ONL Therapeutics has landed nearly $1 million in seed funding from a combination of federal Small Business Innovation Research grants and private capital from angel investors.
The Ann Arbor-based start-up that specializes in developing a new retinal therapy is getting ready to kick off the first phase of its $400,000 SBIR grant with nine months of research. It hopes to begin the second phase of that SBIR grant shortly after that.
"Assuming we're successful," says Raili Kerppola
, CEO of ONL Therapeutics
. "We are quite confident we will be successful."
Kerppola is co-founding the start-up with Dr. David Zacks (the inventor of the technology and an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Michigan) and Dr. Jeffery Jamison. They are also working with Thomas Collette and the U-M Office of Tech Transfer
. ONL Therapeutics is working on a drug that will help prevent retina detachment specifically and one cause of blindness in general. It's a new technology that has caught the attention of the U.S. Dept of Defense as a way to help prevent soldiers from becoming blind after combat.
ONL Therapeutics spun out of the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Institute
a year ago. It now employs three people and plans to hire lab technicians and consultants to push the start-up toward commercialization.
"Our team will be expanding," Kerppola says. "It will be within the next year. We are very excited about the progress we have made in pre-clinical trials in 2011."
Source: Raili Kerppola, CEO of ONL Therapeutics
Writer: Jon Zemke
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