Boca Briefs


FAU Tech Runway contest winner takes home another prize

Hannah Herbst, a 2019 FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition winner, was recently awarded $5,000 for first place in the translational medical science category at the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Her project “Sharks Take a Bite Out of Infection! An Antibacterial, Reusable Bandage for Post-Operative Patients” will be further developed as she begins a year-long entrepreneurial program at Tech Runway.

Herbst has previously been recognized on the 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 list; invited to the 2016 White House Science Fair as America’s Top Scientist, where she discussed her research with former President Barack Obama; served on the youth panel at the 2016 United Nations Multi-Stakeholder STI Forum in New York; and was awarded the title of America’s 2015 Top Young Scientist at the Discovery Education and 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Beacon of Hope signs lease at Research Park

Beacon of Hope CRO, a Clinical Research Organization created specifically to facilitate drug development in expanded access programs through the Right-to-Try (RTT) law, is headed to Boca Raton.

The company signed a lease at the Research Park at FAU’s Technology Business Incubator and over the next two years expects to create 10 new jobs as part of a capital investment of $3 million.

While Beacon of Hope CRO will operate nationally, the Business Development Board convinced them to choose Palm Beach County’s vibrant life sciences research community, which was one of the company’s top deciding factors.

The CRO also chose Research Park at FAU because of the availability of talent and the opportunity to collaborate with Florida Atlantic University’s medical and nursing schools, in addition to the rich talent pool available from Keiser University, Lynn University, Nova Southeastern University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Palm Beach State College.

“Beacon of Hope CRO will be a great addition to Palm Beach County’s life sciences industry and will bring new treatment options to patients in the county and throughout the South Florida region,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board.

Beacon of Hope CRO’s Founder and Managing Member, Richard Garr, is also the former President and CEO of Neuralstem Inc., a publicly traded life sciences company. Garr has been an advocate for expanded access for patients and was heavily involved in the drafting and advocacy for the state Right-to-Try (RTT) laws currently enacted, as well as the new Federal law.

Over the past two years, 41 states passed RTT laws to enable seriously ill or terminal patients to access experimental therapies including drugs, biologics and devices that have completed Phase I testing, but have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In January 2017, a federal “Right-To-Try” bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate and on May 30, 2018, President Trump signed the bill into law.

“Beacon of Hope is the first CRO dedicated exclusively to facilitating Right-to-Try treatment programs at scale, for industry. The unfortunate truth is that only a tiny percent of patients have access to clinical trials, and even then, they may end up receiving a placebo treatment,” Garr said. “The new Right-to-Try paradigm will create increased access to experimental drugs for patients diagnosed with potentially terminal diseases, and allow drug developers to collect real world data to accelerate their development timelines at dramatically lower costs. We are excited to be building this new company here in Palm Beach County.”

FAU receives $750,00 donation to name Innovation Hall

Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science received a $750,000 gift from the GANGALS nonprofit Foundation, Inc. (GnF) to name Innovation Hall in the Engineering East building.

The platinum LEED certified building’s hall will now be known as the Lata and Shiva Gangal Global Innovation Hall

Last year, the Gangals also established a $500,000 gift for the “Gangal Family Endowed Scholarship Fund” to support talented students as they prepare for professional careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

In addition to these agreed gifts to the FAU Foundation, the Gangals directly award scholarships to FAU engineering graduate students. Their total gifts to FAU amounts to approximately $1.5 million.

“We are extremely proud of our affiliation with Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and we are delighted to name the Global Innovation Hall,” said Shiva Gangal. “This recent gift is a continuation of our support to ensure that engineering students thrive in their environment and that the college’s programs continue to excel so that we can ensure a robust STEM workforce and knowledge base in South Florida and beyond.”

The GnF recently was honored at a special reception in the College of Engineering and Computer Science on FAU’s Boca Raton campus.

“We are so incredibly grateful for the Gangal family’s generosity and their continued support of Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science,” said Stella N. Batalama, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. “The Lata and Shiva Gangal Global Innovation Hall will provide our students with an engaging environment that will foster learning, creativity and collaboration. This state-of-the-art hall also will serve as an ideal location to showcase student innovations and research achievements.”

Boca West Children’s Foundation gifts record amount this year

Boca West Children’s Foundation has granted a record $1.13 million to Palm Beach County non-profits supporting children in 2019.

“Our mandate is to identify and implement projects assisting at-risk children and their families for partner agencies in our community,” said Chairman Arthur Adler. “One in four children in Palm Beach County live in poverty. This record amount of funding will go a long way toward feeding educating, clothing, and keeping safe and healthy more than 5,500 children in need every day.”

Since its inception in 2010, Boca West Children’s Foundation has granted more than $8 million to 25 local children’s non-profits.

“We believe every child has basic rights. Children should have food and a safe place to sleep; access to educational opportunities; basic dental and medical care; and to be able to just be normal kids,” said Jennifer Bate Richy, Executive Director of Boca West Children’s Foundation. “Our goal is to level the playing field through efforts from cradle to college. Each of our partner agencies is carefully vetted and does a spectacular job in their area.”

Boca Helping Hands receives major gift

Arthur J. Remillard Jr., a long time volunteer with Boca Helping Hands, left the organization with a $1 million gift from his estate after his recent death.

The Legacy Gift was added to the nonprofit’s endowment fund, which is used to help ensure the organization’s long-term financial viability.

“This is huge in our world,” said Gary Peters, Boca Helping Hands’ Board President. “Arthur Remillard’s first major gift to Boca Helping Hands in 2006 enabled us to purchase the building we are in today, allowing our organization to expand from its beginnings as a small soup kitchen. His estate gift will help ensure that we can keep growing and serving those in need for decades to come.”

When the late Remillard initially contacted Peters in 2006 to learn more about Boca Helping Hands, the soup kitchen was providing 36 meals per day.

The Remillard Family Resource Center opened in 2010 and today, Boca Helping Hands feeds 150-200 people a hot meal six days a week, serving 4,000 people monthly. The organization distributes almost 6,000 pantry bags (groceries) to needy people each month.
It also provides job training and job mentoring, underwrites medical and dental visits for the uninsured and contributes limited financial assistance to qualified Boca Raton residents in crisis.

Boca Helping Hands has expanded pantry pickup and medical service to Boynton Beach and assists community members in need throughout Palm Beach County.

“As a long-time Boca Raton resident, our father was passionate about wanting to help establish a comprehensive resource center for the less privileged citizens of this great town,” said Regan Remillard, Arthur’s son. “Boca Helping Hands is the culmination of that passion, and our father’s Legacy Gift will help Boca Helping Hands continue its critical, compassionate mission of providing food, access to medical care, financial assistance and job training to Boca’s neediest residents.”

The Remillard family continues its support of and involvement with Boca Helping Hands and Arthur’s grandchildren volunteer whenever they visit Boca Raton.