The first grants and loans in the $200 million state Bioscience Fund have been awarded by Connecticut Innovations, the state-funded venture capital agency.
Dura Biotech, a startup in Mansfield, is expecting a $400,368 loan that CI could choose to convert into an equity stake. That money would be used to work on early research for an aortic valve concept, and to fund an animal study of the valve, which is designed to be compressible to a smaller diameter as it is threaded through the body to reach the heart.
CaroGen Corporation, a Hamden biopharmaceutical company that’s in the early stages of working on a Hepatitis B vaccine, is looking for a $500,000 equity investment. The company, which is trying to commercialize research that came out of Yale University’s medical school, had previously received $160,000 in support from various programs at CI.
The terms of both the commercial deals are still under negotiation.
“We were extremely pleased with the high-caliber applicants and look forward to reviewing and evaluating the next round in coming weeks,” said Jeremy Crisp, executive vice president at Connecticut Innovations.
The Bioscience Fund also provides grants to university research, and in this first round, a Yale professor received $500,000 and a UConn professor received $500,000.
DR. Demetrios Braddock at Yale is studying a drug that would treat a rare disease, and Dr. Quing Zhu at UConn is developing a handheld near-infrared imager which is intended to predict chemotherapy response in breast cancer patients.
The fund will be issuing grants, equity investments and loans over the next 10 years, and Connecticut-based nonprofits, colleges and universities, and for-profit startup or early-stage businesses in bioscience, biomedical engineering, health information management, medical care, medical devices, medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, or personalized medicine may apply.