CIT GAP Funds Invests in Lewis and Clark Pharmaceuticals

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Innovative company focuses on advancing adenosine related compounds for stress imaging, arthritis.


Center for Innovative Technology GAP Funds

The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announces today a $100,000 investment in Charlottesville, Va.-based Lewis and Clark Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Lewis and Clark). Nearly 200 years after Charlottesville native Meriwether Lewis, and his partner, William Clark, set out to discover the western territory of the United States, Dr. Robert Thompson and his team of scientists at Lewis and Clark Pharmaceuticals are discovering ways in which adenosine-based compounds can be used to solve difficult clinical challenges.

CIT President and CEO Pete Jobse said, “Large pharmaceutical companies face over $100 billion in lost revenue through patent expirations by 2015. These companies need to fill the pipeline sooner, and Lewis and Clark is well positioned to be a leader in the development of novel adenosine-based pharmaceutical compounds for autoimmune and other diseases.”

While pharmaceutical companies regularly work with university researchers to find new discoveries, academics often lack expertise in moving compounds though pre-clinical testing and into clinical trials. Lewis and Clark solves the problem by focusing on developing new compounds from discovery through initial clinical trials and beyond.

The company will initially focus its efforts on two large markets: stress imaging, which represents a $1 billion annual market and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, currently a $20 billion market. Lewis and Clark believes that its compounds are more selective, more potent and exhibit lower toxicity than comparable compounds.

Robert Thompson, Ph.D., Lewis and Clark Founder and CEO, an organic chemist with over 30 years of experience in designing and developing drug compounds, said, “We are filling a huge market need and CIT’s investment will help move us down the path to growth and commercialization.”

Tom Weithman, CIT Vice President and GAP Funds Managing Director, said, “It is truly inspirational to see the innovation taking place within biotech companies like Lewis and Clark, and it is an honor to help this experienced management team bring much needed therapies to market.”

Since its 2005 launch, CIT GAP Funds has placed over 75 investments across the Commonwealth, deploying greater than $7 million of public funds and attracting over $80 million more in private funding. For a list of portfolio companies, please visit the GAP Funds website.

About the Center for Innovative Technology,
CIT is a nonprofit corporation that accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies. CIT creates new technology companies through capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71.

About the CIT GAP Funds,
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as: New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners, HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and Alpha Natural Resources.

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