WVJIT Announces Investment In Protea Biosciences
Completes $1.7million Financing to support Morgantown-based company’s commercial development of new biomedical technology
Charleston, West Virginia, 8:00am EST, November 16, 2009 – The West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust (WVJIT) announced today that it had concluded a $1.7M equity and debt financing in Protea Biosciences, Inc., a Morgantown-based Biotechnology company. The proceeds will be used to complete the development of a new protein discovery technology, which identifies proteins in tissue and other biological samples, including single cells. The instrumentation is scheduled to be available in late 2010 and will be used by pharmaceutical researchers around the world to discover new, disease-specific proteins that could be potential targets for the development of new pharmaceuticals.
“In recent years, our State has made major investments in biomedical research at West Virginia and Marshall Universities, and these commitments are paying off”, stated Andy Zulauf, Executive Director of the WVJIT. “Protea’s success is spear-heading the development of an entire new industry for West Virginia, one that will generate major long-term growth and quality job creation for our State.”
Governor Joe Manchin said the partnership with Protea will add to the state’s growing bioscience pedigree and will enable the company to develop its world-leading technology while creating jobs right here in West Virginia. “We’re excited at the global potential of Protea’s groundbreaking technology and I know they will find great success in the Mountain State,” Manchin said.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from our State of West Virginia” stated Steve Turner, Protea’s Chairman and CEO. “This financing will allow us to be on the market in 2010 with revolutionary technology that greatly improves the ability to identify new biological targets for drug development. We are experiencing strong demand for our products, which we have shipped to over 300 research laboratories worldwide this year. Also this year, we doubled in size to 30 full time employees, and project growth of our operation to 200 employees by 2013.”
Protea’s technology improves a researcher’s ability to identify proteins that are disease-causing, and then applies its knowledge to develop new pharmaceuticals for human health. Protein discovery is a major area of pharmaceutical research, due to the fact that the identification of new, disease-specific protein targets are the starting points of the new drug development process. Protea’s operations are based in Morgantown, WV, where the company’s manufacturing and research laboratories are located in a 7,000 sq ft facility.
The WVJIT is the state’s leading venture capital firm focused on turning the innovation of new ideas into successful world-class companies.
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