VIC Technology Venture Development™ Forms New Portfolio Company: Filtravate™

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Company co-founded with Reza Foudazi, PhD, developer of a platform membrane technology with broad applications in bioprocessing and industrial filtration.

“This technology results in membranes that solve critical issues in the production of biopharmaceuticals, as well as having the potential to improve membrane functional attributes in laboratory and industrial settings significantly,” Dr. Yun Li, Filtravate CEO.

VIC Technology Venture Development, LLC (VIC), has formed Filtravate, its newest portfolio company. Established to develop and commercialize a manufacturing platform for the production of ultrafiltration membranes based on technology exclusively licensed from New Mexico State University (NMSU). The patent-pending technology results in membranes with controllable pore size and improved function, including anti-fouling properties and increased flow capacity. Applications include biomanufacturing, viral filtration, and industrial membrane uses.

Yun Li, PhD, Managing Director of VIC’s New Mexico Branch, is serving as CEO of Filtravate. Dr. Li provides management expertise in the areas of technology commercialization, strategic planning, and business development. She will oversee technology development, execution of key commercial milestones, fundraising and partnering.

“This technology results in membranes that solve critical issues in the production of biopharmaceuticals, as well as having the potential to improve membrane functional attributes in laboratory and industrial settings significantly,” said Dr. Li. The biomanufacturing and pharmaceutical membrane filtration market is large, estimated at just over $5B for 2019, and expected to double by 2025. The technology behind Filtravate allows membranes to be built from the ground up using the smallest building block to create controlled pore sizes, consistent pore distribution, and allows for tuning of the membrane surface properties to meet the exact needs of the end-user. “Taken together, these atttributes allow for us to meet major unmet market needs in bioprocessing,” continued Dr. Li, “as current membrane products lack the combination of high flow rates, low membrane fouling (blocking), and precise separation capabilities at the nanoscale over long use periods.”

Researchers in Dr. Foudazi’s lab at NMSU developed the novel manufacturing method for the production of nanopore membranes that requires less energy as compared to conventional methods and does not require the use of organic solvents, resulting in a process that is both highly scalable and less costly. The development of the technology was mainly achieved during the PhD thesis of Dr. Sahar Qavi, a recent graduate from Dr. Foudazi’s group. “When fabricated into membranes, our technology creates precise pores on the nanoscale in an extremely regular pattern. This results in the membranes having both high permeability and low fouling, which allows for very high (fast) flow rates over long periods, while maintaining extremely precise separation capabilities,” said Dr. Foudazi, Associate Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at NMSU and the co-inventor of the Filtravate technology. The other inventors of this technology are Dr. Sahar Qavi and Aaron Lindsay (a former undergraduate researcher in Dr. Foudazi’s group). The work was initially funded by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (Cooperative Agreement No. R16AC0002). Dr. Foudazi will serve as the technical advisorto the company as the company moves the invention into the bio-filtration market.

About Filtravate, Inc.
Filtravate, Inc. is a membrane technology company founded in 2020 to develop and commercialize ultrafiltration membranes for applications in the bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical industries. By building membranes from the ground up using the smallest building blocks, Filtravate’s membranes have controlled and tunable pore size, even pore distribution, and functionalized surfaces. Based on patent-pending technology exclusively licensed from NMSU, Filtravate’s products provide significant anti-fouling and improved flux characteristics. Filtravate, Inc. is a VIC Technology Venture Development™ portfolio company. For more information, please visit http://www.filtravate.com.

About VIC Technology Venture Development, LLC
VIC Technology Venture Development, LLC is a technology venture development firm that creates innovative new companies with world-changing science- and engineering-based technologies. VIC carefully selects and licenses technologies from universities and research institutions around the world, then partners technology entrepreneurs with VIC’s team of business and technology experts, and allocates seed capital through the nationally comprised VIC Investor Network. VIC provides its portfolio companies with senior management expertise, extensive knowledge of technology startups, and proven processes to execute business strategies, including legal, financial, operations, marketing, capital acquisition, and technology management. For more information, please visit http://www.victech.com.

About New Mexico State University (NMSU)
NMSU is New Mexico’s land-grant institution and a comprehensive research university dedicated to teaching, research, and service at all levels. Recognized as a top-tier university by US News & World Report, NMSU is a welcoming community of talented faculty, staff, and students who are working together to make a difference. As a NASA Space Grant College, a Hispanic-serving institution and home to the first Honors College in New Mexico, NMSU offers an accessible education that shapes bright futures. For more information, please visit http://www.nmsu.edu/

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