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Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) announces three startups chosen to compete for a $250,000 investment in July 18 event

Powered by the Hatch BioFund, the 10th Annual Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature the PABC’s first pitch competition with a major financial incentive.

Doylestown, July 2, 2024 – The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC) today announced the three local biotech startups chosen out of more than 40 companies that submitted applications to compete in PABC’s 10th Annual Entrepreneur Spotlight.

Hatch BioFund, which is the venture capital fund affiliated with PABC, pledged to make a $250,000 investment in the company that is voted as the winner of the pitch competition.

The following companies, which all are based in the Greater Philadelphia region, were selected to present during the Entrepreneur Spotlight on July 18:

Eliksa Therapeutics, based at the PABC in Doylestown, is developing secretome-based therapies to address significant unmet needs in ocular, cardiovascular and osteoarthritic conditions. These therapies have emerged as a promising approach to overcome the traditional limitations associated with cell-based treatments. Eliksa's lead product candidate, ELK-003, is being developed to treat ocular manifestations of Epidermolysis Bullosa and entered clinical trials in 2024.

Hula Therapeutics is dedicated to bringing safer and more efficacious therapies for children and adults with solid tumors. Leveraging a novel target discovery engine developed at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the company aims to be in the clinic in late 2024 with a CAR-T cell therapy for neuroblastoma. Hula Therapeutics also is working on programs for sarcoma, medulloblastoma and gliomas.

ThirdLaw Molecular LLC, based in Blue Bell, Pa., is developing technologies from Temple University. The company is working to advance its Spiroligomer™ molecules as an innovative, patent-protected, new class of targeted medicines. The company’s mission is to create a revolutionary category of molecules that transform how diseases are treated more safely and effectively.

The companies will make presentations to a panel of four expert judges and the winner will be chosen by the judges’ vote combined with an audience poll.  The company that scores the highest will be offered the $250,000 investment. The other two companies will receive one-year memberships at the PABC and related business developments opportunities. More than 100 professionals in biotech, finance and related fields are expected to attend. A few tickets are still available for the event, which will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on July 18 at the PABC in Doylestown. Registration is online.

About the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center (PABC): Nearly 100 companies belong to the PABC, which is a nonprofit life sciences incubator and accelerator providing a collaborative ecosystem and state-of-the-art laboratory and office space. There are nearly 70 early stage biotech companies onsite at its two locations. Along with its campus in Doylestown, where a new building with labs and offices opened two years ago, the PABC operates B+labs at Cira Centre in University City, Philadelphia. B+labs, which was launched in 2022, is a partnership with Brandywine Realty Trust. The PABC uses a highly successful services-based approach to nurture and guide its member companies to success, advancing biotechnology, maximizing synergies among nonprofit scientists and their commercial colleagues, and launching new ideas and discoveries. PABC companies account for 17% of all National Institutes of Health SBIR grants awarded in Pennsylvania and over the years have created billions of dollars in market value from IPOs, acquisitions and commercial valuations.

About Hatch BioFund: Formed in 2023, Hatch BioFund provides early stage capital to promising life science companies, along with access to deep industry expertise and physical platforms to help them realize their missions. Hatch partners include Brandywine Realty Trusty, Daiichi Sankyo, the Hepatitis B Foundation, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, the PABC and B+labs at Cira