BLOOMINGTON - The Indiana University Philanthropic Venture Fund has announced support for an Indianapolis-based regenerative medicine company. While specific numbers are not being released, the fund says it has invested in Vascugen Inc., which focuses on finding therapies to repair human tissue damaged by reduced blood flow due to disease or injury.

Carter Cliff, chief executive officer of Vascugen, says the investment will enable the company to refine and scale its processes to produce a clinical-grade product. He says it will also support the company's pharmaceutical partnerships and further develop its intellectual property estate.

Teri Willey, managing director and fund manager for the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund, says Vascugen was selected for the investment for several reasons.

"Vascugen is developing regenerative medicines based on technology developed at Indiana University," Willey said in a news release. "The company has assembled a world-class team to advance a pipeline of new therapeutics with the potential to address multiple unmet medical needs that afflict patients in Indiana and globally."

In order to qualify for investment from the fund, companies must commercialize IU intellectual property or be led by an IU alumnus plus "exhibit clear commercial potential, and have the ability to attract follow-on funding and experienced management." 

Vascugen has also received funding from other Indiana-based investors, IU says, including entrepreneur Donald Brown, founder of Interactive Intelligence and LifeOmic in Indianapolis.

The announcement follows the fund's October investment of $500,000 in Indianapolis-based drug development company NERx Biosciences.