Copyright © 2015, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
Moleculera Labs Inc. recently received a $1.06 million investment from i2E Inc., angel investors and others.
Nonprofit corporation i2E Inc. recently led a $1.06 million investment in Oklahoma City-based Moleculera Labs Inc., through its Accelerate Oklahoma! fund. The funding of $530,000 from i2E was half of the investment round, which also included $225,000 from the SeedStep Angels, along with other investors.
Moleculera Labs has developed a series of tests, the Cunningham Panel, that predicts a patient’s likelihood of having Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS). PANDAS are treatable, neurologic conditions that may be associated with motor tics and obsessive compulsive disorders, which are often associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of our mission to help identify and diagnose children with treatable neuropsychiatric conditions,” said Dr. Craig Shimasaki, Moleculera co-founder and CEO. “This additional capital will help us to reach out and educate more physicians, expand our development to other treatable neuropsychiatric disorders, and increase our testing capacity in our CLIA laboratory.”
Investments by i2E have helped the development of the company along the way, including an i2E-led investment round in 2013 of $1.84 million.
“i2E has been integral in our establishment, growth and development as a company,” Shimasaki said. “I am pleased and grateful to have them as a partner.”
As a part of the federal States Small Business Credit Initiative, the U.S. Treasury-funded Accelerate Oklahoma! initiative offers funds that provide critical capital and co-investment for Oklahoma entrepreneurs at specific stages of their companies’ life cycles. Investment terms are typically convertible debt or preferred equity and involve a rigorous due diligence process.
The Accelerate Oklahoma! program is designed to invest in innovative start-up companies that promise sustained revenue and increased employment; accelerate emerging growth businesses that show potential for bringing new products to market and increasing private capital investment in Oklahoma; and fund later-stage companies that need capital to position them for expansion at the time of commitment.
The SeedStep Angels group was founded by i2E in 2009 and is now the state’s largest angel investment group with more than 40 members and chapters in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Ardmore and Muskogee.
Moleculera Labs was established in 2011 through an exclusive license from the University of Oklahoma.