Orion Therapeutics Making Good Progress

The University of Tennessee start-up came out of stealth mode less than a year ago.

The latest issue of the UTRF Newsletter from the University of Tennessee Research Foundation provides an update on one of the start-ups in the UTRF portfolio: Orion Therapeutics.

As noted in our original teknovation.biz article from last September, the new venture is the result of a decade-long collaboration between a researcher at the UT Graduate School of Medicine (UTGSM) in Knoxville and a then-graduate student in her lab. They began to imagine creating a company based on a technology they were developing.

In 2022, that initial dream became a reality when Deidra Mountain, Associate Professor in the Division of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery, and Trey Fisher, her former mentee, launched Orion Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing next-generation RNA medicines using a novel drug delivery system. Mountain is the start-up’s Director of Vascular Therapeutics Pipeline, while Fisher is the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Specifically, Orion Therapeutics is developing a targeted lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery platform that packages and protects nucleic acid drug payloads for safe and effective use in human patients. The delivery platform, first discovered by Fisher during his time as a doctoral student for Mountain, has the potential for nearly limitless utility in the RNA therapeutics and vaccine market.

The start-up recently executed an option agreement with UTRF to advance the technology. In addition to laboratory space at UTGSM, Orion also signed a lease for lab space at the UT Research Park and is part of the Spark Incubator Program.

In addition, Orion Therapeutics was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer grant for a “Multifunctional Lipid Nanoparticle Delivery System for Targeted Delivery of Vascular RNA Therapeutics.”

Click here to read more about Orion Therapeutics

(Written and Posted By Teknovation.Biz)