Midwest angel investors and venture capitalists who look to invest in startups will soon learn about five companies in the medical, life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors that have received investments from the Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund or the Innovate Indiana Fund.
Teri Willey, the Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund’s manager and the managing director of IU Ventures, will present these companies May 15 at the 38th annual Midwest Growth Capital Symposium in Ann Arbor, Michigan:
Apexian Pharmaceuticals: Apexian is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutic agents targeting APE1/Ref1 to treat cancer. The company is initiating two Phase II clinical studies. The products are based on the science of professor Mark Kelley at the IU School of Medicine, and the company is led by a team of pharmaceutical industry veterans. The Innovate Indiana Fund invested $300,000 in Apexian Pharmaceuticals.
Care Revolution: Care Revolution supports a new RN role that changes the way care is delivered to residents in nursing homes, increasing the quality of care and significantly reducing hospitalization. The service is based on the successful OPTIMISTIC demonstration project led by Dr. Kathleen Unroe at the Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine. The Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund invested $150,000 in Care Revolution.
Confluence Pharmaceuticals: Confluence is a neuroscience company developing therapies for fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. The FXS therapy is Phase II ready and has received orphan drug designation in the United States and Europe. The therapy is based on the science of Dr. Craig Erickson while at the IU School of Medicine and is led by pharmaceutical industry veteran Steven Johns. The Indiana Philanthropic Venture Fund invested $200,000 in Confluence Pharmaceuticals.
NERx Biosciences: NERx Biosciences is an early-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of drugs targeting the DNA damage response pathway. The first oncology drug candidate is Phase I ready. These potential therapeutics are based on the science of professor John Turchi at the IU School of Medicine. The company is advised by former Eli Lilly and Company and Endocyte executives. The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund invested $500,000 in NERx Biosciences.
Vascugen: Vascugen is a regenerative medicine company developing allogeneic cell therapy products based on technology developed by Dr. Mervin Yoder at the IU School of Medicine. Vascugen is advancing a platform of technologies for the treatment of patients with vascular injuries or degenerative conditions. The company is led by serial entrepreneur Carter Cliff.
“We are optimistic about our investment in these companies, but even more so as we are in good company with excellent co-investors. Our philosophy has always been to syndicate, or co-invest, with other organizations to complete one or more rounds of financing,” Willey said. “Presenting these five companies at the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium could yield immediate results. It also will keep Indiana University top-of-mind with these angel investors and venture capitalists in the future.”