Founding investors include Militia Hill Ventures and University of Utah
Salt Lake City and Philadelphia, — Eliksa Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company developing novel therapeutics for a range of debilitating diseases, announced today it has launched with investments from the University of Utah (U) and Militia Hill Ventures (MHV) to develop and commercialize multiple clinical programs using the regenerative medicine technology developed at the U.
Eliksa obtained exclusive rights to amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane technologies from Utah and manufacturing rights to Utah’s Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Program (CellReGen) cGMP production facility. Eliksa is advancing amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane product candidates in a range of diseases with high unmet need. In addition to building and developing its pipeline of product candidates, Eliksa has also acquired rights to AmNovaTM, a human amniotic membrane allograft for wound and ocular applications.
“The creation of Eliksa is the culmination of many years of hard work by the talented scientists at the University of Utah who have long believed in and studied the powerful healing potential of amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane. Eliksa aims to be the leader in this nascent field of regenerative medicine that holds so much potential to treat a range of difficult-to-treat diseases,” said Armen Karamanian, MD, PhD, co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eliksa Therapeutics. “The vision and long-term dedication of the Utah team has enabled us to emerge with one of the industry’s most robust amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane pipelines; as well as access to the proprietary manufacturing platform and supply from a world-class cGMP manufacturing facility. We are working with passion and dedication to deliver on the promise of this technology with the potential to transform the lives of those affected by debilitating diseases.”
Eliksa builds on the legacy of the U’s CellReGen, a state-of-the-art facility established in 2005 as a world-class center for clinical and research applications. Many of those on the CellReGen team will assume roles with Eliksa or engage with the company as scientific advisors, including John Phillips, PhD, Director Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine. Over many years, the CellReGen team has developed unrivaled expertise in the manufacturing and clinical application of amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane as well as quality and regulatory expertise.
“CellReGen’s innovative research has led to many discoveries and clinical applications. We are excited to see Eliksa build on this strong foundation to further develop medicines to improve patient’s lives” said John Inadomi, MD, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah.
The Eliksa spin-out was facilitated by the University’s Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center. As one of the top research institutions in the United States, the U is a burgeoning source of early-stage innovation and PIVOT Center is often called on to propel these innovations to market.
“This venture is a powerful example of how groundbreaking, potentially life-changing research at the University of Utah can be matched with a commercialization path,” said Erin Rothwell, PhD, interim vice president for research at the University of Utah. “PIVOT Center’s ability to catalyze relationships and implement creative deal-making strategies truly sets the foundation for success in early-stage innovations.”
About Eliksa Therapeutics
Eliksa Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing novel medicines for a range of debilitating diseases using the regenerative properties of amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane.
Eliksa’s amniotic fluid-derived biologic is a novel, multi-target modulator of inflammation that promotes cell recovery and tissue healing. This proprietary biologic is derived from amniotic fluid recovered during routine cesarean deliveries, and carefully processed under cGMP conditions to maintain biological activity of key components.
AmNovaTM is a biological wound covering made of amniotic membrane. It’s rich in extracellular proteins that serve as a scaffold for tissue repair, regeneration and act as a protective barrier. AmNovaTM is processed under cGMP conditions and it’s rich in anti-inflammatory and growth factors, laminin and collagen.
About the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center
The Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center leads the University of Utah’s centralized and integrated strategy and operation for technology commercialization, corporate engagement, and economic development. In doing so, PIVOT Center serves as a hub for the University to foster partnerships between industry, university, and government entities. The center formalizes the university commitment to broaden its impact on Utah’s economy by enhancing local and global collaborations to catalyze innovation. The center’s mission is to generate economic returns for the university and the state of Utah, expand the university’s reputation for innovation, and positively impact society. The U was recently ranked 2nd among large research universities for “innovation productivity impact.”
About Militia Hill Ventures
Militia Hill Ventures is an organization that catalyzes premier science, proven management, and successful life sciences investors to create high-quality, fast-growing companies. This active, “build” approach has been shown to be a highly effective way to create great companies capable of developing new life saving therapies for patients and bringing high value returns to investors.
Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center
(801) 581-7792 or Amanda.Ashley@utah.edu