Research Foundation News

June 14, 2018

Purdue Foundry Investment Fund backs 3 emerging life science startups with $750,000 to help transition to sustainability

Firestone lense Bionode LLC CEO Murray Firestone (left) and Pedro Irazoqui, the chief technology officer, associate head and Reilly Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, who developed a non-invasive glaucoma therapy treating and preventing elevated intraocular pressure. Bionode and Amplified Sciences LLC, and CorMatrix Inc., will each receive a $250,000 investment from the Foundry Investment Fund. (Purdue Research Foundation image) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Research Foundation’s Foundry Investment Fund (FIF) has recently invested a total of $750,000 in three emerging life science startups as partial matching investments made in them by institutional and other investors.

Bionode LLC, Amplified Sciences LLC and CorMatrix Inc. will each receive a $250,000 investment from the fund. The FIF co-invests with other institutional investors to fund startups based on Purdue life sciences technologies.

“The Foundry Investment Fund has invested approximately $4.2 million over the past four years in various life science companies with Purdue and state of Indiana connections,” said John Hanak, Purdue Ventures’ managing director.

In 2014, the Foundry Investment Fund opened as a $12 million PRF investment fund created in partnership with Cook Medical. Each investment opportunity is reviewed and selected by the Foundry Investment Fund’s Investment Committee.

“This fund makes investments in companies that have secured external ‘smart money’ capital from the likes of venture funds and other institutional and professional investment sources,” Hanak said. "In the future, we will continue to review emerging technologies with potential for outside and FIF investment.”

The Investments

Bionode LLC was founded by Pedro Irazoqui, chief technology officer, Purdue's associate head and Reilly Professor of Biomedical Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering, and CEO Murray Firestone. They developed a non-invasive, wearable, bioelectronic device aimed at the prevention and treatment of elevated intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma patients. A video about the company’s novel electroceutical is available here.

Amplified Sciences LLC is developing an early detection technology for oncology and kidney diseases. With a sensory platform and biospecimen collection, this technology detects disease markers in bodily fluids, such as urine or saliva. The company was founded by Vincent Jo Davisson, a professor in Purdue’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, in partnership with Mark Cisneros as CEO.

CorMatrix Inc. repairs and regenerates cardiac tissues using small intestinal submucosa based extracellular matrices. The company was founded by Robert Matheny M.D., while he was a researcher at Purdue University, and is currently managed by CEO Edgar Rey. The medical device company is developing solutions for cardiac tissue repair and regeneration through the various configurations of its proprietary extracellular matrices.

About Purdue Foundry Investment Fund

The Foundry Investment Fund was established in 2014 through a partnership between Purdue Research Foundation and Cook Medical. The $12 million fund invests in Purdue based or Purdue connected companies commercializing select life science technologies. The fund con-invests or otherwise stimulates outside parties to invest in Purdue-based life sciences businesses; provides critical capital funds to entrepreneurial ventures that originate from Purdue innovation or expertise; and aim to become self-sustaining through returns from prudent investments. Non-Purdue entities, such as venture capital firms, corporations, angel groups or qualified individuals, are encouraged to be matching investors. For more information, contact Purdue Venture’ managing director, John Hanak at jmhanak@prf.org.

About Purdue Research Foundation

The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park and Purdue Technology Centers. The foundation received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at foundry@prf.org.

Writer: Kelsey Henry, 765-588-3342, kehenry@prf.org

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Tom Coyne, 765-558-1044, tjcoyne@prf.org

Sources: John M. Hanak, jmhanak@prf.org

Murray Firestone, mif@bionode.net

Vincent Davisson, davisson@purdue.edu

Edgar Rey, erey@cormatrix.com 


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