14:48 PM

Ohio State startup recognized at event highlighting federally funded research

A biotechnology company with roots at The Ohio State University was one of 20 startups showcased on Capitol Hill at a reception Wednesday highlighting the impact of federally funded university research.

Entrada Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing new ways of treating devastating diseases by delivering drugs into target cells, was among companies presenting at the University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities host the showcase for members of Congress, their staff and national economic development policy leaders.

Entrada Therapeutics presented alongside startups launched at Cornell University, Purdue University and University of California, Irvine, among others. The company was co-founded by Dehua Pei, Charles H. Kimberly Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry at Ohio State. Last year, Entrada raised $59 million from investors, a new record for Ohio State startups as the largest amount raised in the initial round of financing.

Pei and his research team at Ohio State have developed an approach to treating so-called “undruggable” diseases. Approximately 80 percent of all drug targets are out of the reach of current drug development approaches and are termed “undruggable” by the drug discovery community.

The first application of Entrada’s platform is focused on treating a rare and fatal mitochondrial disease with no approved treatment. The company also plans to broaden its work on rare diseases involving single genes by identifying and advancing additional intracellular enzyme replacement therapies.

The highlighted startups were chosen by a selection committee composed of innovation experts who considered the level of student engagement in the startup, the strength of the startup technology and its connection to research.