Bioscience Firm Makes Progress on Another Kind of Vaccine (Business Observer)

Bioscience Firm Makes Progress on Another Kind of Vaccine

The word vaccine carries heavy weight these days, with its tantalizing possibilities to curb the destruction brought on by a certain C-word.

But for UF startup and UF Innovate | Sid Martin Biotech alumni company Morphogenesis, Inc., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company headquartered in Tampa, the word vaccine is connected to a different kind of C-word: cancer. And the company, backed by nearly $30 million and the support of board Chairman Dr. Kiran Patel, a leading area philanthropist, is zeroing in on some major milestones in its cancer vaccination effort. The list includes a new manufacturing facility, expanded clinical trials, and a potential new capital raise, with its eye on a possible public offering. 

Along the way, the company’s leaders have learned valuable lessons, primarily in assessing risk vs. reward in decision-making. That’s because for a non-revenue generating company with such high stakes, chasing the wrong opportunities could be a fatal mistake. Like many in bioscience, the founders, Drs. Patricia and Michael Lawman, got into this work to help people, and of course, curb the devastating effects of cancer. But the Lawmans and their staff know the endgame is a product that works — and is sold, either through a licensing agreement or related deal.  

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