Accelerator Corporation Announces XORI Corporation
News May 15, 2009
Accelerator Corporation, a privately held, venture capital-backed biotechnology investment and development company, has announced the formation of XORI (chore-ee) Corporation. This is the tenth company backed by Accelerator and the second Accelerator-backed start-up founded from intellectual property developed at the University of Washington.
The company will focus on a unique technology for the rapid discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). XORI will validate the technology on a variety of targets and develop superior products for cancer therapy, immune disorders, and infectious diseases. The investors participating in the Series A investment in XORI includes Accelerator syndicate partners: Alexandria Real Estate Equities; Amgen Ventures; ARCH Venture Partners, Inc.; OVP Venture Partners; PPD, Inc.; and WRF Capital.
XORI was founded by Dr. Nancy Maizels, a professor in the Immunology and Biochemistry Departments and also Director of the Molecular Medicine Program at the University of Washington. Dr. Maizels’ laboratory has developed a proprietary technology for the rapid evolution of monoclonal antibodies.
This technology enables the evolution and selection of high affinity antibodies specific for virtually any target. XORI will be able to identify high affinity monoclonal antibodies within a matter of weeks, as opposed to the more traditional methods, which require many months and often fail to generate high-quality reagents.
Dr. Larry Tjoelker, formerly at ICOS, MacroGenics, and Spaltudaq, will join XORI as Senior Director of Research. Dr. Tjoelker received his Ph.D. in Craig Thompson’s lab at University of Pennsylvania, where he studied gene rearrangement and diversification in avian T and B cells. He was at ICOS for 11 years as Scientist and Senior Scientist. Dr. Tjoelker has focused on discovery of cancer targets for monoclonal antibody therapy as Scientific Director at MacroGenics for four years and at Spaltudaq for the past year.
Chad Waite, Managing Director at OVP Venture Partners and member of the Accelerator investor syndicate, said, “Monoclonal antibodies are the fastest-growing segment of biotherapeutics, and XORI technology is poised to revolutionize the speed and diversity of antibody discovery.”
Patrick Gray, Chief Scientific Officer of Accelerator Corp., stated, “XORI has a unique platform technology for the discovery and optimization of potent monoclonal antibodies. This technology mimics the natural process of selection and maturation of antibodies with an expanded diversity repertoire. This will result in the rapid generation of novel, powerful therapeutics against difficult disease targets.”