NeoProgen Completes $1.5M Seed Financing With $245K Investment From USM Maryland Momentum Fund
University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), University of Maryland (UM) Ventures, and TEDCO’s Maryland Venture Fund have also invested in NeoProgen’s innovative cell-based therapy for cardiovascular disease
Baltimore, Md. (October 16, 2019) – NeoProgen, Inc., a preclinical stage therapeutics company located in Baltimore, has received a $245,000 investment from the University System of Maryland (USM) Maryland Momentum Fund to complete the company’s $1.5M seed funding round, which also includes participation from UMB, TEDCO (Maryland Venture Partners, L.P.) and UM Ventures.
“I am pleased that this is my first investment as Managing Director at the Momentum Fund. The NeoProgen team is strong with seasoned entrepreneurs and scientists, access to rare tissues, and a novel solution to heart failure. If they are successful, the company will pioneer a new treatment paradigm in heart failure, create jobs, and provide economic development to Baltimore,” said Claire Broido Johnson, Managing Director of the USM Maryland Momentum Fund.
NeoProgen is developing a novel cell-based therapy for people who experience a heart attack and patients with advanced heart failure. The company’s technology is developed from neonatal Cardiac Progenitor Cells (nCPCs) derived from tissue discarded during lifesaving heart surgery in babies with congenital heart conditions. UMB’s leading pediatric cardiac surgeon, Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD, and his lab have published groundbreaking work in preclinical studies that show nCPCs appear to be superior to other cell therapies being pursued by competing academic and commercial groups for functional markers of cardiovascular disease.
Founded in 2019, NeoProgen has already developed robust in-vitro and pre-clinical testing in both rat and swine models. Neoprogren is using this $1.5M of seed funding to continue the company’s scientific development efforts for GMP manufacturing (Good Manufacturing Practice) and to work towards regulatory approval to begin a Phase I clinical study in Krakow, Poland. The company plans to initiate a Series A investment round of $8-10M to fund the Phase I trial, which is expected to start enrolling patients during the first half of 2020.
“The University of Maryland School of Medicine is full of talented doctors and scientists developing exciting, innovative technologies,” said Bill Niland, CEO of NeoProgen. “I have a successful track record with UMB and am excited to partner with Dr. Kaushal and his research team to develop cell-based therapies for cardiovascular disease. Support from university and state-based investment funds like the Momentum Fund, UM Ventures, and TEDCO’s venture fund are critical for early-stage startups trying to commercialize innovative medical technologies, and the NeoProgen team is grateful for their support.”
“UMB is excited by both the medical potential of the technology and the strength of the founding management team,” said Phil Robilotto, Director, UM Ventures, Baltimore.
About the USM Momentum Fund
The Maryland Momentum Fund is a new initiative of the University System of Maryland (USM) to provide late seed investment funding for promising technology ventures that come out of any of the twelve constituent USM institutions, its research parks, and its students, faculty, or graduates. With a $10 million commitment from the System already in place, the Fund co-invests with venture capitalists, foundations, and angel investors.
The Maryland Momentum Fund, which was established by the USM Board of Regents to support promising commercial opportunities arising from advances in research and intellectual property at USM campuses, has invested in eight startups to date: Gemstone Biotherapeutics, MF Fire, NextStep Robotics, the North American Wave Engine Corporation, PaverGuide, Veralox, and Zest Tea. The Fund is designed to create returns and support USM’s most innovative ideas as they enter the marketplace. Learn more at www.momentum.usmd.edu.
Contact – Maryland Momentum Fund
Claire Broido Johnson
Contact – NeoProgen, Inc
Contact – USM
Contact: Mike Lurie