Montgomery County-supported “innovation centers” provide local start-up high-tech and life science companies with shared resources and space that enable them to stabilize financially as they work on potential business success and add jobs. Each time an innovation center business (or graduate company) reaches a milestone, it is a victory in the County’s determination to increase entrepreneurial success. Recently, one of those companies did just that.
Gaithersburg-based biotech company VLP Therapeutics, Inc. (VLPT) has announced that it has raised $16 million in funding for research and development of a cancer treatment vaccine that is designed to treat patients who already have cancer, rather than to be used as a preventative tool.
With the funding, VLPT will accelerate a project well underway and move into clinical trials at the earliest date possible. The investment will come from MIYAKO Capital Co., Ltd., Sojitz Corporation and Konishiyasu Co., Ltd., in Japan, and U.S. investors Robert G. Hisaoka, SK Impact Fund, LLC and RJ Fund, LLC.
There currently are three County-sponsored innovation centers in Montgomery County dedicated to businesses in a variety of fields. The companies in the innovation centers work to commercialize products, increase revenue and add high-paying jobs, often with guidance from the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation and other partners and resources.
New and established companies can use innovation center assistance for business development, financial and human resource needs, grant writing and guidance in gaining Federal funding.
VLPT was co-founded in 2013 by Wataru Akahata, Ryuji Ueno and Sachiko Kuno. VLPT is currently engaged in research and development of a cancer treatment vaccine, as well as prophylactic vaccines against malaria, dengue and novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
More information about the company is available at https://vlptherapeutics.com/.
Information about the Montgomery County Innovation Center Network is at https://www.mcinnovationnetwork.com.