Accelerator Backs New Biotech Startup in Goddard Lab at Caltech

6/16/08Follow @xconomy

Accelerator has given birth to its newest company. Investors in the Seattle-based biotech startup machine, affiliated with Leroy Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology, have sunk $200,000 into a company emerging from the lab of Bill Goddard, a renowned chemist at the California Institute of Technology.

The company, called GPC-Rx, is developing a computational technique to select conventional drugs that can be made faster and cheaper and that bind more specifically with a desired target on cells, therefore causing fewer side effects. It’s the eighth company Accelerator has backed in its five-year history, and the second time it has backed Goddard, a co-founder of Seattle-based Allozyne.

Details on the new company’s strategy are being closely held for now. If the company passes preliminary tests, then much more money, and information, is expected to come forward in a couple months, said Carl Weissman, Accelerator’s CEO (and an Xconomist). There’s no word yet on what targets Goddard is aiming at on cells, or even what diseases he’s aiming to treat.

Goddard, 71, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, with legendary enthusiasm. Wearing his trademark beret, he reportedly arrived at his lab at 3:00 a.m. the day he met to discuss his ideas with Accelerator’s in-house science expert, Pat Gray. After dinner, around 8:00 p.m., Goddard asked to be dropped off at the lab so he could go back to work.

“He apparently gets two hours of sleep a night,” marveled David Schubert, Accelerator’s chief business officer.

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