Prevacus, a Tallahassee early stage pharamceutical startup developing novel treatments for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) based on technology licensed from Florida State University, has secured a seed funding agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program. Financial terms were not disclosed. Every year 4-6 million people suffer from mTBIs, many of which do not reach an emergency room and go unreported. Apart from analgesics for associated pain and anti-depressants, there are no approved pharmaceutical therapies for mTBI. Prevacus’s flagship product, Prevasol Nasal Spray, utilizes Neurosteroids to improve behavioral outcomes of brain injury (working memory, sensory perception and anxiety levels) as well as enhance pro-survival molecular mechanisms after mTBI (edema, apoptosis, inflammation, anti-oxidant defense, glial-immune cell infiltration). “This funding comes at a critical time in our development,” said Jake Van Landingham, president of Prevacus. “Paired with the private funding we’ve raised as a result of support from the Institute, Prevacus will be able to complete preclinical proof of concept studies, develop a drug safety profile and enter into large animal toxicology studies. All important activities will be completed for entry into Phase I/II clinical trials in the coming year.” “Prevacus exemplifies the great companies spinning out of Florida universities and research institutions,” said Jamie Grooms, Institute CEO. “These startups are developing solutions to some of today’s toughest healthcare and societal challenges, and our goal is to support them through the early stages so they can achieve product commercialization and success.” Read more here.
Fracture, a Gainesville digital printing startup founded in 2009 by University of Florida graduates Alex Theodore and Abhi Lokesh, has received a $500K commitment in financing from the Tamiami Angel Fund I (TAFI). Fracture has developed a proprietary UV-based digital photo-to-glass manufacturing process enabling printing photos in vivid color directly onto glass resulting in a product that combines the photograph and frame into one seamless piece. Previously, TAFI committed to $750K in funding, which Fracture initially received $410K. TAFI is now increasing its second half commitment from $340K to $500K based on Fracture’s performance. Lokesh said the additional funding will immediately be put to use for external initiatives including marketing and brand partnerships. Read more here.
BioFront Secures Seed Funding Agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program
BioFront Technologies, a Tallahassee biotech startup focused on producing diagnostic kits and reagents for the detection of viral and allergenic proteins based on technology licensed through Florida State University, has secured a seed funding agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program. The company, cofounded in 2010 by FSU graduate and company President and CEO Dr. James Robotham, has successfully launched over 15 commercial products within the fields of Allergy and Infectious Disease. BioFront has sold antibodies to some of the healthcare industry leaders, and several large food manufacturers have expressed interest in the company’s allergen products. “Our goal is to provide scientists in academia, industry, and medicine with innovative tools suited to meet their demanding research needs,” said Robotham. “We are focused on becoming a reliable resource of goods and services within the fields of virology and immunology by offering our customers efficient and affordable solutions, and are positioned to create a solid presence in the biotech marketplace.” “BioFront is addressing a critical and growing need in the food service industry concerning detection of allergen contamination in food products,” said Jamie Grooms, Institute CEO. “The company is already generating revenue, and funding through our program will enable BioFront to continue product development and expand into new and growing markets.” Read more here.
Feathr, a Gainesville startup developing a smartphone conference app platform, has raised $150K from four angel investor members of the Tampa Bay chapter of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, for a 20% equity stake in the company. Feathr is marketing its app platform to event organizers which allows conference registrants to connect with each other and with speakers, receive updates on schedules and rooms, share a profile and eventually manage several events. Aidan Augustin and Neal Ormsbee founded Feathr in 2011 as undergraduate engineering students at the University of Florida. Feathr’s seven staff members are current or former UF students between the ages of 21 and 24 who work out of an office in the UF Innovation Hub. Augustin said the funding will pay for the staff to focus full time on Feathr and travel to conferences. Read more here.
NeuroNet Learning Secures Seed Funding Agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program
NeuroNet Learning, a Gainesville educational software startup focused on improving children’s memory retention using physical activity based on technology developed at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, has secured a seed funding agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program. Financial terms were not disclosed. NeuroNet Learning, founded in 2010 by CEO Jonathan Rowe, is developing unique brain-based training programs that use movement to facilitate learning, an approach informed by the latest neuroscientific research on attention, memory and perceptual-motor skills. NeuroNet’s programs help children become independent learners by automating the low-level perceptual-motor behaviors that promote fluency in reading decoding, handwriting and math fact retrieval. Read more here.
Bing Energy Secures Seed Funding Agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program
Bing Energy, a Tallahassee early stage clean energy startup developing nanotechnology to create a more commercially viable fuel cell based on technology licensed from Florida State University, has … Continue reading
Prevacus Secures Seed Funding Agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program
Sun BioPharma Secures Funding Agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program
Sun BioPharma, a Ponte Verde Beach startup developing a drug compound to treat pancreatic cancer based on technology licensed from The University Florida, has secured a funding agreement from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program. Financial terms were not disclosed. The company, founded in 2011 by CEO Paul Herron, previously raised $549K from private investors and the Florida Institute which have enabled the Company to take initial steps to advance the commercialization of its licensed compound. “Funds made available to our company through the Seed Capital Accelerator Program, along with its requirement for private matching investment, will enable us to initiate important preclinical development work on our licensed drug candidate”, said Herron. “Programs like these, which are offered in several other states, are critical to the development and growth of early-stage life science companies like Sun BioPharma.” Read more here.
SharpSpring Secures Funding from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program (SCAP)
SharpSpring, a Gainesville startup developing marketing software for small-to-medium businesses (SMB) based on technology licensed from the The University Florida, has secured funding from the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research’s Seed Capital Accelerator Program (SCAP). Financial terms were not disclosed. SharpSpring’s SMB platform is designed to be used and managed by as little as one marketing person with almost no learning curve or implementation time, providing immediate return on investment through increased lead generation and sales. CEO Rick Carlson, who founded SharpSpring in 2012, said, “funds made available through the SCAP come at a critical time for our company as we complete initial product development and begin to execute our go-to-market strategy.” Read more here.
Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, (AGTC), an Alachua clinical stage biotechnology company developing gene therapy products to treat rare retinal diseases, has raised $37.5M in a Series B round of financing. Alta Partners and S.R. One, Limited led the financing, with new investor Osage University Partners joining existing investors InterWest, Intersouth Partners and MedImmune Ventures in the round. The funding will allow AGTC to continue development of its Phase 2 program in Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) and initiate full development of potential treatments for two orphan ophthalmology indications, Achromatopsia (ACHM) and X-Linked Rentinoschisis (XLRS). ”Based on encouraging clinical results from AGTC and others, we concluded that a large set of genetically defined diseases could be cured using AGTC’s proprietary vectors and manufacturing technologies”, said Ed Hurwitz, General Partner of Alta Partners. Much of the company’s technology is licensed from the University of Florida. AGTC was founded in 1999 by Nick Muzyczka and four colleagues from UF and the University of North Carolina based on developments at the UF Powell Gene Therapy Center. The company is now led by CEO Sue Washer. The company started in the UF Sid Martin Biotech Incubator in Alachua and remains in Progress Corporate Park. Read more here.
AxoGen, Inc. (OTCBB: AXGN), an Alachua regenerative medicine company, closed on a $20.8M structured financing transaction with PDL BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: PDLI). AxoGen is dedicated to advancing the science and commercialization of surgical solutions for peripheral nerve repair. This financing allows AxoGen to strengthen and accelerate its sales and marketing efforts as well as to explore pipeline opportunities. “We are very impressed with the depth and breadth of experience in this accomplished AxoGen team,” said John McLaughlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of PDL. “AxoGen products are changing the way peripheral nerve repair is performed, and PDL is pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of this innovative business.” Axogen, which is located in the University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator, was founded in 2002 by Jamie Grooms and John Engels with technology licensed from the University of Florida. Read more here.