Banyan gets $13 million Defense Dept. grant

 Congratulations to Progress Corporate Park tenant Banyan Biomarkers! Banyan Biomarkers is a biotechnology company that works to improve the diagnoses and treatment of neurological disease and injuries. If you'd like to join the successful and innovative companies like Banyan Biomarkers, Progress Corporate Park is a great place to start. 

By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

Alachua-based Banyan Biomarkers received a $13 million Department of Defense contract to adapt its blood test that diagnoses traumatic brain injury to work with a lab test device made by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

OCD's' Vitros MicroWell device will be used to analyze clinical trial samples.

Banyan Biomarkers has so far enrolled 1,100 out of 2,000 patients for a clinical trial it is conducting at 25 medical centers through a $26.3 million defense contract, according to CEO Jackson Streeter.

The company expects to complete the trial next year before the final stage of commercialization.

“We need to work on instruments that are deployed in hospitals. It's getting near the final milestone here,” Streeter said.

Banyan has 42 employees -- 30 in Alachua and 12 in Carlsbad, Calif. Streeter said additional hiring will depend on pending grants from the National Institutes of Health that are being slowed by the federal shutdown.

Banyan Biomarkers was founded in 2002 by researchers at the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute who discovered proteins from the breakdown of dying brain cells in blood.

The company developed tests to diagnose the presence and severity of traumatic brain injury.

Most of Banyan's funding has come from the Department of Defense due to its use in diagnosing head trauma from explosions, along with funding from the NIH and private investors.

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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