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Company Selected For ‘Best University Startups’ Event
September 9, 2016

Sanyal Biotechnology, a company that has flourished with the support of Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Innovation Gateway, will participate in the University Startups Demo Day at Congress on September 20th in Washington, D.C.

The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, an association of university startup officers, selected Sanyal Biotechnology to be featured at the event alongside other exciting early-stage companies created at U.S. universities. The University Startups Demo Day is the university community’s opportunity to show how far it has come in its bold, new vision for the future of the university, and how that vision is central to national competitiveness and economic growth, peace and prosperity.

Sanyal Biotechnology was formed on the basis of research by Arun Sanyal, M.D., professor of medicine at VCU and president, chair and chief medical officer of Sanyal Biotechnology, who created a proprietary isogenic mouse strain that leads mice to respond to a high-fat, high-sugar Western diet just as people do. In particular, the mice develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sometimes including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which is also known as NASH. NASH can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and perhaps liver cancer. The growing obesity epidemic is leading to an increasing number of cases of NASH, which is becoming a leading cause of liver-related mortality. No cure exists.

“The lack of appropriately validated pre-clinical models is a major barrier to development of effective therapies and we are very hopeful that this model will remove this barrier and accelerate drug development for those afflicted with this disease,” Sanyal said. “It has been a terrific experience working with Innovation Gateway at VCU and with my new business partners to synergize our science with the business end to create our spin-off company.”

Sanyal Biotechnology was a product of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program that Innovation Gateway implemented as one of a series of initiatives to support entrepreneurship and startup creation at VCU.

VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., said Sanyal Biotechnology “exemplifies the commitment of VCU to advance technology, knowledge and solutions that make life better for people everywhere.”

“I am extremely proud of Arun and everyone at Sanyal Bio, Innovation Gateway and VCU whose work gives hope to people who need it, and I am thrilled — although not surprised — that Sanyal Bio is one of the Best University Startup companies for 2016,” Rao said. “This is an outstanding accolade.”

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