Jenken Biosciences, a biotech startup focused on repurposing of existing pharmaceutical products, has received a $142,716 low-interest loan from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The small business research loan is one of several the Biotech Center offered to help boost entrepreneurial life science efforts across the state.

Jenken will use the funds for product advancement. It is focused on treatment of liver, kidney and lung diseases. The company plans to test a drug known as JKB-121 as a treatment for liver inflammation in people who are obese and have diabetes.

In November 2006, Jenken signed a services and investment deal with Cato Research and Cato Bioventures for support of JKB-122 effort, a drug targeting hepatitis C and inflammatory diseases.

“The Biotechnology Center’s nearly two-decade history of financial support to these kinds of promising young companies has been critical to maintaining North Carolina’s stature as one of the nation’s top three states in total numbers of biotechnology companies,” said Ken Tindall, senior vice president for science and business development at the center.