(HOUSTON) – Pulmotect, Inc. – a Houston-based biotechnology company co-founded by Magnus Höök, Ph.D., in the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology – was chosen the best early stage investment opportunity at the recent Southeast BIO 2012 annual investor forum in Palm Beach, Fla.
Regents Professor and director of the Center for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, Dr. Höök also is a director of Pulmotect, which develops products that boost the innate immune system to protect against a wide range of lung infections.
The company won the coveted EARLY/Stage Shootout by a panel of judges representing four venture funds. The EARLY/Stage program is designed to recognize the best new medical technology investment opportunities in the Southeast region.
“We very much appreciate this award and the validation of our technology and business model by experienced venture capitalists and other reviewers,” said Dr. Brenton Scott, president and a founder of Pulmotect.
Pulmotect’s technology stimulates the human lungs’ innate immune system, the body’s natural “first line of defense,” providing effective defense against a wide range of deadly pathogens. The company’s technology is particularly useful in protecting patients immunocompromised by their chemotherapy treatment.
While the initial indication for PUL-042 is the prevention of opportunistic pneumonia in cancer patients, PUL-042 is also expected to find applications in biodefense (e.g., anthrax and Ebola), the prevention of seasonal and pandemic influenza, and other respiratory infections such as those commonly suffered by those with asthma.
“The safe, rapid and broad boost to the host’s immune system in the lungs provides a unique advantage and opportunity to help a wide variety of patients and end users,” Dr. Scott said. “With this technology focused on the patient’s own immune response, instead of targeting specific pathogens, the identification of an invading pathogen is not required to initiate an effective defense.”
Pulmotect’s technology is licensed from Texas A&M University and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Founded in 2007, Pulmotect partnered in 2008 with AlphaDev, LLC, a Houston-based early-stage life science management and investment company sponsored by Aquinas Companies to assist in the drug’s commercial development.
The company will commence clinical trials in 2013.