TNG Pharmaceuticals, a new business concept developed by University of Louisville Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship MBA students, earned the overall first prize and $641,600 in cash and investment awards at the 2011 Rice Business Plan Competition, an event that is considered one of the top such competitions in the world.
“This ranks up there with national championships in athletic competitions,” said College of Business Dean Charlie Moyer. “It’s an extraordinary accomplishment for our students and faculty, and something the entire university can celebrate.”
TNG presented FlyVax, a patented vaccine targeting the $1 billion in losses incurred by cattle farmers due to parasitic horn flies. Bites from the blood-sucking flies agitate cattle as they graze and feed, reducing milk and beef production. The new vaccine is easier to administer and more effective than traditional remedies, with the added benefits of reducing pesticide use and disease spread. The vaccine was originally developed by agricultural scientists at Auburn University. TNG has an agreement in principle to convert its option on the vaccine to a full license.
More than 500 teams applied for the competition, with the best 42 selected from the world’s top graduate programs. The Louisville team beat finalists from MIT, Notre Dame, the University of Michigan and the University of Arkansas to bring home the overall top prize.