BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund, which provides capital to faculty, students, alumni and staff at all IU campuses to help them further develop their research and innovations into startup companies, has invested in Vascugen Inc., a regenerative medicine company.
Vascugen is focused on finding therapies to repair human tissue damaged by reduced blood flow due to disease or injury. The company has received additional investment from other Indiana-based investors, including Indianapolis entrepreneur Dr. Donald Brown. Brown founded Interactive Intelligence, which he sold in 2016 for $1.4 billion, and LifeOmic, a precision medicine company.
Vascugen CEO Carter Cliff said the Philanthropic Venture Fund's investment enables the company to refine and scale processes to produce a clinical-grade product.
"It also helps us support our pharmaceutical partnerships and further develop our intellectual property estate, including technology recently licensed from the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office," Cliff said.
Teri Willey, IU Research and Technology Corp. managing director and fund manager, said Vascugen was selected for the investment for several reasons.
"Vascugen is developing regenerative medicines based on technology developed at Indiana University," Willey said. "The company has assembled a world-class team to advance a pipeline of new therapeutics with the potential to address multiple unmet medical needs that afflict patients in Indiana and globally."
The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund was originally envisioned in the Bicentennial Strategic Plan as part of the university's continuing efforts to contribute to the economic vitality of Indiana. It is initially capitalized at $15 million but has the potential to reach $50 million or more, and it will be funded in large part with designated, tax-deductible gifts to the university.
Funding is put to work through equity investments primarily at early stages of company development. To qualify for investment, companies must commercialize IU intellectual property or be led by an IU alumnus plus exhibit clear commercial potential, and have the ability to attract follow-on funding and experienced management.
About the Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund
The IU Philanthropic Venture Fund is an Indiana University-affiliated fund launched in 2018 through the vision and generosity of IU alumni and friends supporting IU discoveries best developed through a new venture. The fund is managed by IU Research and Technology Corp. personnel who work with the IU Innovation and Commercialization Office; alumni, faculty and staff and the venture and economic development communities to identify and develop IU opportunities for investment.
About Vascugen Inc.
Vascugen is a regenerative medicine company engaged in the development of advanced therapies to treat incurable conditions caused by loss or degeneration of blood vessels. The company has exclusive, worldwide rights to a broad patent portfolio for its platform technology that enables the functional restoration of blood vessels in any organ or tissue, as well as rights covering related products and services for research, diagnostics, therapeutics, tissue engineering, organoid and 3D bio-printing applications. Driven by innovation and a team of scientific and clinical thought leaders, Vascugen was founded by Dr. Mervin C. Yoder, a pioneer and noted expert in the field of vascular stem cell biology.