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Jim Harris and Sandhya Kortagere Featured in University City Science Center Year in Review

June 23, 2016

When PolyCore Therapeutics, a Drexel spinout, began developing a breakthrough drug to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, CEO Jim Harris and Sandhya Kortagere (pictured) quickly realized that they could hasten their journey to funding via the Science Center’s newest commercialization program, Phase 1 Ventures.

In 2016 Phase 1 Ventures (P1V) emerged from a pilot to widen its net and help test and evolve more ideas into growing, funded companies, thanks to a wide array of offerings including expertise, guidance, connectivity to networks, strategy, space and funding.

PolyCore is the first company to receive matching funds from P1V. “The Science Center enabled and accelerated our development through connections to people, processes and resources within the life science startup community,” explains Harris.

P1V is an accelerator for “long-horizon” technologies requiring significant development or regulatory approvals, such as healthcare, materials, or energy. Seasoned entrepreneurs from the Science Center’s extensive networks are matched with technologies at P1V participating universities or with newly formed startups requiring a management team. P1V initially provides up to $25,000 in support and other resources, including free legal, IP and other professional services.

Teams then focus on building commercialization plans and applying for grants. For those that secure funding, P1V could provide up to an additional $450,000.

Lehigh, Rutgers, Temple, and Penn State are currently participating, and companies developing technologies from other universities are also eligible.

“P1V enhances our ability, desire and determination to bring our product to market,” Harris says.

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