EpiCor Wins UCD Startup Competition

17 Nov 2016 | 10.55 am

EpiCor Wins UCD Startup Competition

Biotech startup working on treatments for heart disease

17 Nov 2016 | 10.55 am

Biotech startup EpiCor Therapeutics claimed top prize in University College Dublin’s 2016 Start-Up of the Year Award, which was announced this week. It won the title and a €20,000 prize after being declared overall winner of the 2016 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme.

EpiCor Therapeutics is developing new disease-modifying treatments that target the mechanisms underlying the development of heart failure. The initial focus of EpiCor Therapeutics is to repurpose an existing drug for the treatment of a heart disease called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM).

The disease currently affects around 175,000 people, with associated annual healthcare costs of over $1 billion in the US alone.

The founders of EpiCor Therapeutics, a UCD School of Medicine spinout, are Dr John Baugh, Dr Nadia Glezeva, Dr Chris Watson, Dr Mark Ledwidge and Professor Ken McDonald.

Dr John Baugh said: “It is an honour for EpiCor Therapeutics to win the 2016 UCD Start-up of the Year Award. It is a great endorsement for us going forward.”

He added: “We are currently seeking to raise €750,000 in seed funding to enable us to carry out pre-clinical bridging studies. Thereafter, following additional fundraising, we plan to proceed with a clinical proof-of-concept study to enable this drug to be approved as a therapeutic to treat this devastating disease.”

The UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme, which is held at NovaUCD, comprises ten three-hour workshops, delivered over a three-month period, and a series of one-to-one sessions with external experts in areas such as finance, marketing and customer validation.

In addition to the 2016 UCD Start-up of the Year Award, EpiCor Therapeutics was presented with a cheque for €10,000 sponsored by AIB, and a professional services package to the value of €10,000 sponsored by Bryan Maguire Business Consulting and Deloitte.

Photo: L-R EpiCor co-founders Dr Chris Watson, Dr Nadia Glezeva and Dr John Baugh (Pic: Nick Bradshaw)

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