WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Student-Managed Venture Fund, administered by the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and the Krannert School of Management, is investing $100,000 in Kylin Therapeutics Inc.
The funding is part of a $2 million round of financing led by In-vivo Ventures and Golden Pine Ventures. The funds will help advance Kylin Therapeutics’ lead cancer therapy to the marketplace.
Kylin Therapeutics, located at Purdue Research Park, is in the preclinical stage of commercializing a technology called pRNAi. Based on a Purdue discovery, the technology uses RNA and a natural process called RNA interference (RNAi) to target and “turn off” disease-causing genes.
“We believe the pRNAi platform has superior functionality and will be able to be delivered systematically,” said Eric Davis, Kylin’s president and CEO.
The $100,000 investment stems from a degree program for Krannert MBA students. They analyzed Kylin’s business plan and decided to invest in the Indiana company. Stephanie Williams is a first-year MBA student in Krannert who participated in the due-diligence process on Kylin.
“Our team had the opportunity to meet with the Kylin management team while they assisted with our process of data collection,” Williams said.
Davis said the Student-Managed Venture Fund and Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship are assets in economic development not only for Purdue and West Lafayette, but also for the entire state.
“Indiana entrepreneurs and startup company executives seek resources to strengthen their own network and to develop financial support,” Davis said. “These resources and others make the city and state very attractive to high-tech and life sciences entrepreneurs and business executives.”
Kylin was awarded the funding in the 2008-2009 academic year. Davis said the company will use the funding to develop its lead cancer treatment.
“Research in this area shows promise in treating prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and other diseases,” he said.
With current assets of $130,000, the Student-Managed Venture Fund has $25,000 for its next planned investment in fall 2009, said Purdue professor Kenneth Kahn, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of the Burton Morgan Center.
“The Student-Managed Venture Fund serves as an investment vehicle to spur commercialization of Purdue research,” Kahn said. “Just as importantly, the fund is an educational vehicle to provide hands-on understanding of venture capital and investment for the university’s entrepreneurially minded students.”
About Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship
The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is Purdue’s interdisciplinary hub for entrepreneurship. Through its sponsored initiatives, including the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Technology Realization Program, Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy and Business Plan Competitions, the center aims to stimulate entrepreneurship at Purdue and serves as a state, regional and national resource. Located in Discovery Park, the Burton Morgan Center leads Purdue’s Kauffman Campuses Initiative and plays a key role in facilitating business development for emerging concepts and technologies stemming from Discovery Park research.
About Kylin Therapeutics
Kylin Therapeutics Inc. is a biotechnology company that employs an RNA nanoparticle technology platform called “pRNA” to exploit the enormous potential of RNA interference (RNAi) for treatment of many common diseases. This platform has potential to meet the huge market opportunity for treating cancer and other diseases with RNA-based therapeutics. The unique capabilities of the platform have enabled Kylin to overcome the most significant challenges in the development of RNA-based therapies.