Every day, Global University Venturing rounds up the smaller investments from across the university innovation ecosystem in its deal net.
Abri Sciences, a US-based company working on a treatment for metabolic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU), has been formed by startup studio Early Charm Ventures to commercialise research out of University of the Sciences. The spinout was also co-founded by commercialisation firm L2C Partners. Abri will advance work by Anil D’mello, professor of pharmaceutical sciences. PKU is a genetic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down a common building block of food called phenylalanine. Left untreated, PKU may lead to intellectual disability, mental disorders, behavioural problems and seizures. Abri’s approach relies on a capsule to capture phenylalanine and break it down using a plant-derived enzyme before releasing it back into the body. Longer term, the spinout plans to adapt the approach to other conditions.
CarboShield and MediCarbone, two US-based spinouts of University of Arizona working on carbon fibre technologies to fix bridges and broken bones respectively, have secured undisclosed sums from UAVenture Capital (UAVC) Fund, a venture capital firm focused on the institution’s spinouts. Both spinouts are based on research by Hamid Saadatmanesh, a professor of engineering in the Department of Engineering and Civil and Architectural Mechanics. CarboShield relies on prefabricated carbon fibre shapes to strengthen aged steel, concrete and wooden bridges. MediCarbone uses a flexible carbon fibre fabric inserted into broken bones and filled with an inert polymer to act as a permanent mould. UAVC typically invests around $2m in portfolio companies from its second fund.