By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
It’s always good news when we can end a week with a report on a local company that has secured investment capital, and it’s even better when the lead investor is a Knoxville-based fund manager.
Two parts of the Sheltowee organization – the Sheltowee Angel Network and the Sheltowee Medical Device Fund LP – have joined with the High Country Impact Fund from Boone, NC to make a substantial investment in EDP Biotech Corporation, the Knoxville-based entity founded by Tom Boyd. The exact amount was not disclosed.
“This validates what we are doing,” said Eric Mayer, EDP Biotech’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “These are real venture investors in the life science sector.”
Regular readers of teknovation.biz have followed the company over the past several years (click here for the many articles) as it has worked to prepare for the commercialization of ColoPlexTM, an inexpensive blood test that accurately detects early stage colorectal cancer and pre-cancerous polyps at the stage where such early detection leads to the best patient outcomes.
When COVID-19 hit, the company began exploring ways to use its lab facilities on Baum Drive in West Knoxville to fill a void and by July had been approved as a testing lab for the detection of human antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein, SARS-CoV-2 S2 protein, a negative control (Sheep Fc), and a positive control (anti-human IgG).
“This convertible note will help us in several ways,” Mayer said. One will be funding to continue the data analysis that must be undertaken ahead of the commercialization of the ColoPlex™ product; the other is to continue growing EDP Biotech’s clinical testing operation, including work for other businesses like clinical research organizations.
“We have followed the company’s progress for several years and decided to move forward simply because of the ‘never-say-die’ team with great technology and commercial potential,” said Dobson, CEO of Sheltowee Angel Network and Managing Partner of the Sheltowee Medical Device Fund. “They just keep finding ways of creating value even under the toughest of circumstances. This is an important technology that needs to reach the market. A lot of lives can be saved by its use.”
Both Mayer and Dobson underscored the significance of the leadership for the investment coming from a local fund and how that investment will help keep the company here rather than having to “follow the money” to one of the coasts.
“EDP Biotech stands to make a huge impact on the medial industry and society,” Dobson said. “It is clear they have been good stewards of resources and have a clear commercialization plan.”
As described in this teknovation.biz article from March 2020, Sheltowee Angel Network was created by a merger of the former Angel Capital Group, which Dobson headed, and the Sheltowee Business Network. Late last year, the Sheltowee Angel Network joined with the DeltaForce Group from Charlotte, NC to form the Sheltowee Medical Device Fund, making its first investment in EMBolic Acceleration LLC (see teknovation.biz article here.)