The privately funded company, founded in February 2009, moved into TAP this month.
"The most important factors [for joining TAP] were its proximity to Washington, D.C. and its access to world-class university research resources," says Jie Xu, chief executive officer for Renova Life Inc. (RLI). "Other incubators simply do not offer these combined features."
RLI develops transgenic technologies for research and regenerative medicine related to human cardiovascular disease. The company's team is comprised of startup veterans who launched a biotech company, developed several key technologies and successfully sold these technologies before starting RLI.
An estimated 80 million American adults (one in three) have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, according to a 2009 report released by the American Heart Association. In almost every year since 1900, cardiovascular disease accounted for more deaths than any other single cause or group of causes of death in the United States, according to the same report.
Traditional, inexpensive research models can prove ineffective, as some animals, including mice, are not prone to cardiovascular disease. Widely used models that are susceptible are also more expensive.
RLI is developing models that are both effective and inexpensive. Company scientists are investigating technologies such as DNA microinjection, cloning and animal embryonic stem cells in mouse, rabbit and bovine models.
"Our goal is to develop novel biotechnologies that enable scientists to study inexpensively and effectively towards therapeutics for cardiovascular disease, and other human diseases," says Xu. "Our vision is to become the leader of research and innovation in animal embryo biotechnologies."
RLI has secured contracts, a federal grant, and a patent related to its technology.