November 17, 2023
Veteran-Owned/Operated Life Science Companies
In honor of Veterans Day, this month we are highlighting Biocom California member companies that are veteran-owned/operated. These businesses are doing everything from finding new treatments for inflammatory skin conditions, using mass spectrometry to assist pharmaceutical companies, providing biotech firms with environmental and safety consulting, and more.
Arcutis Biotherapeutics is a Los Angeles-based company specializing in developing therapies for dermatological conditions and skin diseases that have historically been difficult to treat. Just last month, the company received FDA approval for Zoryve, a steroid-free topical cream to treat plaque psoriasis in children ages 6 to 11, and in its pipeline are treatments for atopic and seborrheic dermatitis, alopecia, and vitiligo. Arcutis’ CEO Frank Watanabe has been in life science for more than 20 years, and held executive positions at companies including Eli Lilly, Amgen and Kanan Therapeutics. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserves for 25 years.
EHS Analytical Solutions
EHS Analytical Solutions is a certified Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) owned by Adam Fillmore, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. The company specializes in environment, health and safety (EH&S) consulting and staffing services for biotech, pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies in San Diego and throughout the country. The company says its mission is to reduce operational costs for their clients while assisting them with meeting compliance.
Mass Spec Lab
Mass Spec Lab specializes in customized chemical analysis of substances and samples for the pharmaceutical, biomedical and biotechnology industries. Using mass spectrometry, the company says its technology and processes can identify and quantify constituents and contaminants in any substance or raw material. Based in Orange County, Mass Spec Labs is owned by Rich and Marie Christ. Rich served in the U.S. Navy in the ’70s and received a master’s in chemical engineering from UCLA, and Marie has a Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry from UC Irvine.
AnaBios Corporation provides researchers with primary human tissue and cell samples that can be used for a variety of academic and biotechnology studies, from pre-clinical drug discovery to understanding pain and analgesia to translational research. The company says it has an existing and growing biobank, all of which is ethically sourced. This year, it acquired Washington state-based Cell Systems and granted Dr. Kristine Griffett, an assistant professor of pharmacology at Auburn University, with $15,000 in high-quality human hepatocytes (liver cells) in its third annual Translational Research Grant Award.
Dermata Therapeutics is a San Diego-based company developing therapies for inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis and rosacea. Its lead product candidate, DMT310, is derived from Spongilla lacustris—a freshwater sponge found in rivers and lakes— that the company says has chemical compounds that can help with exfoliation and collagen production and can create an environment that kills bacteria that causes acne. The company has four treatments in its product pipeline.
Alex Dantas was a watercraft engineer in the U.S. Army, and he went on to become an entrepreneur, founding three companies in the Bay Area. His latest endeavor, Circuit Launch, operates a dedicated co-working space for electronic hardware startups—such as those specializing in IoT and virtual and augmented reality. The company says its 31,000-square-foot site in Oakland provides their members with office, lab, and micromanufacturing workspaces, along with access to a network of engineers, suppliers, manufacturers and more.
Morrison & Foerster
The law firm Morrison & Foerster was first founded more than 140 years ago in San Francisco, and today it’s an international company covering a variety of practice areas, including intellectual property law, and has a team of attorneys who specialize in life science and healthcare industry issues. The firm was recently honored with the Top Performer and Compass Awards by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.