OyaGen gets $500,000 from state retirement fund
Thomas Adams – Rochester Business Journal
September 24, 2010
OyaGen Inc., a Henrietta bio-pharmaceutical company focused on drug treatments for HIV/AIDS and other viral diseases, will get $500,000 from the New York State Common Retirement Fund, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced Friday.
The funding was made through retirement fund investment partner Trillium Group LLC in Perinton. OyaGen is a portfolio company in Trillium’s University Technology Seed Fund.
“OyaGen is a perfect example of how we can do well for the members of the retirement system while doing good for New York businesses,” DiNapoli said in a statement.
“OyaGen performs groundbreaking research to advance the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Not only is this an area where much research is needed, it is also great investment for the pension fund.”
DiNapoli is the sole trustee of the retirement fund, which has invested $1 million in OyaGen since 2006. Trillium is leading the latest round of investment, with a goal of $3 million.
“OyaGen represents a sound bio-pharmaceutical investment opportunity and leverages the considerable investments that are being made by our university-based scientific community,” Trillium general partner Kevin Phelps said.
OyaGen focuses on the commercialization of editing enzyme technologies developed in the laboratory of Harold Smith at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“Our understanding of the basic science that drives the biology of editing enzymes and disease processes has led to the identification of new drug targets,” Smith said.
“OyaGen has used this proprietary information to develop a unique set of assays for drug discovery
. All indications are that the company has achieved a capability that has drawn significant interest from technology leaders in the HIV therapeutic market.”