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Divisions Industry Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics Research,
Grayson Mendenhall
November 1, 2012

Leaf Huang
Leaf Huang (right), PhD, founded Qualiber in 2010.

Qualiber Inc. and Capture Pharmaceuticals, two pharmaceutical startup companies founded by faculty members at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, have been invited to present in the University Startups Showcase. The event will connect the best university startup companies, as nominated by the country’s major research universities, to leading venture capitalists, angel investors, strategic investors, and SBIR program managers.

Qualiber was founded in 2010 by Leaf Huang, PhD, a Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor in the School’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics. The company aims to develop a drug-delivery system based on one of Huang’s inventions—a nanoparticle that contains a drug stored within a core of calcium phosphate, the same material that makes up bone. When the particle is engulfed by a cancer cell, pockets of acidity within the cell dissolve the core and release the drug.

Capture Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2010 by Michael Jay, PhD, and Russell Mumper, PhD. Jay is a Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and chair of the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, while Mumper is the School’s vice dean and John McNeill Distinguished Professor. Their company focuses on developing oral and topical formulations of DTPA prodrugs as radionuclide decorporation agents, which can save lives in the event of contamination following a nuclear disaster.

The showcase is organized by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer. One hundred university startups have been chosen to make a ten-minute virtual presentation. The ten top-scoring companies will be invited to make in-person presentations at the Seventh Annual University Startups Conference in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2013.

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