UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — Dr. Andrew Patterson and his team are taking on a potentially silent killer that plagues nearly a third of Americans. His team is Heliome Biotech, and with a market that broad, the startup's potential impact is massive.
Patterson formed Heliome Biotech in the fall of 2015 with the goal of commercializing technology that combats non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NAFLD is often asymptomatic and goes undetected, but it can lead to more serious complications.
"Fatty liver disease is a growing problem," said Patterson, "so the applications of our technology are widespread." In NASH, the fatty liver becomes inflamed and damaged, with the possibility of progression into fibrosis, liver failure and cirrhosis, ultimately requiring transplantation.
President Barron Makes Appearance
Penn State President Dr. Eric Barron, who had been touring the Technology Center earlier in the day, stopped by the luncheon and spoke briefly about Invent Penn State. He described the four-pronged initiative: incentivizing entrepreneurship for faculty and staff, garnering visibility through the creation of a branded Penn State platform to pull in angel investors and venture capitalists, creating an ecosystem across all Penn State campuses, and focusing on involving and energizing students.
Pre-accelerator Program will Help Businesses Get Started, Stick Around
Hosted by Penn State President Eric Barron at the former Verizon Building where a Happy Valley LaunchBox logo hung all month to tease the program’s opening, the ceremony drew cheers, applause, and emotion from local entrepreneurs and community leaders who want to help grow local businesses and keep them in harmonious operation with the community.
Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins recently met with Dan Leri, Director of Innovation Park, and Nena Ellis Koschny, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications for Invent Penn State, to discuss potential plans for collaboration and how the county can support Innovation Park’s and Invent Penn State’s efforts to drive economic development.
“There is a lot of support in the community now for entrepreneurship, startups, and economic development,” Centre County Commissioner Mark Higgins said. “Since my election two months and two weeks ago, the county has increased our economic development budget from $25,000 to $175,000 per year.”