By Thomas Lee
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Let the fundraising begin!
Miromatrix Inc., a start-up trying to commercialize the regenerative tissue research of Doris Taylor, has reached an agreement to license the technology from the University of Minnesota, a move that allows the company to formally raise seed money.
The company is also close to securing a state aid package, which might include loans and tax breaks, that will allow Miromatrix to remain in Minnesota. Negotiations are at “a sensitive stage” and could still fall apart, said CEO Robert Cohen, noting the company has attracted interest from several states, including Wisconsin.
Miromatrix, one of Minnesota’s most promising biotech prospects, is developing a way to coax stem cells into forming sustainable tissue that eventually grows into organs like the heart, liver and lungs.
The company has already drawn considerable interest from investors across the country. Cohen said Miromatrix will likely raise the less than $1 million it needs for seed capital in 30 to 60 days. Miromatrix has already cashed a check from one angel investor, whom Cohen declined to name.
Terms of the licensing deal are confidential, though Cohen said the university owns “a substantial stake” in the start-up.
Cohen also made his first hire: William Still, a former executive at Haemonetics Corp. of Braintree, Mass., and St. Jude Medical Inc. of Little Canada, Minn., is Miromatrix’s vice president of business development.