Since its inception in 2003, Apjohn Ventures Fund has been an active investor in the region. We have invested in promising biotech, device, R&D tools, and healthcare companies all across Michigan, the Midwest, and on the East Coast. We invite you to visit our portfolio company websites to learn more.


Acquired by Angiotech, October 2005



Afmedica, a privately held drug coated device company located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was founded in 2002 by the Apjohn Group and the Fischell family. This pre-clinical stage company was focused on commercializing its broad intellectual property covering anti-proliferative, cyto-static drugs such as Sirolimus, on a variety of devices for the prevention of scar tissue formation after surgical procedures.


Co-Investors:  TGap Ventures, Angels


[London Stock Exchange: ATD]

Asterand, PLC



Asterand was founded in early 2000 and has operations in Detroit, Michigan; Royston, England; and San Francisco, California. Asterand operates one of the world's largest human tissue banks with many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and CNS disease. Asterand provides tissues and services for pharmaceutical research & clinical development.


Co-Investors:  Oxford Bioscience Partners, Fort Washington Capital Partners, Chrysalis Ventures, Arboretum Ventures


 CytoPherx, Inc.

CytoPherx, Inc.


CytoPherx is a clinical stage medical device company founded in 2007 on intellectual property from the University of Michigan and RenaMed Biologics.  Based in Ann Arbor, CytoPherx is focused on patients suffering from severe inflammatory disease associated with renal and cardio failures.


Co-Investors: Lurie Investments, NorthCoast Technology Ventures, Diamond Capital (Dow)

 Ikano Therapeutics, Inc.

Acquired by Upsher-Smith, June 2010

Ikano Therapeutics


Ikano Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative nasally delivered pharmaceutical products, with a particular focus on drugs treating pain and disorders related to the central nervous system. Several products are in Phase II human studies including Midazolam for epilepsy patients.


Co-Investors:  SV Life Sciences, Tullis-Dickerson, Burrill & Company, Fidelity Biosciences, Fort Washington Capital Partners, Fletcher-Spaght





Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Kereos develops targeted therapeutics and molecular imaging agents that detect and attack cancer and cardiovascular disease. Its lead product is a diagnostic imaging product poised to enter the clinic in 2011.


Co-Investors: Prolog Ventures, Charter Life Sciences, RiverVest Ventures, Triathlon Medical Ventures, Phillips Medical, Sigvion Ventures, and Lux Ventures

 ProNAi Therapeutics

ProNAi Therapeutics



ProNAi Therapeutics, based in Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a clinical stage biotech company that is leveraging its novel and proprietary nucleic acid-based interfering technology, DNAi, to advance a next generation of therapies for patients with cancer. Its lead drug PNT2258 is in the clinic in a Phase I study.


Co-Investors: Grand Angels, MI Angels, State of Michigan, BRCC, Sigvion Ventures

 RenaMed Biologics

RenaMed Biologics


RenaMed Biologics, a University of Michigan spin-out from the late 90s, is a clinical stage cellular therapy company dedicated to the design, development, and commercialization of human cell replacement systems. RenaMed’s products provide targeted and comprehensive kidney cell therapy for patients suffering from severe inflammatory disease states such as Acute Renal Failure.


Co-Investors: Lurie Investments, Seaflower Ventures, Bio*One Capital, BD Ventures, NorthCoast Technology Ventures, TVM Capital, MDS Capital, Diamond Capital (Dow), Merlin BioMed, Portage Ventures, CDP capital, Foster & Foster, Palmero Group, Genzyme

 Svelte Medical Systems, Inc.

Svelte Medical Systems



Svelte Medical Systems, based in New Jersey, is a clinical stage medical device company with a novel "stent on a wire" delivery system for safe, less costly, and easier cardiac stent procedures.  Products under development include bare metal stent (CE Mark approved) and drug eluting stents.


Co-Investors: Fischell Family, CNF Investments, Norwich Partners, Angels


Acquired by BioMarin (BMRN), August 2010




ZyStor, based in Milwaukee Wisconsin, is a biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics that will significantly improve the lives of patients who suffer from genetic disorders known as lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs). Its lead product is for Pompe patients.


Co-Investors: Mason-Wells, Prolog Ventures, Venture Investors, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Hexagon Investments, Stonehenge Capital

Copyright 2005 Apjohn Ventures