HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading venture capitalists have selected Pulmotect, Inc. (www.pulmotect.com), a Houston-based biotechnology company, as the best early stage investment opportunity at SEBIO 2012, winning the coveted EARLY/Stage Shootout. Pulmotect was selected the winner by a panel of judges representing four venture funds. The EARLY/Stage program, designed to recognize the best new medical technology investment opportunities in the Southeast region, allowed participants to introduce their companies to onsite advisory teams, who then chose the four best to participate in the EARLY/Stage Shootout. Pulmotect won the award from a finalist field, which included Katharos (Raleigh, NC), MxBiodevices (Greenville, NC) and OBMedical Company (Newberry, FL).
“With this technology focused on the patient’s own immune response, instead of targeting specific pathogens, the identification of an invading pathogen is not required to initiate an effective defense.”
“We very much appreciate this award and the validation of our technology and business model by experienced venture capitalists and other reviewers,” said Dr. Brenton Scott, President and a founder of Pulmotect.
Pulmotect’s technology stimulates the human lungs’ innate immune system, the body’s natural “first line of defense,” providing effective defense against a wide range of deadly pathogens. The company’s technology is particularly useful in protecting patients who are immunocompromised by their chemotherapy treatment. While the initial indication for PUL-042 is the prevention of opportunistic pneumonia in cancer patients, PUL-042 is also expected to find applications in biodefense (e.g. anthrax and ebola), the prevention of seasonal and pandemic influenza, and other respiratory infections, such as those commonly suffered by those with asthma. “The safe, rapid and broad boost to the host’s immune system in the lungs provides a unique advantage and opportunity to help a wide variety of patients and end users,” said Dr. Scott. “With this technology focused on the patient’s own immune response, instead of targeting specific pathogens, the identification of an invading pathogen is not required to initiate an effective defense.”
Pulmotect’s technology is licensed from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Founded in 2007, Pulmotect partnered in 2008 with AlphaDev, LLC, a Houston-based early-stage life science management and investment company sponsored by Aquinas Companies to assist in the drug’s commercial development.
In early 2012, the Company received a $7.1 million award from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. Leo Linbeck III, chairman of the Board of Pulmotect, stated that the award from the State of Texas is “a positive next step in technology that we recognized might have a tremendous positive impact on the overall community and an equally broad commercial application.” He added, “This additional recognition from our peers at the SEBIO conference is further evidence of the benefits of this technology.” The company will commence clinical trials in 2013.
Despite the effects of Hurricane Sandy on travel from and throughout much of the eastern United States, Southeast BIO (SEBIO, www.sebio.org) attracted over 300 people to Palm Beach for its annual Investor Forum held October 30 - November 1 at the Breakers Hotel. In its 14th year, the conference drew venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, university representatives and industry professionals to discuss opportunities for growth and challenges facing the biotechnology and medical technology sectors in the coming years.