HylaPharm Introduces Cancer-Fighting Technology To Angel Investors
An upcoming University of Kansas startup has been catching some serious attention this week on a national stage in front of some serious and important audience members, those people would be a angle investors.
A company who has managed to specialize in cancer drug deliver technology that was developed in KU, named HylaPharm, will be presenting itself to angel investors during the 2014 Angel Capital Association Summit in Washington, DC. This event is one of the largest gathering of investors, who are venture capitalist looking to spread seed money into new and establishing companies such as HylaPharm.
The annual summit is primarily a professional development event for angel investor, although it does include a four-hour “innovations Showcase” which allows various upcoming companies showcase their technology to investors in a speed like format. The goal behind this is too attract attention from the investors, and to solicit feedback and assistance from said angel investors, who support can be highly important during the early-stage technology based firm.
The Innovations showcase can only be entered through invitation only, which is only extending just a few handful of companies nationwide.
“It’s an exclusive group, so we’re excited to have been invited,” said Dan Aires, HylaPharm president and CEO. Aires is also a member of the University of Kansas Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Program and director of dermatology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “This is a tremendous opportunity to get the HylaPharm story in front of an elite group of angel investors, which could really help a company like ours.”
Founders and Background.
Founded by faculty members in KU back in 2010, HylaPharm is currently producing its patented HylaPlat technology, which delivers chemotherapy drugs directly to the cancer cells on the tumors and any nearby lymph nodes, while trying to limit the exposure of the drug towards the kidney’s, nerves and auditory organs. By limiting the exposure of the drugs to the surrounding tissues, Hyplat will be able to target a larger amount of treatments all the while negating more side effects for their patients.
“For most drugs, there’s a trade-off between side effects and efficacy,” said Aires. “But for patients with certain kinds of cancer, our new technology has the potential to be both safer and stronger. That makes it especially exciting.”
HylaPharm is currently being led by Aires and KU pharmaceutical chemist Larid Forrest, who has been serving as a chief science officer as well as a chief operating officer and a member of the KU Cancer Center’s Drug Discovery, Delivery & Experimental Therapeutics Research Program. The company is based in the Bioscience & Technology Business Center Expansion Facility in Lawrence.
Being one of the 24 most active KU startup companies, 22 of which are even based in Kansas, HylaPharm would be the very first time a KU company has managed to be invited into the ACA showcase.
“Our goal is to transfer KU discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace, and that includes encouraging faculty to start new companies,” said Julie Goonewardene, associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship and president of KU Innovation and Collaboration, the unit that coordinates KU’s commercialization and entrepreneurship efforts. “HylaPharm is an incredible example of the great work being done by KU researchers at both campuses. The fact that this company was chosen to present to this elite group of investors says volumes about their efforts and, more broadly, about the work being done at KU to promote economic development.”