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27 March 2014

Wiley joins Foundation Venture

Prior to joining FVCG, Wiley spent 14 years working at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) as a senior venture officer, technology companyAvaya and in the Rutgers University Office of Corporate Liaison & Technology Transfer.

Author: James Mawson

Michael Wiley has joined Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG), a $10m affiliate of US-based medical organisation New Jersey Health Foundation, as senior director of ventures and commercialization,

Prior to joining FVCG, Wiley spent 14 years working at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) as a senior venture officer, technology companyAvaya and in the Rutgers University Office of Corporate Liaison & Technology Transfer.

George Heinrich, vice-chairman and chief executive at FVCG, said: “His past experience at the EDA and at Rutgers University has given him the expertise and skills he’ll need to assist FVCG as we continue to invest in life science startups in New Jersey heading toward commercialisation.”

Led by James Golubieski (pictured), president of FVCG, the group has invested in 10 companies, one of which, Longevica Pharmaceuticals, was sold within 18 months to Rostock International for what FVCG said was “a substantial return on investment”.

An additional $5m was recently allocated by New Jersey Health Foundation for investment in 10 more companies.

In addition to providing pre-seed funding, Foundation Venture Capital Group provides strategic guidance, leadership and business support including space, contacts and back room functions to all its portfolio companies, which currently include:

Actinobac Biomed, developing a therapeutic agent targeting blood cells for the treatment of hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphomas;

Affineti Biologics, advancing research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine;

CellXplore, engaged in the development of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostic assays for cancer;

Celvive, working to develop technology to treat patients with chronic spinal cord injuries with their own adult stem cells;

Durin Technologies, working to develop a blood test to diagnose and assess severity of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases;

GeneAssess, developing the FRY gene as a predictive biomarker for breast and other cancers;

MentiNova, working to validate a drug that reduces the side effects of L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia;

NovoPedics, developing an implantable meniscus replacement/regeneration medical device to restore mobility to patients suffering from severe meniscus knee injuries; and

Snowdon Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company focused on several therapeutic areas and providing computational tools to rapidly identify high-value molecules from their library of vendor-available compounds.

At the Research Efficiency Conference in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Association of Academic Health Centers, Golubieski, said: “The fact that we are independent not-for-profit organizations allows us to invest in research at an early stage, providing start-up companies with the financial and strategic support they need to move their research to the next level.” 

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