Provagen and Sirga Advanced Biopharma, startups focused on university-developed technology, are receiving financial and other support from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Each firm received $50,000 startup loans as well as legal and financial guidance through the Technology Enhancement and Acceleration Model (TEAM) and BATON program. BATON stands for Business Acceleration and Technology Outlicensing Network. TEAM provided the loans, BATON the services.
Provagen is the first spinout from N.C. A&T State University. It is developing protein technology based on the work of John Allen, a molecular biologist and research coordinator at A&T’s Department of Animal Sciences.
Sirga Advanced Biopharma is a spinout of North Carolina State University. It is focused on development of therapies for drug-resistant diseases as well as HIV and autoimmune diseases. The company is commercializing research doe by Paul Agris, a biochemistry professor in the NCSU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The TEAM and BATON programs are designed to help public and private universities and research institutions to start ventures based on patented work done by faculty.
“Registering for the TEAM program gives service companies a foot in the door of new and potentially groundbreaking biotechnology-related discoveries,” said Steven Casey, business development director for the Biotech Center. “By making that initial commitment to provide start-up support, a service provider can take an active role in the future development of that corporation.”