Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Gov. Steve Beshear recently announced two job-creation projects, Bexion Pharmaceuticals LLC, in Covington, and Vivorte LLC, in Louisville. Combined, the projects will create 14 new high-tech and technical support jobs paying an average annual salary of over $70,000, exclusive of benefits.
Bexion Pharmaceuticals is developing a unique cancer drug that can be used to treat a wide range of cancers by targeting tumors. Vivorte is developing a bone replacement material to help bones heal better and an implant that strengthens hips to help prevent hip fractures.
“The technologies under development by Bexion and Vivorte are designed to fight two significant medical problems – cancer and bone injuries,” said Gov. Beshear. “By helping these pioneering companies to commercialize their products, we are not only adding 14 high-paying jobs for Kentuckians, we are also helping to develop products that can benefit people around the world.”
A client of the Northern Kentucky Innovation and Commercialization Center, Bexion Pharmaceuticals LLC, was approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) for up to $155,000 to assist in purchasing lab equipment. Bexion has a first-in-class drug with a demonstrated ability to target tumors that result from a broad range of human cancers.
The product, for which Bexion holds exclusive licenses, is a technology based on research performed at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The company initially plans to focus on the treatment of glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor, and pancreatic cancers. In September 2010, Bexion won a prestigious partnership with the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory of the National Cancer Institute to support the ongoing development of this technology.
“Bexion is grateful to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the continued support of our efforts,” said Dr. Ray Takigiku, CEO of Bexion. “These funds will better equip us to continue moving our products toward authorization in 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use our experimental drug in clinical trials.”
Vivorte LLC, a client of the Louisville Innovation and Commercialization Center, was approved by KEDFA for up to $120,000 to assist in purchasing laboratory equipment to support the company’s efforts, as well as for intellectual property protection and regulatory expenses.
The company is developing two products with the potential to improve the lives of patients who suffer bone injuries or who have weakened bones due to osteoporosis. The first product is a bone replacement material that is both strong and absorbs naturally into the body as new bone grows in its place. It is designed to be used by surgeons to better repair broken bones and to more securely install orthopedic devices. The second product is a small implant to strengthen the hips of people with osteoporosis with the goal of reducing the occurrence of hip fractures. Patents are pending for both technologies.
“The Cabinet for Economic Development has been very supportive of our company and KEDFA’s generous funding demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to business growth. This is one of the reasons we are proud to be a Kentucky company,” said Ruth Voor, CEO of Vivorte. “The money will enable us to drive the intellectual property and regulatory projects necessary as we prepare our products for commercialization.”
The two economic development projects were funded by the Cabinet for Economic Development’s High-Tech Investment Pool. The pool is used to support technology-based and research-intensive companies and projects in the Commonwealth. Kentucky’s statewide network of six Innovation and Commercialization Centers (ICCs), which includes the Northern Kentucky e-Zone and Louisville ICC, and seven Innovation Centers (ICs), provides locally accessible, business-building consulting and related services to the state’s high-tech entrepreneurs and inventors.
More information about Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2009 totaled nearly $ 977 million with the creation of more than 6,600 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.