Venture Victories

Venture Victories is a regularly published roundup from VCU TechTransfer and Ventures that highlights recent successes from startups created from VCU intellectual property.

Blood-loss and critical illness drug startup gets $2.9 million on path to human studies

A startup to stop hemorrhagic shock and treat cardiac and other critical illnesses has a new infusion of capital on its road to the first tests in humans.
Perfusion Medical this fall was awarded a $2.9 million grant from the Defense Health Agency. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding will enable the company to complete pre-clinical studies and submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for its drug candidate, called PM-208 (developed under the name PEG-20k). The solution was invented by a team led by Martin J. Mangino, Ph.D., a professor of surgery, physiology and biophysics in the Department of Surgery at the VCU School of Medicine.

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Find more about Perfusion Medical, see this January 2023 story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch


VCU muscle-loss startup picks up funding for “scaffolding” tech

A VCU biomedical engineer is on a mission to better repair muscle injuries, and today has a bit
more funding to help him achieve it.

Michael McClure, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of
Biomedical Engineering, was this summer awarded $75,000 by the Virginia Innovation
Partnership Corp. to pursue a new method of repairing muscle loss and tears. His intellectual
property is also the basis of a startup, Sarcogenics.

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By the way: McClure’s company, Sarcogenics, is related to the term sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle due to age. Age plays a significant role in injury severity and a role in surgical success.In rotator cuff surgeries in particular, almost 50% of surgeries re-tear within a 12-month period. Part of the goal of the research team’s scaffolding material is to improve surgical success in patients with advanced age.


Federal grant will help VCU researchers build forensics business to serve national crime labs

A VCU startup that is developing technologies to improve forensic investigations has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The $270,578 Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award to Rapid Forensic Cell Typing will help the company develop technology that can analyze “non-genetic attributes” of cells within forensic evidence, explains VCU researcher Christopher Ehrhardt, Ph.D., a co-investigator on the project and professor in the Department of Forensic Science at the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

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Minnesota biotech using VCU IP secures federal funds

Minnesota-based company Quench Medical, which has licensed aerosol technologies from two VCU researchers, secured $2 million in federal grants for the continued development of an inhaled therapy for lung cancer.

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  • Hindle and Longest also were recently awarded $3.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further their research. Read more.



Perfusion Medical accepted into Boston-based tech accelerator program

Perfusion Medical has been accepted at the prestigious MassChallenge U.S. Early Stage Accelerator program. 

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Air Force issues awards to VCU-backed shock therapeutic startup Perfusion Medical

The U.S. Air Force’s venture capital and innovation arm, AFWERX, has awarded two grants to a Herndon and Richmond, Virginia - based startup using technology developed by VCU researchers.

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VCU VR startup focused on mental health intervention gets NIMH award

A VCU startup exploring virtual reality to treat mental health in kids who are at risk of behavioral disorders received $275,000 this spring from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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