Rutgers Startups

In some cases, the optimal commercialization path for a technology is to create a new business start-up. Since the office’s inception, Over 100 spin-off companies have been created because of Rutgers technology commercialization, more than two-thirds of them are New Jersey based. Half of these companies were formed in the last decade.

Actinobac Biomed, Inc.Actinobac Biomed, Inc.
Year Started: 2009
Primary Inventor: Scott Kachlany, Ph.D.
Location: North Brunswick, NJ

Actinobac Biomed, Inc. is a venture-backed New Jersey-based company. The current focus of its activities involves the development of pharmaceutical technologies based upon the natural biologic agent leukotoxin (Leukothera™), which targets Leukocyte Function Antigen-1 (LFA-1) on white blood cells. The company has exclusive rights to the therapeutic use of Leukothera™ through a license from the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now Rutgers the State University of New Jersey.

Aquarius Biotechnologies, LLCAquarius Biotechnologies, LLC (Acquired by Matinas BioPharma)
Year Started: 2009
Primary Inventor: Raphael J. Mannino, Ph.D.
Location: Chicago, IL and Somerville, NJ

Aquarius’ business is founded on a revolutionary drug delivery platform called “cochleates.” When applied to  existing drugs, cochleates have demonstrated the ability to address two major issues with drug delivery - IV administration and toxicity.  Our platform 1) creates oral drug alternatives with non-inferior efficacy for drugs that are currently only available via IV and 2) reduces the toxicity of drugs.  Aquarius currently has its lead product in phase I human clinical trials, as well as multiple applications of the cochleate technology at various stages of development.
Year Started: 2001
Primary Inventor: Apostolos Gerasoulis, Ph.D.
Location: Oakland, California

A wholly owned business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), is a leading search engine on the Web. Millions of people turn to to get what they are looking for online every day.

In 2001, Ask acquired Teoma, a 10-person start-up out of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and its unique index and search relevancy technology. Teoma was the first, and is still the only, major search technology based upon the clustering concept of subject-specific popularity: ExpertRank. In fact, Teoma means "expert" in Gaelic. Teoma has been the heart of Ask search technology since 2001. The power of the Teoma algorithm, now known as ExpertRank, makes Ask one of the world's most powerful and unique search engines.

Axion International, Inc.Axion International, Inc.
Year Started: 2008
Primary Inventor: Thomas Nosker, Ph.D.
Location: New Providence, NJ

Axion International designs develops and manufactures a new generation of eco-friendly structural building materials that are unlike virtually anything currently available. Axion's patented technologies, developed at Rutgers University, transform recycled consumer and industrial plastics into a myriad of structured products. Compared to traditional infrastructural materials such as wood, steel or concrete, Axion's American-made products are more durable, significantly longer lasting, and formulated using proprietary processes comprised of 100% recycled plastic.

BiTKOO (Aquired by Dell)BiTKOO (aquired by Dell)
Year Started: 2008
Primary Inventor: Liviu Iftode, Ph.D.
Location: North Hollywood, CA

BiTKOO is a software company innovating in Identity and Access Management, and specializing in the service-oriented development of applications. BiTKOO provides secured access to data and systems with the highest degree of ease and flexibility, enabling applications to consume authentication and authorization as a run-time service. All BiTKOO solutions are Internet-scalable. They fundamentally change the way people think about systems security, and dramatically improve corporate governance, risk management and regulatory compliance.

CellXplore, Inc.CellXplore, Inc.
Year Started: 2008
Primary Inventor: Kiran Madura, Ph.D.
Location: New Brunswick, NJ

CellXplore, Inc is a newly formed biotechnology company that is characterizing the ubiquitin/proteasome system of protein degradation. CellXplore has developed an Intellectual Property portfolio that will support its studies in human health, and in veterinary medicine. CellXplore seeks to identify disease-specific biomarkers, and targets for drug discovery in human diseases, and to develop diagnostic assays for use in the animal science industry.

Celvive, Inc.Celvive, Inc.
Year Started: 2011
Primary Inventor: Hatem Sabaawy, M.D., Ph.D.
Location: New Brunswick, NJ

Celvive, Inc. is dedicated to refining a technology for the isolation and use of autologous stem cells for regenerative medicine applications with an initial focus on neural regeneration in patients of spinal cord injury (SCI). The company has developed a new approach, using a closed bag system to isolate specific Adult Stem Cells from the patients' self Bone Marrow to treat SCI.

ClearView Diagnostics IncorporatedClearView Diagnostics, Inc.
Year Started: 2011
Primary Inventor: Richard Mammone, Ph.D.
Location: Piscataway, New Jersey

Founded at Rutgers University, ClearView Diagnostics is dedicated to advancing ultrasound imaging technology for early breast cancer detection and diagnosis. ClearView's innovative approach produces ultrasound images that are clearer and crisper than any on the market, thereby increasing the accuracy and timeliness of breast cancer diagnosis. Long-term, ClearView hopes to offer a non-ionizing, relatively inexpensive and comfortable alternative to mammography, capitalizing on the rapidly growing market to screen for cancer, focused especially on women with radiographically dense breast tissue. ClearView is committed to pursuing solutions for early cancer detection until the disease is eradicated.

Connotate Technologies, Inc.Connotate Technologies, Inc.
Year Started: 2001
Primary Inventor: Tomasz Imelinski, Ph.D.
Location:New Brunswick, New Jersey

Connotate goes beyond search to create actionable business intelligence and collect unique and valuable data from the Web and Enterprise. As a leading provider of Web-monitoring and Web-mining solutions, Connotate uses knowledge management tools and machine-learning Intelligent Agents that can be trained to do anything a human can to harvest, monitor, extract, mash up, repurpose and integrate disparate sources of information and data. Located in New Brunswick, NJ, Connotate is rapidly expanding both its client base and employee staff. Clients include large hedge funds, financial firms, global publishers, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, energy and Internet businesses, and federal and state government agencies.

Intuidex, Inc.Intuidex, Inc.
Year Started: 2006
Primary Inventor: William M. Pottenger, Ph.D.
Location: Bethlehem, PA

Intuidex, Inc. provides advanced data analysis and decision support solutions for clients across the defense, homeland security, intelligence, law enforcement, civilian agencies, as well as the commercial sector. A data-modeling and analytics technology company, Intuidex’s focus is delivering effective mission-directed solutions that expand existing client capabilities, facilitate intelligence extraction, driving understanding and comprehensive decision-making throughout the organization.

Mito BioPharm, Inc.Mito BioPharm, Inc.
Year Started: 2012
Primary Inventor: Shengkan (Victor) Jin, Ph.D.
Location: Piscataway, NJ

Mito BioPharm, a start-up mitobiopharmceutical company, is targeting mitochondria and cellular metabolism for developing therapeutics. Altering mitochondrial functions contributes significantly to many diseases such as type II diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and aging in general. Mito BioPharm has a proprietary technology and lead compounds that embody the therapeutic strategy of “correcting” some mitochondrial functions. One lead compound has shown superior efficacy and safety properties in animal models for treating type II diabetes and hepatic steatosis. The company is initiating IND-enabling studies preparing this compound for clinical trials. Moreover, the medicinal chemistry team and the biology team are collaborating in generating a large pipeline of candidate compounds suitable for other indications such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Nexomics Biosciences, Inc.Nexomics Biosciences, Inc.
Year Started: 2009
Primary Inventor: Guy Montelione, Ph.D.
Location: Highland Park, NJ

Nexomics Biosciences is dedicated to developing and commercializing novel scientific discoveries. Nexomics utilizes proprietary platform technology to offer a broad array of gene-to-structure services to the biopharmaceutical community. The Nexomics patent portfolio provides proprietary technology to enhance their service offerings as well as support novel drug target validation. Nexomics leverages its expertise in protein biochemistry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and xray crystallography to aid its customers’ discovery efforts.

NutrasorbNutrasorb, LLC.
Year Started: 2010
Primary Inventor: Ilya Raskin, Ph.D.
Location: Manalapan, NJ

Nutrasorb, LLC pioneers the use of a proprietary, groundbreaking process that naturally concentrates the beneficial phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables into foods in amounts sufficient to promote health and wellness. Our science-based, tasty, natural, and shelf-stable functional foods and ingredients deliver an effective daily dose of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other phytonutrients in a few servings, while reducing sugars and unwanted calories. Nutrasorb™ technology is green and environmentally friendly, generating no waste or pollution. It was invented by leading researchers from major U.S.. universities, who joined forces to create a new generation of innovative, nutritional products for the benefit of humankind. The first generation of functional food products developed by the company includes cereals, smoothies, crisps, bars, and spreads. These products were designed and formulated by the world's leading food engineers.

OncoPath GenomicsOncoPath Genomics
Year Started: 2011
Primary Inventor: Emmanuel Zachariah, Ph.D.
Location: Highland Park, NJ

OncoPath Genomics is an innovative new company that will strive to provide high-quality gene expression prognostic and predictive services for the personalized medicine arena, enabling better management of cancer patients. OncoPath Genomics test servicers will allow oncologists to predict treatment response, thereby enabling individualized treatment decisions predicated on gene expression profiles. Such a technique would be especially useful for selecting cancer treatments, which often have low response rates and serious side effects.

Phytomedics, Inc.Phytomedics, Inc.
Year Started: 1997
Primary Inventor: Ilya Raskin, Ph.D.
Location: Jamesburg, NJ

Phytomedics mission is to discover, develop and manufacture novel multi-mechanism / multi-component pharmaceuticals using proprietary platform technologies. Using its unique set of capabilities, Phytomedics is leveraging a new FDA regulatory pathway to develop blockbuster pharmaceuticals cheaper, faster, with less risk, and longer exclusivity horizons than conventional drug development processes.

Phytosys LLCPhytosys LLC
Year Started: 2012
Primary Inventor: Tom Villani, Jim Simon, Ph.D., Jim Simon, Ph.D.
Location: New Brunswick, NJ

Phytosys LLC is a biotechnology company based in Central New Jersey whose primary objective is to transform the bio-imaging field in order to provide superior information to researchers and improved outcomes for patients. The primary technology asset of Phytosys is Visikol™: a novel chemical method for rendering biological tissues transparent. Visikol currently has a wide range of customers including academia, government, and pharmaceutical companies. Visikol based technologies are estimated to have an available market of over $730 million per year in four market segments: botanical microscopy, toxicology, preclinical drug development, and clinical diagnostics.

Visikol is a patent pending technology that is disruptive to bio-imaging because it allows for the simple and rapid 3-dimensional biochemical investigation and visualization of whole tissues. To put this technology in perspective, a 3-dimensional imaging platform using Visikol for whole biopsy samples in the hospital pathology lab could replace traditional 2-dimensional histological imaging and allow for higher throughput, reduced costs, and a better diagnosis of disease.

Polymer Therapeutics, LLC (PRx)Polymer Therapeutics, LLC
Year Started: 2011
Primary Inventor: Kathryn Uhrich, Ph.D.
Location: Chester, NJ

Polymer Therapeutics, LLC (PRx) is a medical polymer company that has developed a novel class of biocompatible/bioabsorbable drug-eluting polymers (BDEP™) having broad applications in the medical device coating and fabrication industries. With this proprietary chemistry, the polymer actually becomes the drug. BDEPs™ are formulated to release their therapeutic agents from the polymer backbone over a broad range of time and dosage levels, thus allowing for targeted site drug delivery and decreased systemic side effects. Through the process of hydrolytic degradation, the active drug compounds elute from the polymer in a controlled manner, directly at the site of injury, to promote healing.

PRx intends to formulate its first generation BDEPs™ with common drug compounds, such as NSAIDs (e.g., salicylic acid (SA)), which are already FDA-cleared GRAS compounds that possess well documented antimicrobial, antibiofilm and analgesic properties. PRx's technology can also be used to deliver a wide range of other therapeutic compounds for use in a number of different applications in several diverse fields of use.

Scarlet Computing Solutions, LLCScarlet Computing Solutions, LLC
Year Started: 2009
Primary Inventor: Paul Johnson, Ed.D.
Location: Princeton, NJ

Scarlet Computing Solutions, LLC provides environmentally friendly hosted software solutions to universities that simplify the admissions process. Strongly encouraged by high schools and colleges to make the highly successful Self Reported Academic Record system available to other colleges and universities, Scarlet Computing Solutions (SCS) launched STARS. Through the STARS solution, SCS enjoys making the college application and review process easier for students, parents, counselors and college staff, while improving the environment by eliminating costly paper processes. SCS staff members have many years of experience successfully understanding and addressing client needs, deploying enterprise-wide student systems at one of the nation's largest and most prestigious multi-campus, multi-college research universities. In addition to higher education experience, SCS staff members have substantial background in delivering information service solutions for major corporations such as IBM, AT&T, Onkyo, and Verizon.

Scientific Learning Corp.Scientific Learning Corp.
Year Started: 1996
Primary Inventor: Paula Tallal, Ph.D.
Location: Berkley, CA

Scientific Learning provides education software to K-12 schools, educational institutions, speech and language clinics, and learning and tutorial centers around the world. The origins of Scientific Learning go back more than 30 years to the work conducted by our founders, noted research scientists Drs. Michael Merzenich and Bill Jenkins at the University of California, San Francisco, and Drs. Paula Tallal and Steven Miller at Rutgers University. Their research collaboration established several key findings:

  • The core cognitive and linguistic attributes that allow a student to learn can be improved through intensive intervention.
  • Acoustically modified speech technology can help build a wide range of critical language and reading skills.
  • Computers can be used to create interactive, adaptive learning interventions based on a neuroscience foundation that yield years of growth in as little as a few weeks.

Based on this research, Drs. Merzenich, Jenkins, Tallal, and Miller created the Fast ForWord® family of reading intervention products. These products use patented technology to create an optimal learning environment that exercises and trains the brain to process more efficiently.

SilaGene, Inc.SilaGene, Inc.
Year Started: 2009
Primary Inventor: Samuel Gunderson, Ph.D.
Location: Hillsborough, NJ

A team of researchers led by Rutgers' Samuel Gunderson has developed a novel gene silencing platform with very significant improvements over existing RNAi approaches. This may enable the development and discovery of a new class of drugs to treat a wide array of diseases. Critical to the technology is the approach this team took to specifically target RNA biosynthesis.

Gunderson, an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has created highly efficient gene silencing agents that function via a novel mechanism of action. The agents are single-stranded oligonucleotides, called U1 Adaptors, that have dual, and independent, functions. First is a target-gene binding domain that can be tailored to any gene. The second domain inhibits mRNA maturation by binding U1 snRNP, a component of the cellular splicing apparatus.

Solidia TechnologiesSolidia Technologies
Year Started: 2008
Primary Inventor: Richard Riman, Ph.D.
Location: Piscataway, NJ

Solidia Technologies is an advanced materials company, focusing on developing scalable solutions for the world of building and construction materials. Our technology enables the design of next generation products made by low energy processes that utilize waste materials and consume CO2. These products offer superior performance and value when compared to cement, concrete and stone while significantly minimizing environmental impact.

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.TAXIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Year Started: 2010
Primary Inventor: Edmond Lavoie, Ph.D.
Location: Princeton, NJ

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals is focused on the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals targeting multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens that constitute a worldwide therapeutic category estimated to exceed $30B in annual sales revenues. The initial series of proprietary lead candidates, referred to as the azachryseniums (AZCs), display in vitro activitythat is superior to current standards of care for a broad range of Gram-positive bacterial pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Proof-of-concept in vivo efficacy studies are scheduled for a group of selected lead AZC drug candidates in the spring of 2010. Five additional proprietary classes of compounds are in early stages of development, with the goal of identifying good clinical candidates for the treatment of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections in 2011.

Tokutek, Inc.Tokutek, Inc.
Year Started: 2007
Primary Inventor: Martin Farach-Colton, Ph.D.
Location: Lexington, MA

Tokutek’s mission is to transform the way data is stored and retrieved and deliver a quantum leap in the performance of databases and file systems Tokutek’s patent-pending technology is a result of ten years of research and development by experts in cache-oblivious algorithmics and is used to accelerate key database operations by orders of magnitude. Tokutek’s solution is based on a revolutionary new Fractal Tree™ technology. The Tokutek solution plugs into the back-end of any database, allowing operating practices to continue without change while the performance of the system improves dramatically.

TRIM-edicine, Inc.TRIM-edicine, Inc.
Year Started: 2008
Primary Inventor: Jianjie Ma, Ph.D.
Location: North Brunswick, NJ

TRIM-edicine is an early-stage, privately held biotechnology company engaged in the development of novel biopharmaceutical products for the treatment of several important unmet medical needs, including oral healthcare, dermal wounds, ischemia/reperfusion injury, sports medicine and muscular dystrophy. The company is built around a core of protein therapeutic approaches that involve novel proteins with remarkable biological properties.

TYRX, Inc.TYRX, Inc. (Acquired by Medtronic)
Year Started: 1998
Primary Inventor: Joachim Kohn, Ph.D.
Location: Monmouth Junction, NJ

Since its inception, TYRX scientists, engineers and marketers have focused on a singular goal — creating unique, cost-effective solutions that address surgical-site infections (SSIs) and inflammatory tissue-reaction associated with implanted medical devices. TYRX is an FDA registered, ISO 13485:2003 certified medical device manufacturer of drug-device combination products utilizing novel polymer technology, including a world-wide license from Rutgers University, covering a broad range of resorbable materials and drug delivery technology. Additionally, TYRX has licensed from Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center combination drug patents and associated technologies to address the problem of postsurgical infection and fibrosis. TYRX is deploying its capabilities across a broad range of combination medical products. TYRX has gained market clearance for a number of products, and is developing additional product franchises through the application of proprietary technologies in general, cardiovascular, cosmetic and orthopedic surgery. TYRX is targeting the reduction of infection and scar development, common morbidities associated with medical device implants. It is estimated that medical implant related infections and fibrosis add an estimated $3.8 billion to annual US healthcare costs.

WellGen, Inc.WellGen, Inc.
Year Started: 2000
Primary Inventor: Geetha Ghai, Ph.D.
Location: New Brunswick, NJ

The WellGen research program applies biotechnology and pharmaceutical practices to discover and develop medical food products. Under WellGen’s nutrigenomics research program, WellGen studies how natural products work at the gene expression level to provide treatment for diseases related to inflammation. Using the company’s proprietary Alignomx™ model WellGen scientists determine optimal therapeutic areas for their pipeline of proprietary natural products. Where appropriate, products are commercialized in Functional Food or Dietary Supplement markets. WellGen’s has a lead candidate medical food product for Type 2 Diabetes. This proprietary natural anti-inflammatory derived from black tea that has been developed through WellGen’s research program.


Additional Start-Up Companies
Ibris, inc.