NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Visikol Inc., originally funded with an investment from Foundation Venture Capital Group Inc., has received a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop its skeletal visualization technology platform to improve developmental and reproductive toxicology (DART) studies.
"There are more than $1 billion worth of DART studies conducted every year to ensure that new chemicals going to market do not have adverse developmental consequences," explained Michael Johnson, Visikol's CEO. "A major bottle neck in these studies is the processing of animals for skeletal visualization, which takes 14 – 21 days. Our team, led by Tom Villani, has developed a novel approach to process animals for skeletal visualization which cuts this time down to as few as two days with limited technician oversight."
Johnson explained that this shortened time will allow contract research organizations to conduct up to 30% more DART studies per year while reducing costs. The SBIR Phase I project allows for the advancement of the process based on Visikol Inc.'s patent pending Visikol™ technology.
"Foundation Venture Capital Group initially invested $500,000 in Visikol to advance its development of its primary product, Visikol®™, a nondestructive optical clearing agent offering a high level of transparency that greatly reduces problems with light scattering and enables high resolution images to be captured from biological tissues," explained George F. Heinrich, M.D, vice chair and CEO of Foundation Venture Capital Group. "This NSF grant supports our assertion that Visikol scientists are working on breakthrough research that can positively impact the quality of work being performed in this arena."
Visikol Inc. has exclusive rights to the use of its lead product, Visikol ®™, through a license from Rutgers University. For more information contact Mike Wiley, vice president of Foundation Venture Capital Group at [email protected] or (908) 731-6612.
About Foundation Venture Capital Group
Foundation Venture Capital Group, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, makes private equity investments to participate in establishing and managing biomedical start-up companies in New Jersey headed toward commercialization. In addition to Visikol, its portfolio companies currently include:
- Actinobac Biomed Inc. developing a therapeutic agent targeting blood cells for the treatment of hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphomas
- Affineti Biologics Inc. advancing research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine
- Celvive Inc. 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 Inc. developing the FRY gene as a predictive biomarker for breast and other cancers
- MentiNova Inc. working to validate a drug that reduces the side effects of L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia
- NovoPedics Inc. developing an implantable meniscus replacement/regeneration medical device to restore mobility to patients suffering from severe meniscus knee injuries
- Snowdon Pharmaceuticals Inc. a drug discovery company focused on several major therapeutic areas and providing computational tools to rapidly identify high-value molecules from their library of vendor-available compounds
SOURCE Foundation Venture Capital Group