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Virginia Catalyst Awards $3.3 Million to Life Science & Bioscience

Wednesday, November 20, 2019  
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The Virginia Catalyst, non-profit corporation, has awarded $3.3 million in grants to six innovative life science and bioscience collaborations.

The grants fund projects that:
Have the potential to significantly improve human health and create high-value jobs,
Accelerate the commercialization of inventions and discoveries at Virginia universities, and
Strengthen Virginia’s competitive advantage in life sciences research.

“As a pediatric neurologist, I recognize that better treatments for cancer start with advancements in life science research,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia Catalyst is driving this progress, strengthening scientific collaboration and enabling the Commonwealth to compete on a national scale. Virginia has deployed $70 million in grants that leveraged another $650 million in follow-on funding to accelerate science and technology-based research, development, and commercialization.”

This is Virginia Catalyst’s 10th round of funding. It has awarded 43 grants totaling $20 million, resulting in over $34 million in matching funds and an additional $163 million in follow-on funding since 2013.

Virginia Catalyst, formerly known as Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC), is funded by the General Assembly, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, Eastern Virginia Medical School, George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and William & Mary.

“This grant program requires ‘skin in the game,’ because award recipients must find industry partners willing to invest matching funds for their projects,” said Mike Grisham, CEO of Virginia Catalyst. “This brings investment capital here to finance commercialization of Virginia’s innovations. It’s all about advancing life science and creating high-paying jobs across the Commonwealth.”

Grants were awarded to the following projects:
Microsystem for label-free separation and recovery of tumor-associated cells from biopsies for precision medicine
Company: CytoRecovery, Inc. (Blacksburg)
Collaborators: Virginia Tech and University of Virginia
Amount: $400,000

Commercializing a novel treatment for metastatic cancers
Company: InterLeukin Combinatorial Therapies, Inc. (Richmond)
Collaborators: Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Virginia
Amount: $700,000

Design & Implement of green, enzymatic biofungicides for pre- & post-harvest crop protection
Company: Lytos Technologies, LLC (Charlottesville)
Collaborators: University of Virginia and Virginia Tech
Amount: $500,000

Protein painting of PD-1/PD-L1 for the discovery of new immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of lung cancer and brain metastasis
Company: Monet Pharmaceuticals (Nokesville)
Collaborators: George Mason University and Virginia Tech
Amount: $400,000

Automated 3D spinal navigation system for bedside lumbar puncture procedures
Company: RIVANNA (Charlottesville)
Collaborators: University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University
Amount: $800,000

Development of an applicator & training simulator for a gel patch for nonsurgical eardrum repair
Company: Tympanogen (Richmond)
Collaborators: Eastern Virginia Medical School and Virginia Commonwealth University
Amount: $500,000

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