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TGen Spinout Catapult Launches with $14M Grant

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Catapult Bio, an Arizona non-profit focused on funding and providing services to regional biotechnology startups, has used a five-year, $14 million grant from the Los Angeles company Abraxis BioScience to fund its official launch.

Catapult Bio, which arose out of the Translational Genome Research Institute’s TGen Accelerators program, is aimed at developing research discoveries into new businesses that accelerate life sciences commercialization.

Catapult’s business model “directly addresses areas in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap where funding gaps exist by providing the expertise, services, and funding” needed to develop the state’s life sciences discoveries, the company said in a statement.

“We understand the difficulties that research institutions face when trying to turn research into products and new companies,” explained MaryAnn Guerra, who also serves as president of TGen Accel, in a statement.

“We designed Catapult Bio to be able to bring the focus, resources and expertise to make things happen in an accelerated manner for technologies that meet this commercialization need,” Guerra added.

“Catapult’s launch comes at a perfect time when research initiatives coming out of the labs and universities are struggling to find seed funding,” TGen’s President, Jeffrey Trent, said.

Abraxis Bioscience’s CEO, Patrick Soon-Shiong said in a statement that Catapult Bio will help “development of important technology that emanates from academic research centers but requires specialized resources including funding, technology expertise, and business acumen.

"It is our hope that these more fully developed technologies will enhance new company formation, accelerate the delivery of novel products to the public and drive economic development for the state,” Soon-Shiong asserted.

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