Arrowhead Research, Harris and Harris, Nanosys and other nanotech plays

Arrowhead research, symbol:ARWR is a bridge between university lab research and Venture Capital. They have a $98.5 million valuation as of Dec 13, 2005. Headed up by Bruce Stewart. They invest in early university nanotechnology. Wait for it to mature and then help to spin it off into a commercial business. By getting in early they often get over 50% of the resulting business. They invest from $200,000-5,000,000. Mostly the smaller investments. Current subsidiaries are The first is Insert Therapeutics, which is developing a drug-delivery platform that uses “molecular design” — technology that puts every atom and molecule exactly where it needs to go in order to achieve the best result. The company is preparing to enter its lead anti-cancer drug, IT-101, into human clinical trials in early 2006. Arrowhead has invested $5 million in the company and owns 68.5% of its shares. The second subsidiary Arrowhead has created is Calando Pharmaceuticals, of which it has invested $2 million and owns 52%. Calando is another nanotech-related start-up and is developing a proprietary technology that can deliver short-interfering RNA (siRNA) to target cancer cells and can inhibit tumor growth by silencing the target gene. The company’s technology has also been demonstrated as being effective in animal trials and is expected to begin human trials sometime in 2006. Aonex is Arrowhead’s third subsidiary, and it is seeking to create semiconducting nanoparticles for use in everything from LED lighting to thin, flexible solar cells. The final subsidiary is called NanoPolaris. It is an intellectual property platform covering carbon nanotube technologies.

Harris and Harris is also a venture capital firm focused on nanotechnology, symbol:TINY They have a Dec 13, 2005 valuation of $300 million.

Nanosys Inc announced a $40 million round of private investment in Nov, 2005. Added to the $54 million in private investment that it has raised to date. The new investment, led by El Dorado Ventures, included the participation of new and existing investors such as Wasatch Advisors, Lux Capital, Harris & Harris, In-Q-Tel, Intel Capital and Polaris. they are working on displays, fuel cells, solar cells and other applications of nanotechnology.

Nantero is working on NRAM, nanotube enhanced RAM memory. They received $15 million more in funding in 2005. Investors are Globespan Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Stata Venture Partners (NYSE: ADI) and Harris & Harris Group. They are partnered with LSI Logic.

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