Local biotech incubator Accelerator is hatching its seventh firm — Recodagen, which will research therapies to arrest the spread of...
Local biotech incubator Accelerator is hatching its seventh firm — Recodagen, which will research therapies to arrest the spread of cancerous tumors.
The technology underpinning Recodagen was licensed out of the laboratory of J. Suzanne Lindsey at Washington State University in Pullman. Lindsey is moving to Seattle to act as head of research for the new company, which initially will have two other employees.
The initial undisclosed funding for the company comes from Accelerator’s partners — Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners and WRF Capital.
This is Accelerator’s first technology-licensing deal with Washington State University, which in the past three years has been ramping up its efforts to get its research into the marketplace.
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The licensing process “was better than I expected,” said Accelerator President Carl Weissman.
The deal is also the first venture-funded startup to come out of the university’s technology-licensing effort, said Keith Jones, executive director of the WSU Research Foundation.
“This is kind of a next step forward for us,” he said.
Although Recodagen’s headquarters will be at Accelerator’s Eastlake facility in Seattle — closer to venture capital and biotech-management expertise — the deal will “get the name of WSU out there,” Jones said.
The university has done much research in agricultural-based biotechnology and bioenergy that might fuel businesses in the eastern part of the state, he said.
Recodagen’s first therapy may target the genetic mechanisms that allow cancer to spread. It’s based on so-called “junk DNA” — bits of genetic code found in human cells that previously were thought useless and are now beginning to be understood.
Accelerator has a good track record of pushing its biotech hatchlings out of the nest. So far three of its startups have moved out on their own.
VLST left the incubator in June 2006 after raising $55 million from investors.
Spaltudaq followed suit with some $29 million last March.
The latest to emerge was Allozyne, which raised $30 million in October.
Ángel González: 206-515-5644