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November 28, 2007

SEBIO Announces Triptcor Pharmaceuticals as the Winner of the $100,000.00 Grand Prize in the First Annual BIO/Plan Competition

Filed under: SEBIO News — admin @ 5:03 pm

Atlanta, GA- Southeast BIO (SEBIO), a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the growth of the Southeast’s life sciences industry, has announced the winner of its first annual BIO/Plan Competition, a year long business creation competition. The winner is Triptcor Pharmaceuticals, a pre-incorporated technology to be spun-out of Emory University. Triptcor will take home the $100,000.00 (non-dilutive) BIO/Plan 1st prize.
Launched earlier this year by SEBIO and founding sponsor H.I.G. Ventures, the BIO/Plan Competition is a year-long program developed to promote the creation of new, fundable life science companies based in the Southeast. Working closely with technology transfer offices and entrepreneurs throughout the region, the competition brings forward opportunities from leading Southeastern research universities and research centers. The BIO/Plan competition received more than fifty total applications earlier this year. The applicant pool included applications from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
The winner was selected from four finalists that each presented to a panel of celebrity judges at the Ninth Annual SEBIO Investor Forum on November 8th in Pinehurst, NC. The four finalists were selected a group of 10 semi-finalists announced in June. Each of the 10 semi-finalists, selected from a group of more than 50 applicants, completed a rigorous mentoring process to develop an executable business strategy and associated written plan. The mentoring teams included three or four experienced professionals from active venture funds or angel groups, biotech entrepreneurs and managers, and service providers with relevant start-up expertise. Each mentoring team worked together for four months. The resulting business plans were judged by a panel of experts who selected the four finalists.
Triptcor Pharmaceuticals is developing small molecule inhibitors to nuclear factor kappa B(NF-κB), a central pro-inflammatory molecule and known contributor to inflammatory disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and allograft transplant rejection. By directly blocking NF-κB, Triptocor will develop oral compounds with a favorable safety profile that are effective in multiple inflammatory diseases. Triptcor is developing analogs of triptolide that bind directly to the transcription factor NF-kB and inhibit NF-kB-mediated transcriptional activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor. Initial products will be small molecule, orally administered therapeutics directed towards once daily treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

“Triptcor was delighted to be able to participate in this unique and very useful competition organized by SEBIO. We were fortunate to have received great advice from the mentoring team and assistance from Emory University,” said Ketan Desai, an experienced life sciences entrepreneur who will take Triptcor forward as CEO. “Combined with the excitement around the compounds and the business case for the company, we were fortunate to have won. I would like to thank SEBIO for the opportunity, and wish it many more successful events.”
The winning Triptcor mentoring team included Becky Kaufman, King and Spalding; Chris Kroger, Aurora Funds; and Bill Johnston, BioBusiness Strategies, Inc. The Wine Gallery and Merchant (Atlanta, GA) provided a Mentor’s Prize of a selection of highly awarded, 100-point wines from vineyards representing the most prominent wine growing regions throughout the world.
“We are thrilled with the success of the BIO/Plan competition and the significant value it has brought to the entrepreneurial, academic and investment communities,” noted Michael Wasserman, H.I.G. Ventures and BIO/Plan Co-Chair. “We look forward to the continued success of this program and anticipate an even broader range of high quality applicants from our research institutions and centers here in the Southeast as we start the process again early next year,” said Frank Hunt, SE bioStrategies, Inc. and BIO/Plan Co-Chair.
To learn more about the SEBIO BIO/Plan Competition, please visit
http://www.sebio.org/bioplan/.

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