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The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today that its CIT GAP Funds' portfolio reached 100 companies with an investment in Neoantigenics, a University of Virginia spin-out and Charlottesville-based biotech company that is developing a targeted treatment for cancer.
In making the announcement at the 3rd Annual Tom Tom Founders Festival in Charlottesville, Tom Weithman, VP, CIT Entrepreneur and Managing Director of the CIT GAP Funds, said, "CIT GAP Funds provides the early-stage funding for entrepreneurs and startups that is absent in private markets. Our investments allow these companies to grow and contribute to Virginia's innovation economy while providing solutions that meet important needs."
Neoantigenics was established in July 2012 to advance the research and development of novel research findings of Dr. John Herr on oocyte proteomics. Neoantigenics holds an exclusive license from U.Va. Licensing & Ventures Group to the intellectual property of Herr on oocyte-associated biomarkers in the cancer field. The company is actively advancing both monoclonal antibody agents to these biomarkers, as well as molecular diagnostic assays for precision, personalized medicine. Earlier this year, it announced a partnership and investment from Pfizer, Inc.
Neoantigenics CEO Dr. Brian Pollok said, "The investment from CIT GAP Funds will help us advance to defining an antibody drug agent for pre-clinical development."
CIT GAP Funds is a family of seed- and early-stage investment funds placing near-equity and equity investments in Virginia-based high-growth technology, life science and clean technology companies. Since its 2005 launch, CIT GAP Funds has invested in 100 companies across the Commonwealth of Virginia, deploying more than $12 million of public funds and attracting over $180 million more in private funding.
CIT Board of Directors Chairman David Lucien said, "With investments in innovative technology startups like Neoantigenics, the CIT GAP Funds are creating new opportunities for Virginia's entrepreneurs. This 100th investment is not only an important milestone for CIT; it also demonstrates a vibrant pipeline of innovative companies and entrepreneurs who are building our innovation economy."