BioAdvance Announces Investment Activity in PA Life Science Companies

PHILADELPHIA--()--BioAdvance, the Biotechnology Greenhouse Corporation of Southeastern Pennsylvania, today announced commitments of $2.4 million to seven new life science companies, two academic technologies and seven current portfolio companies during its fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

Seven new start-up companies have received investments:

  • RMH Sciences (Philadelphia), discovering novel antibacterial agents for the treatment of resistant gram negative and gram positive infections, based on the work of Harvey Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Ossianix (Philadelphia), developing single domain antibodies based on the shark VNAR structure, with a platform of potential therapeutics in immunological, inflammatory, musculoskeletal, neurologic, and other disorders.
  • Merganser Biotech (Delaware), developing hepcidin peptides for the treatment of hemoglobinopathies, such as sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia, and diseases of iron overload.
  • Anakim Biologics (Chester), developing efficiencies and improvements in biologics manufacturing.
  • Enzium (Philadelphia/Allegheny), developing highly sensitive biosensor methodologies for the testing of proteases and other enzymes.
  • Imiplex (Bucks), developing the TriPol platform, engineered from proteins, designed to provide a flexible system for constructing diverse nanostructures.
  • Cool~Bio (Delaware), developing platelet-inhibiting technology geared specifically to activation during the cooling process of cardiac bypass.

BioAdvance also supported two academic technologies for potential company formation in the region: one selective TNFRI inhibitor discovered at the University of Pennsylvania and one for hearing loss discovered at the University of Auckland.

“The demand for funding and the technical and commercial attractiveness of new technologies in 2012 has been strong, particularly when coupled with the experienced industry talent pool here,” said Barbara S. Schilberg, Managing Director and CEO of BioAdvance. “Given the shortage of start-up capital, we’re pleased to continue filling a critical role in funding early-stage innovation. We know from success stories such as Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and Infrascan that these companies have the potential to significantly impact human health and drive economic growth in the region.”

In addition to new start-up funding, seven companies in the BioAdvance portfolio are receiving follow-on investments, including:

  • Solaris Therapeutics (Bucks), working on a unique approach to protein misfolding through ring domains of E3 ligases responsible for ubiquitinization.
  • Novira Therapeutics (Delaware), developing first-in-class antiviral therapeutics based on a novel mechanism of action that targets viral capsid assembly.
  • Niiki Pharma (Philadelphia), developing two clinical-stage first-in-class anti-cancer drug candidates: NKP-1339, which targets BiP/GRP78, and NKP-2235 which uses transferrin to disable the endoplasmic reticulum, causing tumor cell death.
  • Galleon Pharmaceuticals (Montgomery), developing innovative breathing control medicines for acute and chronic neurorespiratory conditions, including opiate-induced respiratory depression and sleep apnea.
  • Immunome (Montgomery), developing proprietary native human monoclonal antibody (N-huMAB) platform which enables the discovery of N-huMABs engineered by the human immune system that are not accessible by other antibody cloning methods.
  • Optofluidics (Philadelphia) developing microfluidic and biophotonic devices for single molecule manipulation for analysis and point-of-care medical diagnostics.
  • Ceptaris Therapeutics (Chester), developing mechlorethamine gel, a topically delivered cytotoxic agent to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).

Since 2003, BioAdvance has invested $21.3 million in 54 companies with over 60 products for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases and cancer. For every $1 that BioAdvance has invested in early stage companies, $72 additional dollars were attracted into the Pennsylvania economy. Its portfolio companies have raised nearly $500 million in subsequent funding and nine companies have attracted over $1 billion in capital from acquisitions and other exits, including Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Protez Pharmaceuticals, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals and NuPathe Inc.

For more information or to apply for funding please visit


Jennifer Smith, 610-230-0645

Release Summary

BioAdvance today announced commitments of $2.4 million to seven new life science companies, two academic technologies and seven current portfolio companies during its fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.


Jennifer Smith, 610-230-0645