Accelerator Corporation, a leading life science investment and management firm, today announced its investment in ApoGen Biotechnologies, Inc. , a company developing a new class of drugs that target underlying mechanisms that cause genomic mutations to disrupt the development of drug resistance in cancer cells. Investors participating in the $7 million Series A financing package include AbbVie Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc. , Watson Fund, P: P , WRF Capital & WuXi PharmaTech
‘One of the biggest challenges in cancer treatment is that it evolves over time and develops resistance to therapy,’ said Thong Q. Le, Chief Executive Officer, Accelerator ‘ApoGen’s drug discovery and development efforts are focused on the development of highly selective and potent small molecule inhibitors aimed at slowing or stopping cancer mutations and developing drug resistance. The company is also working to develop companion diagnostics to identify patients likely to benefit most from these therapies. We are excited to invest Accelerator’s unique start-up resources to potentially develop these promising technologies for cancer patients in need. ”
The scientific approach of ApoGen is based on discoveries made at the University of Minnesota (U of M) The company’s founders include two U of M researchers and an experienced life sciences serial entrepreneur:
Ruben S Harris, Ph.D. D. D. , Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics at the U of M; Associate Director of the U of the M Institute for Molecular Virology.
Daniel A, Daniel A Oh, Harki, Ph. D. D. , Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, U of M.
John T’s Mr Santini, Jr Ph, Ph. D. D. , President and CEO of Vergent Bioscience, a proteased biotech company located in Minneapolis, Minn. Co-founder of MicroCHIPS, Inc. ; former CEO of four life science companies; Dr. Dr. Santini will serve as a member of the Board of Directors of ApoGen
Initially, ApoGen will focus its drug development efforts on the antiviral component of the human innate immune system-APOBEC cytidine deaminases-which has been implicated as a major source of mutations in cancers. Dr. Dr. Harris, along with his colleagues at the U of M, observed that APOBEC-induced mutations occur throughout the genome in many tumor cells. By targeting this mechanism, ApoGen hopes to disrupt the ability of a cancer cell to develop drug therapy resistance. ApoGen has obtained a worldwide exclusive license from the U of M for the portfolio of APOBEC technologies developed by Drs. Harki and Harris
The Scientific Advisory Board of ApoGen is composed of a highly respected panel of world-class researchers in the fields of chemical biology, cancer genomics, drug development and clinical research:
Jose Baselga, M D. D. Ph, Ph. D. D. , Chief Medical Officer at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC); Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College.
Peter B, Peter B Dervan, Ph, man. D. D. Bren is Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology.
Charles Swanton, M, M D. D. Ph, Ph. D. D. , Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Group Leader, Translational Cancer Therapeutics, Francis Crick Institute; Chief Investigator, CRUK TRACERx Study; Co-Director, CRUK Lung Cancer Center of Excellence and Thoracic Medical Oncologist, UCL Hospitals.
Douglas Yee, Mr. D. D. , Director, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; Professor, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Minnesota;
‘I was working with the Drs Harris and Harki are moving ApoGen’s science towards clinical and commercial development, and I’m thrilled to partner with Accelerator Corporation now,” said Dr. Santini’s ‘We believe that we have put together an ideal team to advance our therapeutic technologies to slow or stop tumor development, which has the potential to have a significant clinical impact on cancer patients. ”
About ApoGen Biotechnology
ApoGen Biotechnology, Inc. Biotechnology company focuses on the development of a new class of therapeutics aimed at cancer gene mutation drivers. ApoGen is building on technologies developed at the University of Minnesota to develop drugs that block a key pathway that causes drug resistance. The drug discovery and development efforts of ApoGen are aimed at highly selective and potent small molecule inhibitors of the APOBEC family of enzymes, which are DNA cytosine deaminases and an important endogenous source of DNA mutation in cancer. Visit www for more information. Apogenbiotechnology Come on,
About the Corporation Accelerator
Accelerator Corporation, established in 2003, is a biotechnological investment and management company with operations in Seattle and New York City. A syndicate of top-tier venture capital investors and the Institute for Systems Biology, Accelerator identifies, evaluates, finances and manages the development of emerging biotechnological opportunities. Accelerator has developed a unique solution that addresses many of the key problems associated with investing in early-stage biotechnology by providing access to venture capital, management, scientific expertise and facilities.
Since its inception, Accelerator has raised more than $100 million in capital commitments to invest in innovative early life science companies. Accelerator has put together a team of talented professionals with deep investment, operational and scientific expertise to build high-quality life science start-up companies and will continue to seek out the most exciting and potentially valuable emerging biotechnology companies. Earlier this year, Accelerator announced the launch of Petra Pharma Corporation with $48 million in Series A funding commitments and Lodo Therapeutics with $17 million in Series A funding commitments. Both companies were formed from early-stage research, originally developed by two of its institutions partners in New York City.
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