Blaze Bioscience's brilliant concept in the fight against cancer

 
 

A neurosurgeon stands over a 12-year-old cancer patient in the operating room, scalpel in hand. It is unclear exactly which cells in the child’s brain are part of a cancerous tumor and which are healthy. Does the surgeon choose to remove all suspicious tissue or play it safe by removing less?

With Dr. James Olson’s Tumor Paint, surgeons can see cancerous tissue during the operation, sparing them from having to choose between going too far and not far enough. Olson’s solution consists of a fluorescent beacon attached to a peptide derived from scorpion toxin that latches onto cancer cells’ receptors. The technology is administered via injection, and surgeons use a near infrared camera to see the cancerous tissue in real time and at much higher resolution than MRI technology can provide.

Olson, a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital, developed and patented Tumor Paint at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in 2007. Time magazine that year called it “an innovative way of giving surgeons the upper hand against these wily tumors.”

In 2010, Heather Franklin, formerly senior vice president of business development and alliance management at ZymoGenetics, joined Olson in launching Blaze Bioscience to commercialize the technology, which the firm licensed from FHCRC last year. Franklin, who is president and CEO, lured former ZymoGenetics colleagues Julia Novak and Mila Lobanova, as VP/research and project management and VP/finance and operations, respectively, to the endeavor.

Blaze Bioscience recently raised $5 million in Series A financing to put Tumor Paint through further development. “This funding is a significant milestone,” Franklin says. “It will allow the company to transition from the seed stage to full execution mode.”

Olson, meanwhile, is happy to think of what it may mean to anyone facing treatment for solid cancer tumors. “We’re pleased to have raised the capital to move Tumor Paint forward,” he says, “and we remain inspired by the needs of the pediatric brain cancer patients for whom the technology was developed.”

Franklin says clinical trials could begin next year.

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
 
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
 
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
 
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
 
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.