EVOQ Therapeutics, an Ann Arbor, MI-based cancer immunotherapy company, was selected as the top winner at the 10th annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), a pitch competition that provides critical funding and support for Michigan startups. The company was chosen from 24 semi-finalists as the winner of the $350,000 grand prize. 

EVOQ is pioneering the development of cancer vaccine nanodiscs that evoke an immune response 30 times more powerful than other cancer vaccines. It was founded in 2017 by U-M faculty James Moon, Ph.D., John G Searle Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Biomedical Engineering, and Anna Schwendeman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 

The Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund (MBVF) is currently the largest private investor in EVOQ and has played a key role in EVOQ’s success. The MBVF is an early-stage VC fund that invests in life science startup companies in the domain of therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, or healthcare IT with University of Michigan-owned IP.

EVOQ Pitching at Accelerate Michigan event.
EVOQ Pitching at Accelerate Michigan event.

“We are delighted with the progress that EVOQ has made in the last two years since we first funded them,” says Hirak Parikh, Fund Manager, MBVF. “We are excitedly looking forward to when this technology can reach the bedside and impact the lives of patients with new therapies for cancer.”

The MBVF is a collaborative effort between the U-M College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) and U-M Medical School’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation program (FFMI) program.

“We want to thank MBVF for their support of EVOQ from the beginning,” says William Brinkerhoff, Co-Founder and CEO of EVOQ Therapeutics. “We are thrilled to have been selected from among many great startups for this award.” 

EVOQ also received funding from another early investor, Invest Detroit Ventures. Additionally, Dr. Moon and Dr. Schwendeman received grant funds and translational research support from the U-M Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Innovation Hub, a statewide program supporting translational research projects in life science with high commercial potential, managed by the U-M Medical School’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation program.

For more information about EVOQ Therapeutics, click here.

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