VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Invests in The Tiny Cargo Company to Scale and Protect Novel Drug Delivery Platform

The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) today announced that Virginia Venture Partners (VVP), its equity investment program, has invested in The Tiny Cargo Company. The Roanoke, Va.-based spinout from Virginia Tech is developing a patent-pending drug delivery platform that utilizes milk-derived exosomes and is positioned to be the B2B global leader in supply and application of exosomes for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical uses. Tiny Cargo has previously received funding from VIPC’s Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF).

According to the International Journal of Medical Sciences, radiation therapy has been shown to provide 40% curative benefit to cancer patients, more than 50% of patients prescribed the treatment do not start or complete it due to its side effects. Additionally, there are no FDA-approved medical countermeasures on the market to combat Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), or the effects of high-dose ionizing radiation on internal organs. In response to this major unmet need, The Tiny Cargo Company has developed a way to harness the power of exosomes, bilayer vesicles ubiquitously used by living organisms as an internal delivery system, to carry potent peptides to treat ARS in cancer patients.

Tiny Cargo’s proprietary method involves isolating and extracting exosomes from dairy milk and then loading the exosomes with therapeutics or nutraceuticals. This novel drug delivery platform, branded as XoLacta, reduces damage caused by radiation therapy and substantially increases patient retention and acceptance of radiation therapy by eliminating its debilitating side effects. Milk exosomes hold significant advantages over competing delivery technologies because they are orally administered, bypass gut-blood and blood-brain barriers, are non-immunogenic, and bypass first-pass metabolism. In addition to preventing radiation poisoning in cancer patients, XoLacta has the potential to serve as a therapeutic medical countermeasure for radio-nuclear attacks or accidents.

“Tiny Cargo is very pleased to receive this investment from the VIPC in our seed round. We believe our work at the boundary of biodefense and agriculture on milk exosomes represents an important opportunity for economic development and jobs in Virginia,” said Dr. Rob Gourdie, Founder and President of The Tiny Cargo Company.

“As therapeutic technologies evolve, delivery systems must also evolve,” said Alex Euler, Senior Investment Director at VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners. “Milk exosomes have unique and compelling advantages, particularly for delivering peptide therapeutics and mRNA products. Tiny Cargo is positioned to be the global leader in the space, and we’re proud to support their groundbreaking work.”

VIPC’s investment in Tiny Cargo draws upon funds made available through the U.S. Treasury Department State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program.


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