Life Science Startup Targeting Development of Novel COVID-19 Vaccine Wins Sponsored Admission into UA Center for Innovation and Assistance from International Law Firm Perkins Coie | Tech Parks Arizona
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Life Science Startup Targeting Development of Novel COVID-19 Vaccine Wins Sponsored Admission into UA Center for Innovation and Assistance from International Law Firm Perkins Coie

The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is pleased to announce the winner of the UACI Sponsored Launch Fueled by Perkins Coie competition. Reparvi, a life science technology company, will receive a sponsored year admission into the UACI incubation program. Included with entrance into the program, Reparvi will also be awarded a cash prize of $4,000 and 10 hours of legal assistance from international law firm Perkins Coie LLP. 

The company is run by Deepak Agrawal, head of discovery and development, and Pete Bantock, head of strategy. Reparvi plans to leverage its technology in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. “Our belief is that several zoonotic pathogens that have emerged in the last several decades, like SARS-CoV2, exhibit a capacity for immune evasion that requires new methods for rapid vaccine design and development,” Agrawal said. “We plan to demonstrate that our approach will be effective in shaping the immune response to overcome this challenge, which can address not only SARS-CoV2, but also future emerging pathogens.”

Reparvi is developing the Cell Repair EngineeringTM platform to enable advanced mammalian cell-based engineering through gene delivery. It will initially be deployed to construct engineered bioparticles (VLPs) as a new generation of vaccine candidates that can be delivered both as purified complexes or with cellular vehicles using ex-vivo modified stem cells. 

Access into UACI provides Reparvi with a structured incubation program, customized business support and the ability to work alongside UACI’s 23 other startups. UACI provides access to the people, programming and places needed to scale a business. Along with support, entrepreneurs have a direct line to funding opportunities and mentors who guide them in turning their idea into product. Other tools the incubation program provides are office and lab space, a prototyping center and assistance through a 27-point roadmap that helps them with creating a business plan, identifying a target market, product development, marketing resources and much more.  

“We are excited to be a part of the UACI ecosystem which supports innovative startup technologies, laying a foundation for advances not only in science, but also the translated improvements in human health,” Agrawal shared. “We believe this opportunity will be a key element to succeeding in several areas, from validating our vaccine design approach, to creating strategic alliances within the biotechnology and investment communities.”

Reparvi will also receive 10 hours of direct legal support from Perkins Coie, an international law firm offering legal services across a wide range of practice areas, including corporate law, intellectual property and commercial litigation. 

Reparvi was selected through a competitive process aimed at those pursuing an innovative solution to a significant business or social challenge. Reparvi was selected because its innovation stood above all other candidates. This company is developing a technology that is dedicated to solving the threat of emerging viral pathogens. 

The application window was open for the month of May. The applications were reviewed, and Reparvi was selected as the winner by a panel of external judges. Judges included Shiva Planjery, co-founder and CEO of Codelucida, Raj Gangadean, a partner in Perkins Coie’s corporate practice, and Allen Freed, entrepreneur and community champion. 

Reparvi will be immersed in the UACI incubation program starting July 2020 through the generous sponsorship of Perkins Coie.

About the UA Center for Innovation

​The University of Arizona Center for Innovation (UACI) is a startup incubator network with locations across the Southern Arizona region. The UACI mission is to grow scalable startup ventures that fuel the Arizona economy. Since its inception in 2003, the program has directly served over 140 companies and impacted thousands of entrepreneurs through providing access to people, programming and places that help entrepreneurs take their companies from idea to market. UACI is part of Tech Parks Arizona which brings together university, industry, and community, creating “interactive ground” to advance technology innovation.

About Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie is a leading international law firm that is known for providing high value, strategic solutions and extraordinary client service on matters vital to our clients’ success. With more than 1,100 lawyers in offices across the United States and Asia, we provide a full array of corporate, commercial litigation, intellectual property and regulatory legal advice to a broad range of clients, including many of the world’s most innovative companies and industry leaders as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.

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Reparvi is run by Deepak Agrawal, head of discovery and development (pictured left), and Pete Bantock, head of strategy (pictured right).

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