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Accelerator Corporation Launches Allozyne
Fifth Accelerator-based Start-up since 2003
Seattle, WA – November 4, 2005 -- Accelerator Corporation, a privately–held biotechnology investment and development company today announced the formation of the fifth company in the Accelerator portfolio, Allozyne, Inc. The Series A investment in Allozyne was led by a syndicate of investors: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, MPM Capital and OVP Venture Partners.
Allozyne was founded to commercialize proprietary technologies developed in the laboratories of Dr. David Tirrell and Dr. William Goddard at Caltech. These technologies will enable the company to improve the efficacy, safety, dosing, and other characteristics of protein-based therapeutics. This is achieved by applying a rapid and consistent approach to modifying expressed proteins, and has broad utility in developing improved therapeutic proteins and monoclonal antibodies. Using the Allozyne approach, proteins are modified to include non-natural amino acids, chemical structures that are similar to yet distinct from the naturally occurring building blocks of protein. The type and location of the non-natural amino acid used can be optimized to improve the efficacy, tolerability and pharmacology of protein-based therapies. Allozyne will initially focus on developing enhanced formulations of currently approved protein therapies.
Dr. Kenneth Grabstein, Ph.D., who has amassed extensive expertise in the development of therapeutic proteins while serving as Executive Vice President and Director of Product Development at Corixa Corporation and Director of Immunology at Immunex Corporation, has joined Allozyne as Chief Scientific Officer. “The technology developed in Goddard and Tirrell’s laboratories is tremendous and presents an extremely promising opportunity. The Accelerator-based affiliation with the Institute for Systems Biology and, from that affiliation, access to their world-class faculty and facilities, is a fantastic added component of the value proposition and will certainly enhance the company’s development in a number of ways. I am very excited to roll-up my sleeves and move this forward.”
Dr. Deepshikha Datta, Ph.D., a founder of Allozyne who helped to develop the company’s proprietary technology while at Caltech’s Material and Process Simulation Center (MPSC) has joined the company as Founder and Vice President. “The recombinant protein-based therapies on the market or in development today consist of the 20 naturally occurring amino acids,” said Dr. Datta. “Protein therapies have transformed the treatment of many diseases and serve markets worth billions of dollars. However, we believe that our diverse chemistries and proprietary modification technologies can significantly improve the efficacy, tolerability and dosing schedules of many of these drugs, resulting in superior patient care and outcomes.”
Allozyne’s co-founders, William Goddard, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry at Caltech and Director of the MSC, and David Tirrell, Ph.D., Chair of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech, will join the company’s Scientific Advisory Board, along with Leroy Hood, Ph.D., President of the Institute for Systems Biology.
“Allozyne is a compelling investment opportunity,” said Chad Waite, General Partner at OVP Venture Partners. “The company is very well positioned to develop the next generation of proprietary, protein-based therapies that have demonstrated market potential and clear regulatory pathways. Over the longer term, the broad utility of the company’s technology should create significant opportunities for the development of innovative therapies, collaboration and out-licensing. The combination of Ken Grabstein’s extensive experience in developing protein therapies and Dee Datta’s fundamental understanding of the process and applications of non-natural amino acid protein modification provides will help to drive robust scientific and development strategies. Their demonstrated leadership in innovation is a hallmark of an Accelerator portfolio company.”
About Accelerator Corporation
Accelerator Corporation, founded in 2003, is a privately–held biotechnology investment and development company located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company is building the next generation of life-enhancing biotechnology companies by providing the resources critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge biotechnologies. These key resources, provided by global life science leaders – Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, MPM Capital, OVP Venture Partners and Versant Ventures, the Institute for Systems Biology and Accelerator Corporation - include committed capital from top-tier venture capital firms, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class scientific and technical expertise and support, and experienced biotechnology start-up business management and support. For more information, please go to: www.acceleratorcorp.com.