Oleolive, a pre-clinical biotechnology company located in Shreveport, Louisiana, has been awarded a Phase II AFWERX Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to continue its work on technology that aids in the care of trauma suffered by special operations war fighters in austere environments. This SBIR contract awarded through the Air Force’s AFWERX program allows companies to work with the Air Force in research and development, with the option for the Air Force to then purchase the technology.
Oleolive first received a Phase I AFWERX SBIR contract in late 2019, designed to allow the company to develop a potential customer base through Air Force departments, which would further back the development of the technology.
This Phase II award, the fifth SBIR received by Oleolive in two years, will allow Oleolive to further test the product before bringing it before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.
“We’ll collect all the data needed so we can approach the FDA to find the appropriate regulatory pathway to get our product to humans,” said Kiley Grant, CEO of Oleolive. “There is a great need for a product like this in the military.”
Oleolive’s patented technology is a powdered, platelet-rich plasma that researchers believe could be used for life-threatening hemorrhaging wounds incurred by soldiers in battlefields. Notably, the No. 1 reason for death for otherwise survivable wounds is blood loss. Operationally, the technology would take platelets from a soldier’s blood (plateletpheresis), turn it into a stable form, and then return it to the donor to carry in the field during dangerous military operations. Grant believes this technology could one day be developed into a “one size fits all” product for anyone involved in a trauma situation.
If Oleolive successfully completes Phase II of the contract, it will move to the final phase – a sole source contract to sell the product to the military.
“Oleolive is an example of what can happen when we have the programs, support and space to accommodate and retain the state’s brightest researchers and entrepreneurs. Having been in the academic research setting for collective decades, they are the best partners we could have to discover and commercialize technology developed within our universities in order to move that technology forward, whether through the Air Force’s AFWERX program or the private sector,” said Dave Smith, EAP Executive Director.
This award is the second AFWERX SBIR for Oleolive and the fourth awarded to EAP portfolio companies.
To learn more about Oleolive, please visit oleo.live.
EAP serves as the region’s startup accelerator and small business resource, analyzing the viability of ideas and products, matching entrepreneurs with informed investors and other funding opportunities and nurturing them through the critical steps toward market. EAP provides a suite of services to build sustainable and profitable companies in North Louisiana. EAP, through NorLEAP, has expanded its services across 21 North Louisiana parishes and spearheads North Louisiana university pitch competitions.
AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2 and now in 20.R the Air Force has begun offering Special SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.