Eastern State Hospital. Working together for many years with the the city of Lexington, the Governor, the University of Kentucky, KCTCS, and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has made this day a long-awaited vision and dream become a reality for many, many people."


"The construction of a new Eastern State Hospital is also the construction of a new era of health care for Kentuckians who suffer from mental illnesses," Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry said. "Just as this new hospital will offer new opportunities to its patients, moving this hospital to Coldstream will offer new opportunities to our city. This remarkable configuration will result in enormous economic development opportunities for years to come."


"The incredible and relentless hard work of so many mental health advocates over the years is now reaching a goal that some believed impossible. Their names are many, and all of us celebrating this day know exactly who they are. All of us owe them a huge debt of gratitude," said Sen. Kathy W. Stein, of Lexington. "This day moves us one step further along the road to recognize that mental health is an issue to be dealt with just as we do other diseases—and that the stigma of mental illness is fading away. As a person who has dealt with chronic depression all of my adult life, I am very pleased we are able to mark this day's significance with the building of a state of the art facility to treat so many Kentuckians who need its help."


"We look forward to Eastern State Hospital joining our Coldstream Research Campus," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "More than that, however, we are thrilled that this new facility will provide Eastern State's patients and their families with the type of world-class facility that they richly deserve."


The plans and specifications for the replacement of Eastern State Hospital were posted on Kentucky's Vendor Self Service System for bid Aug. 30, 2010. Bids for individual trade packages advertised will be received and reviewed by D.W. Wilburn, construction manager for the replacement project. Construction is slated to begin in November 2010. The facility will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified, meaning it will meet the highest green building and performance measures. Currently, the site is being excavated, including building pads for the personal care homes, parking lots A and B and bridge foundation work.


"Once complete, this state-of-the-art facility will offer us the ability to provide expanded services to better meet patient needs," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller. "Examples include the addition of a neuro-behavioral unit and a geriatric-nursing unit, which will create the opportunity for individuals with acquired brain injuries and elderly patients with severe mental illness to receive needed inpatient psychiatric treatment closer to their family and natural support setting."


Eastern State Hospital serves an average of 2,000 patients per year from 80 Kentucky counties. The primary counties served include Boyle, Madison, Franklin, Kenton and Fayette, ranging from 65 to 279 patients annually.

Biotechnology company working on lower back pain treatment moves to the UK Coldstream Research Campus

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2010) —Orthopeutics L.P./Intralink Spine Inc., a biotechnology company that is working on an injectable tissue revitalization reagent for the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease and related lower back pain, has relocated from Texas to the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus. Three employees, including the CEO and the CSO, who will hold a joint UK faculty appointment in engineering and medicine, have moved to Lexington. It is anticipated that additional high-tech positions will be created when the company begins manufacturing the reagent and the medical device.


"It was the eagerness of UK's faculty and leadership team to collaborate in the research and development of this potentially game-changing technology that convinced me to make the University of Kentucky my academic home," said Tom Hedman, Ph.D., an MIT-trained and NIH-funded research associate professor who comes to UK by way of Texas A&M University. Hedman founded Orthopeutics and its spin-off company, Intralink Spine, and serves as the Chief Scientific Officer.


" Dr. Hedman tells me that he is excited to broaden his research efforts in conjunction with our colleges of engineering and medicine and our neurosurgery department," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine aligns perfectly with our focus on medical devices and pharmaceutical manufacturing at Coldstream."


Yesterday Governor Steve Beshear announced that Orthopeutics L.P., parent company of Intralink Spine, will receive an award from the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program for an NIH SBIR Phase II federal grant. According to Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine CEO and President Eric Hauck, Kentucky's matching funds program for SBIRs and STTRs was the initial impetus to relocate Dr. Hedman's research group from Texas to Kentucky. The company will receive $408,000 in state matching funds.


Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine is a client of the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, an economic development initiative between Lexington city government, Commerce Lexington and the University of Kentucky. UK's Office for Commercialization & Economic Development including the Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center (joint program of the Ky. Dept. of Commercialization & Innovation and UKCED) and Commerce Lexington started working with Orthopeutics/Intralink at the beginning of the year to find a location in Lexington, make connections at UK, and work with the state Economic Development Cabinet on funding sources.


Mayor Jim Newberry said, "Today's announcement is a clear illustration of what can happen when we connect UK brainpower and economic development. As many of you know, our Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is designed to make that connection. It is the combined effort of Commerce Lexington, the university and the city. By focusing on the horse, healthcare and high-tech industries that partnership has brought more than 3,000 jobs to our community since 2007."


"Commerce Lexington has thoroughly enjoyed working with Orthopeutics on their relocation to Lexington," said Bob Quick, President and CEO, Commerce Lexington Inc. "We have seen an increase in technology companies considering Lexington for relocations because of our educated workforce, low cost of doing business, and strong partnerships with the University of Kentucky and the city of Lexington. We are excited to welcome Orthopeutics to Lexington!"


Dr. Hedman and his research team have already shown that their therapeutic tissue revitalization agent acts almost immediately, is long lasting, and produces a wide range of positive effects including increasing tissue strength, tear resistance, and durability, as well as stabilizing joints, and improving nutritional flow through biologically harsh environments.


"Our nonsurgical, novel biomimetic approach replicates the human body's natural response to stabilize and prevent degradation of certain load supporting tissues," said Hedman. "Other than the spinal disc, candidate tissues include the knee meniscus, the larynx and soft palate, and the stifle joint of the horse."


"The next steps will be to prepare for clinical trials and work with Dr. Tibbs at UK on refining our delivery protocols," said Hedman. Phillip Tibbs, M.D. is the chair of UK's Department of Neurosurgery and a professor of neurosurgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Hedman, whose primary UK appointment is as a Research Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering, has a joint appointment in neurosurgery.


The third Orthopeutics/Intralink Spine employee that moved to Lexington is Paul Slusarewicz, Ph.D., Biochemistry Program Director.


Back pain statistics:

  • More than 15 million people per year in the U.S. could receive from this treatment
  • Low back pain (LBP) costs nearly $100 billion annually in the U.S.
  • 85 percent of adults experience LBP during their lifetime, 37 percent are experiencing back pain at any given time
  • 20 percent of LBP sufferers describe pain as severe or disabling
  • LBP is the second most common reason for seeing a physician, third most common reason for surgery
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