Accelerate. Ignite. Innovate

The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization and staffed by a team of executives and entrepreneurs to accelerate life science discoveries to improve human health, including new medicines, devices, and transformative technologies. ILSE is a hub for hands-on entrepreneur support and company formation and builds on our expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, microbiology, microbiome, immunology & inflammation, antibiotic & antifungal R&D.

Scientist in one of ILSE’s laboratories

ILSE has three business units that support entrepreneurship and startup companies in different ways: a research institute, a life science company incubator at Kean University, and a business accelerator. These functions are interdisciplinary and draw on the expertise of the management team who come from the life science industry, and of the extensive global consulting network that spans the full spectrum of R&D and business operations.

We perform our own original research, contract research for clients around the world, and collaborative research with our partners. Through the Biotech Launchpad, ILSE offers a comprehensive suite of services to support the commercial success of life science startups. This resource for scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs gives nascent life science companies flexibility in choosing services and networks to support their growth and development in optimal ways. Biotech LaunchPad clients can select business support services that include assistance with incorporation and building a board of directors and scientific advisory board; establishing stock plans, corporate contracts and legal agreements; generating angel, seed and grant funding; and more.

Over the past three years, ILSE has supported more than 250 entrepreneurs from academia and industry from all over the world through consulting on startup potential for various therapeutic, diagnostics and medical device technologies. Since ILSE’s inception and through its Biotech Launchpad, a comprehensive suite of facilities and services designed to maximize startup success and address commercialization barriers, ILSE has helped over 20 very early-stage companies and technologies raise over $18 million in “first money” from grants, family and friends, and seed rounds.

Dr. Keith A. Bostian, Founder and CEO, ILSE

We are proud of our accomplishments in entrepreneurship. We currently house 11 companies in our innovation center, employing about 40 people. Through direct and indirect support, we have helped these companies raise over $18million in grants and other funding. We have served as principal investigators on SBIR grants and other funding; we have generated corporate sponsored research for our companies; and we have served as sub awardees to provide scientific, technical, administrative, finance and HR support, as needed.

We are located in the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics building on Kean University’s campus in Union, NJ, with easy access to the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. We are also adjacent to the Union Station stop on New Jersey Transit, 20- 25 minutes to NYC’s Penn Station.

ILSE has made an important impact on our partner and client Companies,” said Keith Bostian, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of ILSE. “Since its inception, ILSE has played a critically important role in New Jersey’s ecosystem and connected many startups to difficult to-find first money to get operations started. Kean’s investment into ILSE has been an incredible success, paying dividends thus far in countless student opportunities for internships and employment and faculty research.

ILSE is motivated and inspired by the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs,” added Thomas Richardson, Ph.D., President of ILSE. “We are thrilled to support their efforts by helping them access the New Jersey life sciences ecosystem. From cancer and pain drugs to pioneering antimicrobials to diagnostic technologies changing the face of healthcare and delivery, we are committed to and excited by the boundless opportunities of this industry.

Prokaryotics Inc. is a New Jersey startup founded by a team of former Merck senior scientists and led by Terry Roemer, former head of the Merck Antimicrobial Early Discovery Unit. Prokaryotics is committed to developing innovative therapeutics to address the crisis of multidrug resistant bacteria, and has licensed a number of early stage antibacterial programs from Merck, each focusing on a therapeutically novel target. Prokaryotics is chiefly funded by grants from NIH/NIAID, and in the first five years of operation has raised over 18 M USD in non-dilutive funding to support multiple programs which range in stage from early Lead Identification to Pre-Clinical Candidate selection. Prokaryotics recognizes the value of collaboration, and has forged partnerships with leading groups in allied disciplines including the Fundacion Medina, Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease, University of Florida Institute for Therapeutic Innovation, Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery Innovation, and Northern Antibiotics.

Kathera Bioscience is a biotech startup developing new drugs to treat life-threatening fungal infections that are becoming increasingly common causes of human disease. The company focus is on drugs with novel mechanisms of action targeting cellular enzymes that are essential for fungal growth and pathogenicity. KatheraBio is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the New Jersey Commission Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship. The team is led by co-founders Dr. Stephen Parent, a biopharma industry expert, and Dr. Steven Hanes, a Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
KatheraBio – Discovering Cutting Edge Antifungal Therapies

Plumeria Therapeutics is a New Jersey startup developing a novel, nonopioid pain drug as a new treatment for chronic pain conditions such as painful diabetic neuropathy. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and New Jersey’s Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology, and collaborating with Rutgers University and ILSE, Plumeria has raised over $1M to create a biomarker-based companion diagnostic developed jointly between Plumeria and Rutgers. This product will be used to guide further clinical development of its lead drug. The team is led by cofounders Thomas Richardson and Rutgers Professor Lei Yu.

Apinovo Pharma Innovations Inc. is bringing innovation to route selection and process chemistry for active pharmaceutical ingredient discovery scale-up, and manufacturing. Founded by Rashmi Barbhaiya and Mukund Chorghade, industry leaders in branded and generic pharmaceuticals and by ILSE, Apinovo aims to improve safety and cost effectiveness of existing drug and new chemical entities. Utilizing novel catalysts, green chemistries, and deploying other technologies, Apinovo innovates synthetic processes for expeditious and effective drug discovery, development, and manufacturing. http://apinovo.com/

Delphine Diagnostics, a New Jersey-based biotech start-up, has a mission to deliver best-in-class diagnostics products to accelerate effective treatment for patients with infectious diseases. Delphine is committed to developing and delivering reliable products that are also affordable. This will allow it to establish trusted partnerships with doctors and hospitals and achieve its goal of saving lives.

Delphine has licensed technologies from Research University and is engaged in product development and commercialization to accomplish the goal. Delphine believes in contributing to developing the talent pipeline in the biotechnology space and hence partners with schools and Universities offering internship opportunities in product development and supply chain areas. The start-up is funded by Angel Investors, and recently a non-dilutive Innovation Grant from the NJ state government.

Prime Discoveries is a microbiome discovery company founded in 2017 where we develop microbial diagnostics for bacteria, virus and fungi. We develop automated NGS based microbiome sequencing assays and rapid isothermal amplification based diagnostics. We are developing rapid diagnostics for Pathogen screening including Covid, Influenza, TB, HPV, HBV, HCV, HIV; STIs including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas, Gardenerella; and drug resistant microbes. Our tests are developed to launch in CLIA laboratories and in Point of Care testing. Key investors include New York University, Boxgroup, Esther Dyson(23&Me), Francois Nader(Moderna), Charles Zegar(Bloomberg) etc.

The Atrium at New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics

ILSE has many laboratory resources available, including fully equipped molecular biology core and analytical chemistry core facilities, with topof-the-line equipment such as centrifuges, analytic balances, gel imagers, shakers, PCR and qPCR machines, liquid handling robot, incubators, plate readers, pH meters, spectrophotometer, a Beckman DU800 spectrophotometer with a Peltier cooling unit, LCMS, GC, GCMS and a 400 MHz NMR.

Other research facilities at ILSE, include whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics support, tissue culture facilities with required hoods, incubators and other dedicated equipment, fluorescent and confocal microscopy. Core facilities available at ILSE include a Core Analytical Chemistry Facility, Core Molecular Biology Facility, Core Genomics and Bioinformatics Facility and a Clinical Microbiology Facility. These facilities are well-equipped with appropriate instrumentation (see attached equipment list).

In July 2021, a $3 million grant was awarded by the President of Kean University to establish a Major Research Infrastructure Core Facility within NJCSTM and ILSE. Equipment in this facility is readily accessible and will have direct impact on the contemplated research. Three LCMS instruments have been purchased, an instrument for walk-up support of medicinal chemistry, a high resolution instrument for proteomics and small molecule research, and an instrument for metabolomic studies. A new 500 MGhz NMR, to be installed in 3Q 2022, will augment chemistry work. Expansion of the university’s super-computer cluster and data storage, as well as an upgrade of a 3-D visualization room for molecular modeling and docking studies, is expected to be operational in late 2022 and will support the computational aspects of the program. A high resolution confocal microscope was installed toward the end of 2021 in a new Biological Imaging Center, along with other equipment and computational, analytical/AI technology.

Computer. Desktop computers are available in shared office spaces, with online access to the library system, and subscriptions to Microsoft 365 On-line, and Endnote, and access to SharePoint. The informatics system includes a centrally managed optic-fiber linked supercomputer. The Genomics and Bioinformatics Center includes a 130-node, 1000-CPU core computer cluster, a local 16-node server/server room, online cloud services, and hardware/software for metagenomics analysis and high throughput whole genome sequencing and annotation.

Office. Offices are equipped with desks/chairs, bookshelves, filing cabinets, high speed internet connections and telephone. Shared office areas contain printers, copier and fax machines, paper cutters, mailboxes, shredders and general office materials, and kitchenette. Shared space includes a Board Room and Conference Room, both with videoconference capabilities and meeting rooms for up to 200 people.

Extended Discovery Resources. ILSE has access to discovery services through ILSE Core Lab Network Partners, an external network of laboratories providing a full suite of discovery through development and commercialization services and a network of over 80 consultants with a full range of R&D expertise, coordinated by ILSE. Adesis, Wilmington, DE. Discovery & process chemistry, custom chemical synthesis, specialty manufacturing and analytics New Path Molecular Research Ltd, London, UK. Chemistry CRO focusing on using complex functional molecules to tackle challenging targets in drug discovery, specializing in peptides and natural product-based therapeutics. Isomerase Therapeutics, Cambridge, UK. Microbial pathway bioengineering and biotransformations, synthetic chemistry, natural product chemistry & libraries. IHMA, Chamsburg, IL. Screening services, in vitro studies of new and existing antimicrobials,

An analyst in one of ILSE’s laboratories

Facility Equipment
Autoclave (Getinge)
Glassware Washer (Lancer)
DI/RO Purified Water System (Millipore)
Biological Safety Cabinets
Chemical Fume Hoods
Flammable Storage Cabinets
Refrigerators/Freezers (4C, -20C, -80C)
CO2 Incubators, Dual Chamber
Liquid Nitrogen Dewar (specimen storage)
Deli Case/Chromatography Refrigerator
Upright Atmospheric Incubators, 25-45C

Stellaris SP8 Confocal Imaging System (Leica)
NextSeq 500 DNA Sequencer (Illumina)
500 MHz NMR (JEOL; to be installed soon)
400 MHz NMR (Varian) with autosampler
LC/MS Analytical: Xevo GS-XS System (Waters)
LC-MS/MS Quad System: ZenoTOF 7600 (Sciex)
LC/MS System: TLC/CMS-UPLC/CMS System (Advion Expression)
FT-IR Spectrometer (Perkin-Elmer)
GC/MS (Perkin-Elmer Clarus system)
Headspace GC/MS (Perkin-Elmer)

Anaerobe Chamber
Microscopes (High Power, Inverted, Fluorescence, Evos fl)
UV-Visible Spectrophotometer (Spec 200E)
Spectrofluorometer (Shimadzu)
Flow Cytometer (Beckman Coulter)
8 Color Flow Cytometer (Atune)
Electroporation System (Biorad)
Multimode Microplate Reader (Biotek)
Absorbance Microplate Reader (Biorad)
Fluorescence Microplate Reader (Tecan)
Bioanalyzer-DNA (Agilent)
The Atrium at New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics An analyst in one of ILSE’s laboratories
Dr. Thomas P. Richardson, President, ILSE
Nanopore DNA Sequencer (Oxford)
Nanodrop (Thermo-Fisher)
Qubit DNA Conc. Reader (Perkin Elmer))
PCR Thermocyclers & Enclosures
Real Time PCR Thermocycler (BioRad) (2)
Capillary Electrophoresis (Agilent)
OT-2 Pipetting Robot (Opentron)
Refrigerated Microcentrifuge (Eppendorf)
Refrigerated Benchtop Centrifuge (Beckman Allegra)
Refrigerated Ultracentrifuge (Beckman Optima Max)
Focused-Ultrasonicator-M220 (Corvaris)
Gyrotary Shakers (New Brunswick)
Benchtop Shakers/Incubators
Microcentrifuges (Eppendorf)
Filtermate Harvester (Packard)
UV Transilluminator
Thermomixer (Eppendorf)
Turbidity Meters
Drying Ovens
Vortexers, Water Baths, Stir Plates, pH Meters, Pipettors
Automated Multichannel Pipettors
Balances (analytical & technical)
DNA / Protein Electrophoresis Apparata & Power Supplies
Chemidoc Imaging System (BioRad)
iBright Gel Imaging System (Thermo)


Dr. Thomas P. Richardson, President, ILSE

Waters ZQ 2000 AMU single quadrupole mass spectrometer
(Waters ZQ 2000)
LCMS with Dual lambda absorbance detector (Waters)
HPLC system (Agilent 1100)
UHPLC System (Agilent Flexar FX UV-VIS)
Calorimeter (Parr)
Initiator-Microwave Synthesizer (Biotage)
CombiFlash Chromatography (Teledyne)
Rotary Evaporators
Centrivac Concentrator (Labconco)
Vacuum Concentrator (SpeedVac)

CAVE – Computer Assisted Virtual Environment system (Mechdyne)
Multiple Headset- based VR Systems
130 node, 1000 CPU core compute cluster
CRAC (Data Center AC)
Purchase approved and underway for 600 CPU core compute cluster with 20 A30 GPUs
Unix and Windows Computational Servers
Laptop and Benchtop computers


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