03 Aug eMetagen gets $535,000 from MU angel investors
MILWAUKEE – Madison-based drug discovery and development company eMetagen Corp. closed a $535,000 seed investment round with the Marquette University Golden Angels Network, the angel investors group reported Wednesday.
eMetagen plans to use the Golden Angels investment, along with two grants received last year – a $488,512 Phase I biodefense grant from the National Institutes of Health and a $150,000 Technology Development Fund award from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce – for the company’s research and development programs.
eMetagen was founded in June 2002 to commercialize biotechnology developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for extracting genetic material from previously untapped soil microorganisms to develop new anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics for newer diseases like SARS as well as emerging antibiotic-resistant strains of sicknesses such as tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus.
“There’s a real need a) in bioterrorism, because some of these agents, there’s nothing that’s effective against them,” explained eMetagen chief executive officer John Rodwell, “and b) for emerging diseases and for diseases that are becoming drug-resistant because the [current drug] isn’t sufficient to treat them.”
eMetagen will maintain a research facility in Madison, where up to 10 jobs will be created over the next 12 months, and a sales and marketing presence in New Jersey, home to potential clients in the pharmaceutical industry.
The investment is the first Madison involvement for the Golden Angels, which was launched in 2002 at Marquette’s College of Business. As angel investores, the group’s members invest individually in selected early-stage businesses. the network’s members have previously invested in USAV Inc., Photo-OPP Inc., and EMSystems.