Grant to fuel development of disease-fighting technology
January 8, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Kylin Therapeutics announced Thursday (Jan. 8) its plans to further develop a Purdue University technology that could allow physicians to target drug delivery for treatment of diseases ranging from AIDS to cancer.
The life sciences firm received a $1.2 million grant from the state’s 21st Century Research and Technology Fund to further bring its cancer and disease fighting biotechnology to market.
"The 21st Century Fund provides critical seed capital to emerging high-growth companies such as Kylin Therapeutics that are necessary to ensure our state's economic growth," said Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Located in the Purdue Research Park, Kylin Therapeutics employs seven associates at its research park offices and is in the pre-clinical stage of commercializing a technology called pRNA. Kylin’s pRNAi is a platform technology that leverages the power of RNA and a natural process called RNA interference (RNAi) to directly target and "turn off" disease-causing genes.
"We are using this funding to develop a pRNAi-based cancer treatment," said Eric Davis, president and chief executive of Kylin Therapeutics. "The research in this area shows promise in treating prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and other diseases."
The pRNA technology was invented and developed by Peixuan Guo when he was a professor of molecular virology and biomedical engineering and faculty scholar at Purdue. Guo served as director of Purdue's Nanobiotechnology Interdisciplinary Graduate Program and as director of a NIH Nanomedicine Development Center. Currently, he is an endowed professor and director of the Nanomedicine Bionanotechnology Center at the University of Cincinnati.
Formed through a joint effort between IN-vivo Ventures and North Carolina-based Golden Pine Ventures, Kylin Therapeutics acquired an exclusive license to an RNAi delivery method known as pRNA from Purdue in 2007. Since the licensure and the state’s investment, the company has secured an additional $2.2 million in private funding and hired four professionals to bring its disease fighting platform to the market.
The company received a $250,000 grant from the state in 2007 and has since doubled its workforce and expanded research of the pRNAi technology.
Kylin Therapeutics is one of 59 businesses awarded a 21st Century Fund grant since January 2006. During that time, the fund has invested more than $77 million in high-tech Indiana entrepreneurial companies that collectively have the potential to create more than 8,000 new jobs.
About Kylin Therapeutics
Kylin Therapeutics Inc. (http://www.kylintherapeutics.com/) is a cutting-edge biotechnology company that employs a revolutionary RNA nanoparticle technology platform called "pRNA" to exploit the enormous potential of RNA interference (RNAi) for treatment of many common diseases. This platform has the potential to meet the huge market opportunity for treating cancer and other diseases with RNA-based therapeutics. The platform's capabilities have enabled Kylin to overcome the most significant challenges in the development of RNA-based therapies.
About Purdue Research Park
The 725-acre Purdue Research Park (http://www.purdueresearchpark.com) has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park is home to more than 167 companies. About 100 of these firms are technology-related and another 39 are incubator businesses. The Purdue Research Park is part of the Purdue Research Foundation, a private, nonprofit foundation created to assist Purdue University in the area of economic development. In addition to the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, the foundation has established or is currently constructing technology parks in other locations around Indiana including Merrillville, New Albany and Indianapolis.
Created by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. is governed by a 12-member board chaired by the governor. Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
- Mitch Frazier (IEDC)