Abri Science also awarded STTR grant to advance research into its novel therapy for Phenylketonuria, a medical condition affecting one out of every 12,000 infants in the US
September 17, 2019, Baltimore, MD – Early Charm Ventures, L2C Partners, and University of the Sciences (USciences) today announced the launch of Abri Science, LLC – an advanced materials company working to improve human health and well-being via the microencapsulation of enzymes.
Abri Science, headquartered in Baltimore, MD, is a startup formed out of a technology transfer collaboration partnership between Early Charm Ventures, a Baltimore-based startup studio that collaborates with academic researchers to convert science to business; L2C Partners, a Philadelphia-based company that provides outsourced technology transfer and commercialization services for higher education and research-focused institutions; and USciences, an institution of higher education and distinguished as the nation’s first college of pharmacy.
Under the technology transfer collaboration, Abri Science becomes one of Early Charm Ventures’ active portfolio companies. With L2C Partners expert assistance in technology transfer and commercialization, the University of the Sciences has licensed its core intellectual property (IP) to Abri Science, leading to the formation of the company which will commercialize USciences’ technology.
In addition to the launch of the company, Abri Science also announced it has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I grant from the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The NIDDK grant, formally titled “Oral enzymatic management of phenylketonuria,” will allow Abri Science to pursue further research and testing into its novel technology to address Phenylketonuria (PKU), a genetic disorder of metabolism characterized by a pathological elevation of phenylalanine in the body.
As it stands, roughly one out of every 12,000 infants in the US are born each year with PKU. If left untreated, the resulting high concentrations of phenylalanine often can result in severe intellectual disability, behavioral problems, and neurological deficits (such as seizures). As a result, newborn screening for PKU is currently required in all 50 states.
With Abri Science’s technology, the company aims to reduce dietary phenylalanine levels in the body’s gastrointestinal tract through oral administration of its specially developed microencapsulated phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) enzyme.
“We are very excited to formally launch Abri Science and to receive this STTR award from the NIDDK,” said Adam Van Dyke, PhD and Director of Business Development at Abri Science. “We are incredibly appreciative of the additional resources to further develop our novel treatment method for these underserved patients.”
Dr. Van Dyke said the problem he and his colleagues are addressing is how current treatments for PKU are centered on long-term avoidance of foods containing phenylalanine, which can lead to insufficient dietary protein. With these grant resources, Van Dyke said Abri Science aims to prove its novel method can reduce dietary phenylalanine levels in the body via microencapsulation, helping infants with PKU grow into healthy, thriving adults.
“The launch of Abri Science and this STTR grant are terrific developments in the battle to address the debilitating effects of Phenylketonuria on infants and adults,” said Anil D’mello, PhD, an accomplished academic scientist and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USciences. “We are very grateful to the team at the NIDDK for this opportunity. I look forward to what will be a high degree of collaboration to advance our treatment method for PKU.”
About Early Charm Ventures:
Early Charm Ventures is a startup studio, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, that collaborates with academic researchers to convert science to business. Early Charm Ventures specializes in taking brilliant scientific discoveries made at universities and turning them into companies focused on growth. Its best successes come from teaming hands-on with entrepreneurial-minded faculty who are rooted in a range of industries including materials science, imaging, aquaculture and advanced research tools. With these exceptional people and their ideas, Early Charm Ventures partners with them to advance or even create whole new industries. Learn more: www.earlycharm.com
About L2C Partners:
L2C Partners offers institutions and research organizations expert outsourced technology transfer and commercialization services. Committed to innovators and to moving inventions from the lab (or the studio) to society, L2C helps its clients optimize the opportunity posed by an existing gap in the life sciences / technology / manufacturing ecosystem. L2C Partners currently supports health system, research institution, colleges and university clients across the eastern United States. The company, powered by veteran business and tech transfer executives, is headquartered in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Learn more: www.l2cpartners.com
About University of the Sciences in Philadelphia:
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia was founded in 1821 as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in North America. As a university uniquely focused on the sciences, the health professions, and emerging related disciplines, USciences builds the foundation for professional success by providing students with a concentrated curriculum, hands-on education, and real-world experiences. The results are rewarding, well-paying careers and discoveries across the pharmaceutical, medical, healthcare, and biotech spectrums worldwide where USciences alumni, faculty, and students are proven everywhere they go. Learn more: www.usciences.edu
Abri Science, LLC