A CBLS partnership becomes the spark to an entrepreneurial movement
Athenex is a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer. Its mission is to improve the lives of cancer patients by creating more effective, safer and tolerable treatments.
One of the first life sciences companies spun out of UB, Athenex helped spark an entrepreneurial movement that has grown into robust support programming such as pre-seed workshops, training, academic advisory opportunities and funding mechanisms to help startups move forward. Company co-founder David G. Hangauer, PhD, said that when Athenex (previously known as Kinex) started, the ecosystem was very new. “At that time, Kinex had access to UB’s CBLS state-of-the-art chemistry labs—the only labs available capable of combinatorial chemistry. We also used the CBLS biology lab space and the clean room facility to develop processes for manufacturing clinical drug products.” In addition to UB’s facilities, Athenex benefitted from multiple CAT projects and financial support that helped investors’ money go further.
Hangauer also noted the university’s support of his pioneering efforts to discover new kinase inhibitors. UB continued to provide programs to set research and licensing terms at the project planning stage, making it possible to get other investors interested and motivated.
Athenex is proof that you can start a life sciences company in Buffalo and take it all the way to an IPO. With help from CBLS, we went from a virtual company to being a rock on the medical campus.
David G. Hangauer, PhD