August 17, 2021

Navrogen raises $3M in venture capital financing to advance cancer therapy platform

Navrogen raises $3M in venture capital financing to advance cancer therapy platform

Navrogen co-founders Nicholas C. Nicolaides, left, and Luigi Grasso.

A 4-year-old biotechnology company based on the campus of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has raised $3 million in a venture capital financing.

Navrogen Inc. plans to use the proceeds from the seed funding round to support its technology platform being used to develop potential new therapies targeting immunosuppressed cancers and immune-mediated diseases.

The financing was led by Tellus BioVentures of Miromer Lakes, Florida, and included participation by the company’s previous investors.

Navrogen in 2019 raised $3.2 million through a convertible note financing led by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Those notes have been converted into equity, according to the company and documents filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company’s drug-discovery platform is based on a process known as humoral immuno-oncology that is designed to combat what happens when tumors suppress a patient’s immune response against malignant tissues. The company is using the platform to develop therapies that stimulate the body’s humoral response so B cells make antibodies that can attack foreign pathogens or abnormal cells.

Nicholas Nicolaides, the co-founder and CEO of Navrogen, said the financing will allow the company to further validate and advance its pipeline of new drug candidates toward clinical development.

As part of the financing, Lonnie Moulder, managing member of Tellus, and Allan Bedwick, an individual investor in the company, will join Navrogen’s board of directors.

Moulder said Tellus BioVentures’ decision to invest in Navrogen was based on the company’s discovery of “a unique translational approach for developing a new class of compounds to address immune-mediated diseases,” including various types of cancer.

John George
Senior Reporter
Philadelphia Business Journal