Developing treatments for chronic diseases

Startup Stories: A Race for Better Healing Therapies

Tony Giordano / President & CEO of TheraVasc – I am a molecular biologist with a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, and a serial entrepreneur, having started several venture-backed biotech companies in Pennsylvania. I founded TheraVasc two years ago in Cleveland, OH because I want to bring a promising new therapy from the lab to the marketplace.  My team of a dozen leading researchers and clinicians from around the country is developing a drug that has the potential to increase new blood vessel formation and promote wound healing when used continuously at very low doses, which could have major benefits for diabetic patients with limb problems and patients with peripheral artery disease. In fact, once the research that was done on this drug at Louisiana State University was published, it became very clear that there was a tremendous unmet medical need. We received calls from across the country inquiring about where to obtain the drug, including one from an 84-year-old woman in Shreveport. She had been ranked 7th on the U.S. tennis circuit in her youth, had walked a mile a day when she was 80, but now, because of peripheral artery disease, she couldn’t even walk down to the mailbox without pain. This is exactly the kind of person we’re trying to help, but unfortunately, the only way we can currently administer the drug is an injectable formulation at doses that are unsafe for the continuous use required for treating vascular diseases. Given the need for truly effective therapies and the properties of this drug, we set up TheraVasc to extend the work initiated at LSU Health Sciences Center to develop a...
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