Vigilant Biosciences Receives Florida Institute Funding
Seed Funds to Accelerate Regulatory Approval and Product Launch
Gainesville and Boca Raton, FL – March 26, 2014- The Institute for Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that it finalized a funding agreement with Vigilant Biosciences Inc. (Vigilant) a Miami-based company that is developing innovative testing products to enable early disease intervention for better outcomes. The company received $2.3 million in total proceeds from its initial financing efforts to advance development of tests that enable identification of more cancers at an earlier stage, thereby improving overall survival rates while minimizing healthcare costs. The Institute works with Florida’s research universities and institutions to build new companies, enabling them to reach critical milestones and attract private investment capital.
Vigilant is developing a low-cost, easy-to-use risk assessment test for oral cancer based on technology licensed from the University of Miami. When diagnosed early, oral cancer patients have an 80% to 90% survival rate. Unfortunately, roughly half of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of these cases will be discovered as a late stage malignancy. Oral cancer is particularly dangerous, because the patient or the clinician may not notice it in its early stages. As a result, it often goes undetected to the point of metastasizing.
According to Matthew Kim, company founder and whose parents are oral cancer survivors, “One day in the not so distant future, many of the 50,000 Americans destined to be diagnosed with head and neck cancer annually (not to mention the tens of millions of those at risk) could learn with a simple rinse-and-spit test that they are at risk for the deadly disease long before the first lesion appears.”
“Vigilant is addressing a critical need in the healthcare arena that, when successful, will improve survival rates and outcomes while minimizing overall healthcare costs,” said Jamie Grooms, Institute Chief Executive Officer. “The Institute has enjoyed learning about company progress to date, and looks forward to participating in Vigilant’s future success.”
About the Institute
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida’s state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. Over 100 new company projects have been identified across the state, and in the Institute deploys both company building and company funding programs to promising Florida companies. Twenty-six companies have been funded since the program’s inception.
About Vigilant Biosciences, Inc.
Vigilant Biosciences, Inc., founded in 2011, is a medical technology company enabling early intervention to improve outcomes. The company’s initial product development initiatives are aimed at overcoming the oral cancer challenge - identifying more cancers at an earlier stage and thereby improving overall survival rates while minimizing healthcare costs.