The CytoVas investment is aimed at creating the potential for this spinoff from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's "Vascular Health Profile" (VHP) blood test. The VHP is capable of identifying seemingly healthy people who are unknowingly at high risk of heart attack or stroke, such as the marathon runner who will suffer sudden death in his next race. Currently, the only way to know whether a cholesterol minimizing drug, is actually lowering risk is if heart attack or stroke proves it was unsuccessful at actually achieving the desired outcome. AHA's Science & Technology Accelerator investment in conduct of Cytovas's proof of concept (POC) trial de-risked the technology sufficiently such that a major industry investor formed a partnership with Cytovas before the first patient was enrolled in the POC trial.
The BioKier investment in collaboration with Broadview Ventures and North Carolina Biotech promises a revolutionary treatment to type 2 diabetes patients. This innovation involves unmodified substances present in everyone's diet, which are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), delivered orally and pass through the stomach, undigested to bind with receptors which can result in dramatic increase in insulin production and apparent decrease in insulin resistance. Usually, these substances would pass through the system with no effect, but the delivery system created by this joint venture can artificially replicate the results of gastro bypass surgery for these substances having a dramatic effect on type 2 diabetes.
In addition to requests for proposals on our website, innovations are also gathered from numerous sources including technologies emanating from basic science originally funded by AHA grants, university technology transfer offices, and other venture philanthropy organizations with aligned interests. Innovations can include not only drugs, devices, and biologics, but also potentially transformational healthcare information technology. These are then intensely screened for validity and commercial potential, with the survivors undergoing rigorous due diligence. The Science & Technology Accelerator Committee ultimately selects what it considers the most medically and commercially game-changing candidates for investment.
Following the next RFA, the level of donations directed specifically to the Science & Technology Accelerator will determine the speed with which we can launch subsequent investment rounds.