Apr 02, 2013
BioGenerator – the non-profit venture development organization of BioSTL – recently closed on an investment in Antegrin Therapeutics through its i6 Project Fund. The investment will allow Antegrin to select and advance lead compounds for the treatment of human fibrotic diseases, initially targeting idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive life-threatening condition. IPF has very high mortality without lung transplant, and there are currently no FDA-approved drug treatments.
“The Antegrin team has extensive expertise in the design and characterization of compounds that hold great promise for the treatment of fibrotic diseases,” said Dr. Robert Karr, President and CEO, Antegrin Therapeutics. “We believe that no other company has agents with the same combination of potency and broad-spectrum anti-fibrotic activity that can bring hope to patients who suffer from these debilitating and often fatal conditions.”
Antegrin was founded based on technology developed by researchers at the Center for World Health & Medicine (CWHM) at Saint Louis University (SLU). Antegrin is the first start-up company SLU has spun out of CWHM. Graeme Thomas, Director of the Office of Technology Management at SLU, stated, “We believe Antegrin will help to demonstrate how a university-based drug discovery center can contribute to treating disease and promoting regional economic growth. It also serves as a model for facilitating the transfer of university intellectual property to the clinic.”
“Antegrin is an exciting company that embodies the great depth of pharmaceutical discovery talent in St. Louis,” said Charlie Bolten, Vice President of BioGenerator. “The technology is at a relatively advanced stage within the continuum of university inventions and ready to move from an academic setting to a company-oriented research phase.”
The BioGenerator’s i6 Project Fund is supported by an i6 Challenge Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
“Antegrin exemplifies the kind of academic-based opportunity that the St. Louis Regional i6 Project envisioned when designing the funding program,” said Dr. Eric Gulve, President of BioGenerator. “One of the goals of our i6 initiative is to facilitate commercialization of university technology by connecting inventors to industry expertise and startup management talent. Saint Louis University in turn worked with the CWHM staff, company management and BioGenerator in order to streamline the process for spinning out the company.”
The national i6 Challenge competition sought to identify and support the nation’s best ideas for technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in six different regions in the country. Partners on the St. Louis Regional i6 Project include BioGenerator, St. Louis County Economic Council, St. Louis City Development Corporation, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Washington University in St. Louis.
BioSTL is a nonprofit that builds regional capacity and fosters collaborative efforts to advance innovation, entrepreneurship, and new company creation that capitalize on St. Louis’ world-class medical and plant biosciences and to promote economic growth and regional prosperity in St. Louis. Please visit www.biostl.org for additional information. Twitter: @BioSTL. Facebook: BioSTL.
The BioGenerator, the non-profit venture development organization of BioSTL, facilitates the formation of successful, sustainable bioscience companies in the St. Louis region. It provides start-up bioscience companies with pre-seed and seed investment funds, shared lab space with specialized equipment, and in-depth management support. Please visit www.biogenerator.org for additional information. Twitter: @BioGeneratorSTL.