Baton Rouge-based biopharmaceutical manufacturing company TransGenRx was founded in 2002 to reduce the cost of producing protein-based drugs.
In 2012, TransGenRx announced it had secured $1.3 million to develop antiviral agents. Fast forward a year later and it became clear, through the emergence of court records, that the company owed $7.9 million to investors and lenders after failing to secure additional funding.
A major shareholder in TransGenRx, ProteoVec, bought out the company’s assets, including the intellectual property and equipment, after saying they still believe in the technology. The deal was done for$400,000.
John Uhrin, President and chief business officer of ProteoVec said the company will use the same technology with a different business model. ProteoVec plans to make research-grade proteins for universities and research centers.
Uhrin said the most direct route to revenue in the shortest amount of time is to create a service model, creating customized proteins for customers, opposed to creating specifically tailored products.
“You have to go where the market allows you to play, and this is where it allows us to play,” said Uhrin.
ProteoVec has eight employees occupying 10,000 square feet of space, down from TransGenRx’s 25 employees in 30,000 square feet out of the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center at LSU.
After starting out small, ProteoVec hopes to expand, eventually working out of space in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.