Apogee Biotechnology Corporation
HCAR's first private company tenant, Apogee Biotechnology Corporation, established its headquarters on the HCAR campus, in Building One, in February of 2008. Apogee, a spin-off of the Penn State College of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology, is developing chemical compounds that will inhibit the activities of sphingosine kinase, an enzyme known to drive cell proliferation and inflammation. Sphingosine kinase is overactive in several diseases such as cancer, diabetic retinopathy, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and atherosclerosis.
The lead compound being developed by Apogee was identified in 2006, and is the first-in-class non-lipid inhibitor of sphingosine kinase. Apogee is poised to begin Phase I clinical trials of ABC294640 in early 2011 following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) application. The Company currently has six employees, four of whom hold PhDs, and received more than $7 million from the Small Business Innovative Research grant program from the National Institutes of Health.
Apogee resides in the HCAR Technology Suites, which is flexible wet lab space that is supported by the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania (LSGPA). LSGPA recently awarded HCAR a $700,000 grant to subsidize leasing in the HCAR Technology Suites for start up companies such as Apogee.
Dr. Charles D. Smith, Apogee Biotechnology Corporation CEO
Why did you locate your company in Hershey, PA?
Apogee was founded in Hershey as a spin-out company from the Penn State College of Medicine, with support from the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania.
What do you enjoy most about Hershey, PA?
Hershey maintains a small-town atmosphere, but has excellent resources for biomedical research, and a high quality of life.
Why locate your company at the Hershey Center for Applied Research (HCAR)?
Apogee operates in the central Pennsylvania region because of critical collaborative connections with researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine, as well as key biotechnology support provided by the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central PA and tax credit programs from the state of Pennsylvania. We are pleased that state-of-the-art biotechnology incubation facilities have finally become available in this region through the establishment of HCAR, and hope to be joined by additional biotech companies in these facilities.
Dr. Charles Smith, Ph.D.
Lynn W. Maines, Ph.D., M.B.A.