Pharma

Muscular dystrophy therapy biotech wins $250K JumpStart investment

A clinical-stage biotechnology startup that’s developing a therapy for neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy has received a $250,000 investment from nonprofit economic development group JumpStart. Cleveland-based Milo Biotechnology’s drug candidate is based on technology developed at Columbus’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the company has already begun a clinical trial there, according to a statement […]

A clinical-stage biotechnology startup that’s developing a therapy for neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy has received a $250,000 investment from nonprofit economic development group JumpStart.

Cleveland-based Milo Biotechnology’s drug candidate is based on technology developed at Columbus’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the company has already begun a clinical trial there, according to a statement from JumpStart. (Disclosure: JumpStart is also an investor in MedCity Media.)

The company’s lead product is a protein that stimulates muscle growth and prevents muscle scarring after injury.

Muscular dystrophy is a group of inherited disorders that involve muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue, which get worse over time. It’s most frequently found in children.

Milo’s phase 1/2 clinical trial is enrolling patients with two specific types of muscular dystrophy — Becker muscular dystrophy and inclusion body myositis. The trial was funded by a grant from Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

In preclinical studies in mice and nonhuman primates, the drug candidate brought about increases in muscle size and strength, according to the statement.

The company’s CEO is Al Hawkins, currently an entrepreneur-in-residence with Cleveland nonprofit BioEnterprise. Previously, Hawkins managed a venture capital fund for Boston University and was a partner with Agave Group New Venture Consulting.

[Photo from flickr user Tony Crider]