Maryland-based biotech startup gets ready for Philadelphia expansion - Philly


Jun. 27, 2016 11:34 am

Maryland-based biotech startup gets ready for Philadelphia expansion

ImMAGE Biotherapeutics recently leased space at the University City Science Center.

Quorum at the Science Center launched in 2011.

(Photo courtesy of the University City Science Center)

Instead of relying on cancer treatments (like chemotherapy) that often weaken the immune system, a new biotech startup is approaching the problem by making your body’s natural defenses stronger.

ImMAGE Biotherapeutics, founded in May 2015 with an office in Bethesda, Md., is currently working out of lab facilities at D.C.’s Howard University to develop a better treatment for triple-negative breast cancer. The company aims to use the body’s immune system to target a specific type of protein called MAGE-A. The whole process is detailed more thoroughly in this video:

In March, ImMAGE raised an initial seed round of $500,000 from Hong Kong-based investor group Coventry Capital HK Limited, which is an international expansion of Coventry First, a company headquartered in Fort Washington, Pa., and founded by Alan and Constance Buerger.

“Our plan is to expand our research collaboration to Philadelphia and NYC universities as well as start building a regulatory team and business development team using talents from the Tri-state area, at which point we will be getting a full office in Philadelphia,” said ImMAGE COO Mahesh Narayanan, who grew up in Delaware County and earned a master’s in biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania.

In the pursuit for more funding toward research and development, Narayanan also told the company recently signed a contract to have office space in the University City Science Center. The company hasn’t moved in yet, but the hope is to be closer to sources of funding and talent in the area.

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