Ready for Takeoff: Life Sciences Startups Launch in Canada and Colorado

Launch Concept

Two life sciences companies from two very different areas of medicine announced launches today. Here’s a look.

Nimium Therapeutics and Cardiometabolic Diseases

Nimium Therapeutics launched in Montreal to focus on developing novel therapies for cardiometabolic diseases. The company’s technology is based on the research of Dr. Marc Prentki, the Canada Research Chair in Diabetes and Metabolism, director of the Montreal Diabetes Research Center, and principal scientist at the Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal (CRCHUM). That research was continued by adMare BioInnovations, a Canadian life sciences venture, which identified a series of hits that activate the human G3PP enzyme.

“We are excited to launch this new venture based on the world-leading research of Dr. Prentki and his team,” said Dr. Philippe Walker, who will lead Nimium. “From obesity to type 2 diabetes, and other diseases such as chronic kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there is a global epidemic related to the toxic effects of overnutrition. Through NIMIUM, we aim to address this health crisis by developing a new therapeutic approach that will reduce the effects of excess caloric intake, and that should promote healthy aging.”

Gordeon C. McCauley, president and chief executive officer of adMare, said, “At adMare, our job is to build Canada’s national life sciences industry by building new companies. NIMIUM is an excellent example of how we’re successfully doing that — proactively identifying research at leading Canadian academic research institutions, and advancing it to the point it can form a solid foundation for a new life-sciences company. We are extremely pleased to be supporting the research of Dr. Prentki and the launch of NIMIUM; and look forward to seeing the impact the company is sure to have on Canada’s life sciences ecosystem, and on the lives of patients worldwide.”

VitriVax Closes on Series A Financing to Advance Vaccine Technology

VitriVax, based in Boulder, Colorado, announced it had closed its first institutional financing round with Adjuvant Capital. The Series A funds, which were not disclosed, will be used to advance its Atomic Layering Thermostable Antigen and Adjuvant (ALTA) technology platform. ALTA® enables vaccines to be developed, transported, and stored without complex refrigeration and temperature-monitoring requirements. The platform also is being developed to allow full immunization with a single vaccination by way of a timed release of antigen and adjuvant complexes weeks or months after injections.

“Reducing temperature requirements and collapsing multidose regimens into a single touch point with the healthcare system has long been a vaccine-delivery goal within the public health community,” said Charlie Petty, co-founder and principal at Adjuvant Capital. “We believe the ALTA platform has the potential to solve these problems at scale, and we are excited to work with VitriVax to address these critical global health challenges.”

VitriVax was formed through a collaboration between Robert Garcea and Theodore Randolph at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Garcea is a professor in the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology department who focuses on the structure and assembly of small DNA viruses. Randolph is the Gillespie Professor and co-director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in the UCB’s Chemical and Biological Engineering Department.

VitriVax is being sued over patent infringement by Nanexa AB. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, seeks monetary compensation for the infringement with an injunction on further infringement of three patents for vaccine technologies.

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