| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

cle-based milo biotechnology snags $250k investment from jumpstart

The effort to build a world-class biomedical industry in Northeast Ohio took another step forward last week, when JumpStart Inc. invested $250,000 in Milo Biotechnology, a new company formed to pursue promising treatments for muscle degeneration.

Columbia Station native Al Hawkins will serve as Milo's CEO. The former director of new ventures at Boston University, Hawkins returned to Northeast Ohio last year to serve as CEO in Residence at BioEnterprise, the Cleveland-based biotech incubation initiative, and to find emerging technologies worthy of investment. The adeno-associated virus (AAV) delivered follistatin protein developed and patented by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus fit the bill. Follistatin can stimulate muscle growth, and early trials with mice and macaques suggest it could help patients suffering from muscular dystrophy and other conditions that weaken muscles, Hawkins says. According to JumpStart, a Phase I/II trial, funded by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, is enrolling patients.
Hawkins will retain his position with BioEnterprise until Milo has raised at least $1.5 million. Longterm, his job will be to keep raising funds for the six to seven years it could take to get follistatin all the way through the FDA-approval process, or to hire a new CEO and find another new technology on which to build a company in Cleveland.
Moving back to Northeast Ohio, he says, “is something I considered for a couple years. There are great opportunities here.”
Source: Al Hawkins
Writer: Frank Lewis
Share this page