A new company – designed to develop nutritional interventions against chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases -- is being created as a spin-off from Virginia Tech.

BioTherapeutics Inc. will promote health and well-being through the discovery and development of nutraceuticals — naturally occurring molecules that can be integrated into nutritional products and functional food ingredients.

BioTherapeutics Inc. was newly incorporated in August 2008, with the purpose of introducing novel Virginia Tech-developed nutraceutical technologies into the marketplace. The company was founded by Josep Bassaganya-Riera, associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech, who has more than 15 years experience working at the interface between immunology and nutrition.

“BioTherapeutics Inc. will provide a platform for translating new scientific knowledge arising from leading university research into products and technologies that improve people’s health and well-being,” said Bassaganya-Riera.

The mission of BioTherapeutics Inc. is to develop novel, orally active, naturally occurring compounds that have proven scientific efficacy and have been shown by clinical research to have substantial health claims. Each technology in BioTherapeutics’ product pipeline has shown efficacy in mouse studies and is linked to chronic inflammatory or infectious disease prevention or treatment. BioTherapeutics has already licensed three U.S. patents from Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties and has filed another in Europe.

The products developed by the company will be based on technologies licensed to BioTherapeutics Inc. by Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties. Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties works with inventors to identify companies that may be interested in Virginia Tech inventions, negotiates licensing agreements ,and manages the income from royalties and licensing fees that is shared with inventors and Virginia Tech. The technologies were developed from Bassaganya-Riera’s work at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and Virginia Tech’s Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“We are always pleased to license university-owned technologies to start-up companies formed by faculty entrepreneurs,” said Mark Coburn, president of Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties. “This is an important component of VTIP’s mission. We like to encourage and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit of faculty inventors and assist companies like BioTherapeutics in the further development of their licensed intellectual property portfolio. Through these activities we hope to support economic development in southwest Virginia.”

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