Researchers as entrepreneurs

Many stars must align for a uni­ver­sity research project to turn into a suc­cessful inde­pen­dent busi­ness. Just ask North­eastern alumnus Joel Berniac, the chief exec­u­tive officer and co-​​founder of Akrivis Tech­nolo­gies, a life sci­ences com­pany com­mitted to com­mer­cial­izing research from the lab of North­eastern pro­fessor of phar­ma­ceu­tical sci­ences Ban-​​An Khaw.

Akrivis has devel­oped a med­ical device that can detect the pres­ence of dis­eases like cancer ear­lier than existing methods. It uses blood tests capable of detecting bio­markers at very low con­cen­tra­tions and imaging tech­niques capable of visu­al­izing millimeter-​​size tumor lesions. The com­pany has raised nearly $750,000 since its founding in 2009 and late last year moved its head­quar­ters from a high-​​tech busi­ness incu­bator to new lab space in the Salem, Mass., head­quar­ters of US Bio­log­ical, now a strategic and dis­tri­b­u­tion partner of Akrivis.

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