• Actinobac Biomed, Inc.
  • Affineti Biologics, Inc.
  • CellXplore
  • Celvive
  • Durin Technologies, Inc.
  • GeneAssess, Inc.
  • Longevica
  • MentiNova, Inc.
  • NovoPedics, Inc.
  • Snowdon, Inc.
  • Visikol, Inc.

Actinobac Biomed is advancing its new therapeutic agent, Leukothera®, as a treatment for white blood cell related illnesses such as hematological malignancies (leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma), autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and latent infections.

Leukothera®, a naturally produced protein, targets and depletes white blood cells activated by the presence of disease. In laboratory experiments, malignant white blood cells and primary cells from autoimmune disease patients have been shown to be much more sensitive to Leukothera than their normal counterparts.

Animal studies using mouse models for human leukemia and lymphoma have shown Leukothera® to possess significant anti-cancer activity. Actinobac is presently working with several academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry to examine the therapeutic utility of Leukothera® for cancer and a number of other medical indications such as psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, dry eye and in the treatment of HIV infection.

Actinobac plans to file an Investigational New Drug application with the Food and Drug Administration within the next two years. For more information, contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Affineti Biologics, Inc. is advancing its research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine.

The company has seen positive results from studies for anti-caries and periodontal therapy that look promising in their ability to affect plaque reduction, influencing dental hygiene and systemic medicine.

Affineti scientists use biological principals to create hybrid or fusion proteins that adhere to tissues with potent but non-toxic antimicrobial effects. They plan to use these proteins to deliver effective substances locally, avoiding systemic complications and are currently working on conditions related to the oral cavity, focusing on anti-caries and periodontal disease.

The company is also developing a mouthwash based on natural ingredients to treat dry mouth. In the future, it plans to expand its work to include mucosal infections in other sites throughout the body and has begun to develop pioneering diagnostic tools that utilize salivary and serum biomarkers for rapid and advanced diagnosis of oral diseases.

Affineti has been granted US patents and has international patents pending.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Mammography is being questioned as an effective screening test for the detection of breast cancer. Therefore, there is a significant, urgent need for a simple, reliable and sensitive biomarker-based in vitro assay that can be used to stage and characterize this disease. CellXplore was founded to identify and develop diagnostics based upon those biomarkers.

The company is working to demonstrate up-regulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in cancerous breast tissue, providing the capability for noninvasive detection of breast cancer and the ability to monitor the efficacy of chemotherapeutic interventions. It also believes that its technology may be able to predict the efficacy of certain oncology treatments prior to treatment.

CellXplore's platform technology is not restricted to breast cancer in vitro diagnostics alone, nor is it restricted solely to cancer diagnostics. Beyond cancer, CellXplore is investigating whether similar blood sample biomarkers can be identified for the early diagnosis of several major debilitating diseases such as muscle wasting, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and inflammatory diseases.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological condition with limited therapeutic options. In the United States alone, there are more than 250,000 people living with SCI; approximately three million worldwide are affected.

Because SCI is so debilitating, patients require extensive care and lifetime support. Estimates in the US alone indicate that more than $7.7 billion is spent annually to treat and care for affected individuals.

Celvive researchers working on regenerative medicine approaches have developed a new method for treating patients with chronic SCI using a patient's own adult stem cells that are derived to enhance regeneration of spinal nerves. Through Celvive, technology has been developed to deliver bone marrow regenerating cells from the hips of SCI patients by passing them through a sealed device and delivering the cells directly to the patient's spinal cord. The current focus of the company is to develop technology for the isolation and administration of different types of stem cells for neural regeneration in patients of SCI and other regenerative medicine applications harnessing the regenerative power of adult stem cells.

Celvive has very promising data with this therapy in large SCI animal model studies, which recently appeared in an advanced online peer-reviewed publication and revealed that these stem cells homed to the injury site and resulted in neural regeneration and regaining of motor functions, all without any observed side effects.

This led to initiate an overseas, randomized controlled registered phase I/II trial in humans including 70 chronic SCI patients. The trial has been completed, was published and featured on the cover of the April 2014 issue of the prestigious peer-reviewed regenerative medicine journal “Cell Transplantation”. Data from these studies indicate the safety and efficacy of Celvive's therapeutic approach. For the first time in a large regulated clinical trial, adult BM-derived stem cells allowed chronic paralyzed SCI patients to regain sensory functions and some abilities to walk.

In addition, Celvive has partnered with a US-based FDA-approved manufacturer to produce the StemCureTM cell isolation and delivery system which has been tested to prepare for an IND application with the FDA for the second phase of clinical studies in the US. Celvive plans to quickly advance to a point where it can embark on multicenter clinical trials in North America, Europe and India. Further development will permit using this technology to isolate and deliver stem cells for multiple regenerative medicine applications.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Over 50 million people worldwide suffer from neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). And, considering our aging population, the number of people who will develop these devastating and debilitating diseases is expected to increase dramatically in the future.

Unfortunately, at this time, there are no definitive methods to detect these conditions before significant and irreversible brain damage has occurred.

Durin Technologies, Inc., is developing diagnostic kits to detect, identify and stage neurodegenerative diseases in patients long before physical symptoms become pronounced. The company's technology, which monitors the body's response to illness, requires only a single drop of blood and can be performed as part of an individual's annual physical examination.

Durin focuses its research on the identification and potential utility of monitoring autoantibodies formed by the patient's immune system during disease progression, a concept steadily gaining support in the scientific community. Since different medical conditions result in damage to certain organs or parts of organs, autoantibodies that specifically bind to only those tissues are formed, sometimes years in advance of the appearance of physical symptoms. These autoantibodies can be used therefore, to design highly effective diagnostic methodologies.

Durin has completed research into the design of its diagnostics and is presently assembling its first prototype diagnostic kit.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

GeneAssess, Inc., is dedicated to developing its breakthrough discovery of the FRY gene as a predictive biomarker for breast and other cancers. The company will use proprietary antibodies to validate loss of the FRY protein as a cancer biomarker, using targeted genomic sequencing to detect genetic mutations in FRY associated high-risk populations and explore target validation for FRY. The signature gene could provide a more accurate diagnostic biomarker for cancer staging.

Mutations in the gene increase rat susceptibility to mammary cancer and FRY reduced the growth of highly aggressive human breast cancer cells. FRY could potentially be used as a platform to develop cancer gene-based susceptibility tests, for disease progression and for tumor grading. This tumor suppressor gene could also be useful for developing new targeted drugs, especially for the treatment of aggressive and/or advanced cancers originating from many tissue types.

The GeneAssess research team found that:

  • Rats carrying a mutant FRY gene are highly susceptible to mammary carcinogenesis;
  • Expressing FRY in human breast cancer cells prevented tumor growth in nude mice;
  • Reduced FRY expression in many cancer types is associated with more aggressive growth and predicts poor clinical outcomes.

GeneAssess is currently validating these results with clinical samples from cancer patients and examining FRY's correlation and association with these samples for diagnostics and outcome predictions.

For more information visit contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Longevica Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a privately held biotechnology company that is developing novel, proprietary drugs with potential use in the treatment of cancer, degenerative diseases and age-related disorders. The company was formed primarily to commercialize the discoveries demonstrating that inactivation of an alpha kinase, EF2 kinase, protects normal (non-cancer) cells and tissues from the toxic effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Despite the tremendous progress in drug cancer chemotherapy, most of the drugs used today have a pronounced toxicity effect, killing normal cells along with cancer cells. The work being done by scientists at Longevica may lead to a novel approach in cancer therapy that can significantly improve the efficiency of the current methods of cancer treatment.

The discoveries are also expected to be helpful in treating patients suffering from ischemia, stroke and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease by protecting cells and tissues from stress damage.

Foundation Venture Capital Group sold its equity interest in Longevica to Rostock International Ltd., a subsidiary of Rostock Group, a Moscow (Russia) headquartered global investment firm focused on investments in breakthrough technologies that can radically increase human lifespan and improve quality of life. The sale to Rostock International represented a substantial return on investment in less than 18 months.

For more information, call (908) 731-6610.

MentiNova, Inc. is developing an oral medication that could alleviate L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease. This chronic, progressive, neurodegenerative disorder affects one million people in the United States and seven million worldwide. While L-Dopa is effective in ameliorating disease symptoms particularly in its early stages, the vast majority of patients taking it chronically eventually develop L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia (LID), abnormal involuntary movements that can be disabling. Currently, the medical management of these complications is a major unmet need for this patient population.

Based on proof-of-concept pre-clinical studies indicating robust efficacy and favorable safety profile, the company is now advancing to conduct a clinical trial testing the efficacy of this new treatment.

MentiNova's strategy is to use a drug that is currently clinically approved for another indication and repurpose it for the treatment of L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease patients. This path can provide a critically needed medication in a rapid timeframe. Additional therapeutic area opportunities exist for this drug that can also provide indications in other disease targets characterized by abnormal involuntary movements such as Huntington's disease, Tourette's syndrome, and Tardive Dyskinesia.

MentiNova is currently advancing on an accelerated clinical development path.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Snowdon, Inc. Snowdon, Inc. has discovered prospective drug candidates that address the urgent need for safe and effective medicines in three major therapeutic areas –cancer, pain, and infectious diseases.

The company, which contracts with a number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, utilizes its core capabilities in computer-aided molecular design and pattern recognition to identify prospective drug candidates. It has assembled an extensive library of commercially available compounds and natural products that can be screened in seconds using its proprietary Avalanche tool to jumpstart its drug discovery programs.

This seamless integration of computational tools, searchable chemical libraries, synthetic organic chemistry and biology is embodied in Snowdon’s discovery platform.

Snowdon has received approximately $4 million in grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology, the Department of Defense and the private sector.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

NovoPedics, Inc., is developing an implantable medical device that restores mobility to patients suffering from severe meniscal knee injuries.

Meniscal tears are painful and the meniscus heals poorly with prolonged recovery. There are currently no FDA-approved products for replacement of the meniscus to help the more than 800,000 individuals who annually undergo meniscectomies in the US each year.

The company's first product, Meniscofix™, is a biodegradable polymer, fiber-reinforced scaffold for total meniscal replacement. It provides an innovative way to replace damaged meniscal tissue with a patented fiber-reinforced design similar to the native meniscus and can be attached to both soft tissue and bone, allowing it to be used in total meniscus replacement surgery. In addition to functional mobility Meniscofix™ may prevent the long-term development of arthritis that so often occurs as a result of meniscus knee surgery.

Pre-clinical studies leading to the creation of the company have shown strong results through one year post-implantation in large animal models such as sheep. NovoPedics is finalizing these studies and performing additional in vivo proof of concept studies. An article about its sheep studies will be published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine shortly. In addition, the company has already developed a second generation scaffold device which has proven to provide better support and repair capabilities than the first generation device.

NovoPedics has been granted two US patents and has international patents pending.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731-6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.

Visikol, Inc., is developing multiple bio‐imaging technology platforms based upon its patent pending Visikol® technology, a chemical formula that penetrates tissue and renders it transparent without causing structural damage, allowing researchers to effectively visualize biological tissues in 3‐D.

This technology is a nondestructive optical clearing agent offering a high level of transparency that greatly reduces problems with light scattering and enables high resolution images to be captured from biological tissues. It easily, effectively and quickly clears animal and plant tissue. The Visikol technology has applications in the fields of toxicology, pre‐clinical drug development, clinical diagnostics, basic research and plant biology and can be particularly valuable in fields like drug development and cancer diagnostics.

Biologists, biochemists and geneticists who need to visualize the anatomical location of cellular structure, proteins/enzymes, mRNA, and reporter genes within whole tissue are among those who can benefit from this innovative product, which can be used with light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy and single/multiphoton microscopy.

The Visikol technology is exclusively licensed through an agreement with Rutgers University and is already being used by more than 240 researchers around the world to aid in the study of plants. The breakthrough for the Visikol team was realizing that their formula is also capable of making animal tissue transparent and that it has substantial advantages over all other techniques for this purpose.

For more information contact James M. Golubieski, president, Foundation Venture Capital Group, at (908) 731‐6601 or jgolubieski@njhf.org.