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Indiana Seed Fund makes 11th investment

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BioCrossroads’ $6 million Indiana Seed Fund has made its 11th investment—$250,000 in Indianapolis-based Aarden Pharmaceuticals.

Aarden focuses on intracellular disease targets, with its lead program focused on treating tuberculosis.

The work spun out of the research by Zhong-Zin Zhang, a professor and chairman of biochemistry and molecular biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Zhang is an expert in protein tyrosine phosphates, a group of signaling enzymes that regulate cellular processes. His research was funded through Lilly Endowment’s Indiana Genomics Initiative, or INGEN.

“Aarden’s promising science, pre-eminent research and outstanding leadership team illustrate very well the full promise of the grant,” said David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads.

The BioCrossroads investment will help accelerate progress on the TB program through the pre-clinical stage, said Aarden’s CEO, Gary Noonan.

Other work by Aarden, in cancer and autoimmune therapies, is in pre-clinical testing.

The company decided last year to establish its headquarters here, selecting Indianapolis over San Diego.

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