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Virginia Catalyst Awarded $2.825M in Grants to 6 Collaborative Projects

Monday, June 19, 2017  
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The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, known as Virginia Catalyst, has awarded $2.825 million in grants to six collaborative bioscience commercialization projects between Virginia’s research universities and private companies. Round six of funding is intended to catalyze the development and commercialization of life science projects that address major unmet needs for improving human health, while also contributing to Virginia’s economic growth.

“Virginia’s research universities are providing leadership on a national and global level in the life sciences by combining their intellectual and scientific prowess through collaborations to achieve critical mass. This competitive critical mass is attracting significant outside capital and industry participation to commercialize Virginia’s innovations, while creating high-paying jobs for Virginia,” said Mike Grisham, CEO, Virginia Catalyst. “Bioscience continues to be a vital part of Virginia’s economy and we are excited to help fuel innovation, collaboration and economic growth in our state. Virginia, Maryland and the D.C. metro area are now nationally ranked by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) as a top five biopharma cluster.”

The six winning projects for this current round of funding include:

Project Focus: INSPIRE Brain Cancer Treatment
∞ Company: VoltMed, Inc. (Blacksburg, VA)
∞ University collaborators: Virginia Tech and University of Virginia
∞ Funding amount: $800,000
∞ Matching funds: $1.7 million provided by the National Institutes of Health

Project Focus: BT-11: First-in-class Oral Therapeutic for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
∞ Company: BioTherapeutics, Inc. (Blacksburg, VA)
∞ University collaborators: Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University
∞ Funding amount: $800,000
∞ Matching funds: $800,000 provided by BioTherapeutics, Inc.

Project Focus: Novel and Potent Anti-inflammatory Drug with Cardio-protective Effects to Treat Myocardial Injury and Prevent Heart Failure
∞ Company: Serpin Pharma (Manassas, VA)
∞ University collaborators: George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University
∞ Funding amount: $400,000
∞ Matching funds: $400,000 provided by Serpin Pharma

Project Focus: Accelerating the Commercialization of the Diamond™ Mouse Model of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis
∞ Company: Sanyal Biotechnology (Richmond, VA)
∞ University collaborators: Eastern Virginia Medical School and George Mason University
∞ Funding amount: $100,000
∞ Matching funds: $100,000 provided by Sanyal Biotechnology

Project Focus: Translational Research and Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Fields for Immuno-Oncology Applications
∞ Company: Pulse Biosciences, Inc. (Burlingame, CA)
∞ University collaborators: Old Dominion University and Eastern Virginia Medical School
∞ Funding amount: $300,000
∞ Matching funds: $300,000 provided by Pulse Biosciences, Inc.

Project Focus: Bioengineering for the Therapeutic Delivery of Massively Expanded Islet-Derived Human Beta-Cells
∞ Company: Propagenix, Inc. (Rockville, MD)
∞ University collaborators: Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia
∞ Funding amount: $425,000
∞ Matching funds: $1.04 million provided by the National Institutes of Health and Propagenix, Inc.

Virginia Catalyst is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation funded by the Virginia General Assembly’s general fund and seven of Virginia’s research universities. The organization has now awarded 24 grants totaling $10 million, combined with $20 million in matching funds, which financed the achievement of meaningful milestones. This then resulted in follow-on funding of an additional $80 million and the creation of high-paying jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

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