Early-stage industrial biologics company Novophage completed a $5.7 million Series A round of financing. The round was led by Flybridge Capital Partners and included Chevron Technology Ventures, Founder Collective, The Kraft Group and Boston University. As part of the funding, Founder Collective’s Micah Rosenbloom has joined the company as CEO.
BOSTON, MA – June 1, 2011 – Novophage, an early-stage technology company that is developing a new class of industrial biologics, announced today that it has completed a $5.7 million Series A round of financing. Flybridge Capital Partners led the investment round, which also included participation from Founder Collective, Boston University (BU) and strategic investors, Chevron Technology Ventures and The Kraft Group. Concurrent with the funding, Jon Karlen, a General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, will join the company’s Board of Directors and Vinit Nijhawan, Managing Director of the Office of Technology Development at BU will join the Board as an Observer.
The company is bringing the industrial sector the same breakthroughs in genetic sequencing and engineering that have revolutionized biotech and biofuels. Novophage will develop and market synthetic biology-enabled products that tackle the problems of bacterial contamination in industries such as oil and gas, pulp and paper and HVAC systems. The company’s products will improve productivity, reduce infrastructure corrosion and improve the overall environmental impact of these water-intensive industries.
As part of the funding, Micah Rosenbloom has joined the company as CEO. Rosenbloom is the co-founder of Brontes Technologies, which was backed by Flybridge Capital Partners and co-founded by Founder Collective’s Eric Paley. Brontes Technologies was sold to 3M in 2006.
“A convergence of advances in biotech has opened the door for biological solutions to industrial problems,” said Rosenbloom. “The company’s world-class scientific team will bring a biologic-based alternative to harsh chemicals, starting with a product focused on destroying biofilms. Over time, these tools will be used to help the energy industry extract and transport oil and gas. We are thrilled to have the support of Flybridge, Chevron Technology Ventures, BU, Founder Collective and The Kraft Group, which collectively bring valuable industry knowledge, connections and experience helping grow start-ups into valuable enterprises.”
Rosenbloom joins Novophage’s founding team, which is made up of renowned scientists including:
• Jim Collins, Ph.D., Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board. Collins is a world-renowned expert in synthetic and systems biology, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a University Professor at Boston University, and a Professor at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Dr Collins is an elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
• Dr. Timothy Lu, M.D., Ph.D., Scientific Founder and Director. Lu is an assistant professor at MIT in the Synthetic Biology group and an associate fellow at the Broad Institute. He was recognized by Technology Review Magazine as one of 35 young innovators under 35.
• Dr. Michael Koeris, Ph.D., President and COO. Koeris is a visiting scholar with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Boston University as well as the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.
• Dr. Brett Chevalier, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. Chevalier is a scientist and entrepreneur, with expertise spanning multiple biotechnology disciplines including systems and synthetic biology and genomics.
“The global demand for industrial chemicals is massive and growing. Today, the majority of antibacterial treatments for industry are chemical and physical solutions, which are not only ineffective and costly, but also harmful to humans and the environment,” said Karlen. “Backed by a stellar team and defined by differentiated technology that leverages synthetic biology to create solutions, Novophage is well-positioned to disrupt the chemicals industry.”
“The technology we developed in our lab leverages the power of synthetic biology and has broad applicability across many applications,” said Novophage’s SAB Chairman, Dr. Jim Collins. “Our highly effective and green approach is capable of eradicating biofilms by degrading the structural components in biofilms and killing bacterial cells.”
Already, Novophage has garnered recognition for its innovative technology, including a variety of awards from major business plan competitions (winner of the BU ITEC $50K competition in 2009) and most recently, a grant from the National Science Foundation. The company is also participating in “12×12” (www.twelvebytwelve.org), an entrepreneurship initiative that connected Novophage with mentor and investor Jonathan Kraft, President of The Kraft Group. The Kraft Group’s holdings in the pulp and paper industry will provide Novophage with a unique opportunity to test and market its solutions.
Founded in 2007 and based in Boston, MA, Novophage is developing a new class of biologics for a variety of industrial applications. The company’s investors include Flybridge Capital Partner, Chevron Technology Ventures, Founder Collective, The Kraft Group, and Boston University along with angel investors. For more information, visit www.novophage.com