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VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Invests in The Tiny Cargo Company to Scale and Protect Novel Drug Delivery Platform

Unlocking the potential of milk exosomes as a breakthrough therapeutic in mitigating radiation injury.

We believe our work at the boundary of biodefense and agriculture on milk exosomes represents an important opportunity for economic development and jobs in Virginia.”
— Dr. Rob Gourdie, Founder and President, Tiny Cargo

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, February 27, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) today announced that Virginia Venture Partners (VVP), its equity investment program, has invested in The Tiny Cargo Company. The Roanoke, Va.-based spinout from Virginia Tech is developing a patent-pending drug delivery platform that utilizes milk-derived exosomes and is positioned to be the B2B global leader in supply and application of exosomes for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical uses. Tiny Cargo has previously received funding from VIPC’s Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF).

According to the International Journal of Medical Sciences, radiation therapy has been shown to provide 40% curative benefit to cancer patients, more than 50% of patients prescribed the treatment do not start or complete it due to its side effects. Additionally, there are no FDA-approved medical countermeasures on the market to combat Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), or the effects of high-dose ionizing radiation on internal organs. In response to this major unmet need, The Tiny Cargo Company has developed a way to harness the power of exosomes, bilayer vesicles ubiquitously used by living organisms as an internal delivery system, to carry potent peptides to treat ARS in cancer patients.

Tiny Cargo’s proprietary method involves isolating and extracting exosomes from dairy milk and then loading the exosomes with therapeutics or nutraceuticals. This novel drug delivery platform, branded as XoLacta, reduces damage caused by radiation therapy and substantially increases patient retention and acceptance of radiation therapy by eliminating its debilitating side effects. Milk exosomes hold significant advantages over competing delivery technologies because they are orally administered, bypass gut-blood and blood-brain barriers, are non-immunogenic, and bypass first-pass metabolism. In addition to preventing radiation poisoning in cancer patients, XoLacta has the potential to serve as a therapeutic medical countermeasure for radio-nuclear attacks or accidents.

"Tiny Cargo is very pleased to receive this investment from the VIPC in our seed round. We believe our work at the boundary of biodefense and agriculture on milk exosomes represents an important opportunity for economic development and jobs in Virginia,” said Dr. Rob Gourdie, Founder and President of The Tiny Cargo Company.

“As therapeutic technologies evolve, delivery systems must also evolve,” said Alex Euler, Senior Investment Director at VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners. “Milk exosomes have unique and compelling advantages, particularly for delivering peptide therapeutics and mRNA products. Tiny Cargo is positioned to be the global leader in the space, and we’re proud to support their groundbreaking work.”

VIPC’s investment in Tiny Cargo draws upon funds made available through the U.S. Treasury Department State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program.

About The Tiny Cargo Company
The Tiny Cargo Company has innovated a novel drug delivery system based on non-immunogenic bovine milk derived exosomes for protected oral or IV based delivery of potent therapeutics. Tiny Cargo currently has aims in treating Ischemic Heart Disease, Gastrointestinal Radiation Disease, Glioblastoma Multiforme, and numerous other pathologies. Treatment for every disease is within reach with our drug delivery platform. We utilize non-immunogenic milk derived exosomes to deliver potent therapeutics, with limited first pass metabolism and a patented, highly efficient method of loading, to enhance upon current approaches such as nanoparticles and liposomal drug carriers. To learn more about The Tiny Cargo Company, visit www.tinycargo.com.

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
Connecting innovators with opportunities. As the nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia's innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC also collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy. 
 
Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | VVP Fund of Funds (SSBCI) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Petersburg Founders Fund (PFF) | Smart Communities | The Virginia Smart Community Testbed | The Virginia Unmanned Systems Center | Virginia Advanced Air Mobility Alliance (VAAMA) | The Public Safety Innovation Center (PSIC)| Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. 

For more information, please visit www.VirginiaIPC.org. Follow VIPC on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn.

About Virginia Venture Partners (VVP)
Virginia Venture Partners is the equity investment program of VIPC that makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, Virginia Venture Partners has deployed $51.7 million in capital across more than 305 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. Virginia Venture Partners’ investment decisions are guided by the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit the VVP pages from www.VirginiaIPC.org.

Angela Costello, Vice President of Communications
Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
angela.costello@VirginiaIPC.org
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