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The Wilkes Blog


Translating our research — some positive reinforcement

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Wilkes on July 18, 2013 @ 10:52 am

It’s time for a couple of congratulatory notes!

Last week, Emphymab Biotech, co-founded by faculty researchers Irina Petrache and Matthias Clauss, won the local Innovation Showcase, where aspiring startup companies make their bids to attract the attention — and money — of area investors. Emphymab is developing a new treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease based on the founders’ research.

Then on Monday, ApeX Therapeutics, based on Mark Kelley’s work in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research, announced it had received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to continue its development of a novel therapy for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

It’s no secret that translating our excellent research into new therapies that help patients is an increasingly important goal for the School — not to mention the NIH and other funding organizations — and Emphymab and ApeX are great examples of how this can happen.

Kudos as well to Joe Trebley of IURTC, who did the pitch for Emphymab at the showcase.

Oh, and I noticed that in its report on the Showcase, the Indianapolis Business Journal headlined that Emphymab was an “unlikely” winner. That’s because, supposedly, investors shy away from companies working on new drugs. But I have to say if you know the quality of the research going on at the School, you wouldn’t call either of the week’s developments “unlikely.”

1 Comment »

  1. Appreciate the shout out to Irina, Matthias and Mark. First to hear about Emphymab. These start up companies enhance the reputation of the school and serve as magnet for further investments into our research. In this time of cuts from NIH, need to diversify our research portfolios and have some deliverables to the public. Great job!

    Comment by Patrick Loehrer — July 20, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

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