27 Jun Georgia stem cell company likely to stay put
Madison, Wis. – It appears that Wisconsin has failed in its bid to lure a Georgia stem cell company to Madison.
Aruna Biomedical, a maker of neural stem cell kits for researchers, apparently has found the financial backing it needs to remain in Athens, where it was spun out of the University of Georgia.
Dick Leazer, a principal in Wisconsin Investment Partners, said it’s likely that the company will remain in Georgia, despite an incentive package offered by the State of Wisconsin.
Leazer told WTN in January that Aruna would consider opening an office here if it could raise enough angel investment money from Wisconsin investors.
Contacted last week, Leazer indicated that Georgia investors have stepped forward. “It sounds like they were going to get their equity investment there [in Georgia],” Leazer said.
Jim Stice, a Minneapolis-based medical device executive and part of the Aruna management team, referred questions to brother Steven Stice, a Georgia professor who founded the company and serves as its chief executive officer.
Steven Stice, however, did not return several phone calls.
Aruna has developed a method to derive neural progenitor cells from human embryonic stem cells, enabling it to produce kits that are used by biomedical researchers in the development of therapies for neurological diseases and spinal cord injuries.
Wisconsin has lured one other stem cell company, the Norway-based CellCura, to Madison to collaborate with the WiCell Research Institute on stem cell research and products.
CellCura joined three other stem cell businesses that have been co-founded by University of Wisconsin-Madison professors, including Jamie Thomson, Timothy Kamp, and Gabriela Cezar.
• Madison stem cell company gets $1M from state
• Wisconsin won’t get Georgia biotech without a fight
• Wisconsin tries to woo another stem cell company
• CellCura could start an invasion of stem cell firms