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Promising Kentucky Drug Company To Grow After Seed Funding
AllTranz to Offer Unique Solutions for Pain Management
LOUISVILLE - Scientists at AllTranzTM, Inc. envision a day in the near future when effective, safe, and lasting relief from chronic pain is available to patients outside the hospital setting.
Founded by University of Kentucky researcher Audra Stinchcomb, Ph.D., AllTranz plans to impact the $40 billion pain management market with the development of prodrug strategies that work with transdermal delivery products to reduce side effects while improving drug efficacy and patient compliance.
"There is a huge unmet need for the next generation of pain management products that are safe and effective for the patient at home," Stinchcomb said. "AllTranz intends to meet that need."
"We have been quite impressed with Dr. Stinchcomb and the potential for growth in AllTranz," said George Emont, managing partner of the Kentucky Seed Capital Fund, a major investor in the company. "With the company's strong lead product and potential for co-development of dozens more, we see AllTranz quickly becoming a major factor in the pain management sector of the pharmaceutical industry."
According to Emont, investment in AllTranz was made more attractive by its partnership with MetaCyte Inc., a Louisville-based health science start-up "manufacturing" company.
"MetaCyte brings critical business planning, management, and support to the equation," Emont said. "MetaCyte's business development skills make the scientific case even stronger."
Along with the Kentucky Seed Capital Fund, AllTranz investors include Commonwealth Seed Capital Fund, The Bluegrass Angels Venture Fund and The Bluegrass Angels.
"It is critical that the seed funding sources in our state work together to get these early stage life science companies funded," said Steve Gailar, CEO of MetaCyte and a managing partner of the Kentucky Seed Capital Fund. "We are enthusiastic about working with the Bluegrass Angels, and appreciate the support of Commonwealth Seed Capital."
According to Melissa Quisenberry, MetaCyte vice president and AllTranz acting CEO, investments from the seed funds have totaled $860,000, with an application for $400,000 in gap funding from the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation under review. In addition, the company has received a forgivable loan from the Department of Commercialization and Innovation to fund the purchase of equipment for $500,000.
"These funds will be dedicated to completion of the pre-IND work for commercialization of our lead product," Quisenberry said.
"This investment continues to demonstrate that Kentucky's life science opportunities are being started throughout the state. I am pleased that MetaCyte, which we started here in Louisville, has been able to help a Lexington company in its development and funding." said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, a long-time advocate for life sciences investment. "Kentucky has a great deal to offer the world-wide biotech industry."
AllTranz is the first Lexington-based company to be funded by KSCF.
"Dr. Stinchcomb's enterprise embodies the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we encourage for our faculty, staff and students at the University of Kentucky. She recognized the practical uses for her research and aggressively followed up by determining the marketplace opportunities. The result is a new product that will help patients deal with pain and a new company that will employ Kentuckians in good paying jobs," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "I also want to commend the Kentucky investors who stepped up to provide this promising company with seed funding. Such dollars are critical to start-up companies and are essential for this state to compete in a global economy. These investors have shown how much they care about advancing and sustaining Kentucky's knowledge-based economy."
The Kentucky Seed Capital Fund has offices in the Louisville Medical Center at MedCenter 3 and in Lexington on the Coldstream Research Campus.
Investors in KSCF include the Commonwealth of Kentucky through Commonwealth Seed Capital, Humana Inc., the University of Louisville Foundation, Baptist Hospital Health System, Kosair Charities, James Graham Brown Foundation, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, and several individuals. The fund invests in companies at the earliest stages of development, providing a pipeline of investment opportunities for later-stage venture investment.