HARRIS & HARRIS GROUP INVESTS IN NANOPHARMA
Harris & Harris Group, Inc. announced today that it has led a seed-round financing in which it has purchased for $700,000 approximately a 15 percent fully diluted equity interest in Nanopharma Corp. Nanopharma is a privately-held, Massachusetts-based, spinoff from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Nanopharma is a research-based company founded to develop advanced drug delivery systems. Nanopharma's main goal is to provide fully biodegradable nanoscopic drug delivery vehicles based on proprietary molecular constructs and "biological stealth" materials. Nanopharma's proprietary materials and molecular constructs are essentially "biomimetic." They utilize mechanisms employed by the biological interface and nutrient transport systems to transport drugs and circumvent host defense mechanisms.
Fleximer® is Nanopharma's proprietary family of fully biodegradeable "biological stealth" materials. Fleximer technology provides "stealth" modules that enable a drug to circulate up to three orders of magnitude longer. Fleximer-based drug carriers may be designed to target particular tissues of the body, enter aberrant vasculature as opposed to normal endothelium, and interact with specific cell surface receptors through either single receptor or multi-receptor occupancy.
Nanocassette™ is a drug transport/release module, about the size of a typical blood protein. Nanocassette is a molecule specifically designed to carry nucleic acid (DNA, RNA) binding drugs in a sterically hindered form and without chemical alterations in drug structure.
Lymph Node Drug Delivery System (LNDD™) is based on modular molecular constructs that deliver drugs to the lymph nodes after systemic (e.g., intravenous) administration. Unlike other systems, which deliver drugs to only a few lymph nodes upon local administration, LNDD™ is capable of targeting all nodes of the body.
The scientific Founder of Nanopharma is Mikhail Papisov, Ph.D., of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. The acting Chief Executive Officer is Michael Tarnow, former President and Chief Executive Officer, Merck Frosst Canada, Inc. Nanopharma was co-founded by the Boston-based PureTech Ventures, a life sciences venture creation company (www.puretechventures.com).
Nanopharma's technology has been licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital. Fleximer® technology is covered by U.S. patents 5,811,510; 5,863,990; and 5,958,398; and by pending foreign applications. Nanocassette™ technology is covered by U.S. patent applicaiton 60/147,919 and subsequent U.S. and foreign applications. Lymph node targeting technology is covered by U.S. patent 5,582,172 and associated foreign patents and applications.
Harris & Harris Group is a Business Development Company with 8,864,231 common shares outstanding.
Detailed information about Harris & Harris Group and its holdings can also be found on its website at www.hhgp.com.
This press release may contain statements of a forward-looking nature relating to future events. Statements contained in this press release that are forward looking statements are intended to be made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. These statements reflect the Company's current beliefs, and a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in this press release. Please see the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a more detailed discussion of the risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's business, including but not limited to the risks and uncertainties associated with venture capital investing and other significant factors that could affect the Company's actual results. Except as otherwise required by Federal securities laws, Harris & Harris Group, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forward looking statements to reflect new events or uncertainties.