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SC Launch invests in NeuroQuest

SC Launch has approved a first-round investment in Israeli biotech company NeuroQuest, which plans to open a location in the South Carolina Lowcountry.  SCRA Technology Ventures, which operates the SC Launch program for the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), said the company will establish a US affiliate and clinical development center in Charleston.

“Receiving this follow-on investment is crucial in getting our United States development center open and operational.  We thank SCRA’s SC Launch program for their support, and we look forward to many successes in South Carolina,” said Ilya Budik, CEO of NeuroQuest.

The investment adds to $500,000 in financing the company received in December 2012 from Charleston-based The InterTech Group and the Maryland/Israel Trendlines Fund.

NeuroQuest is the 14th company to enter the state through an SCRA investment, and the first as a direct result of the
South Carolina-Israel Collaboration that is managed by American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region and co-sponsored by SCRA, The InterTech Group, Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina.

NeuroQuest is developing immune biomarkers for early diagnosis and therapeutic tools for Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s patients. The company is preparing for clinical studies of its diagnostic test, and is partnering with the Harvard Clinical Research Institute and other national research centers.  The Charleston development center will serve as the base for the company’s clinical and regulatory work.

“We are delighted to welcome NeuroQuest to South Carolina,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “This investment is a significant early step in bringing Israeli technology companies to our state. The root of our mission is to create high-tech jobs that grow South Carolina’s economy, and this noteworthy funding is a perfect example of our efforts in action. We look forward to continued work with NeuroQuest and other promising Israeli companies.”

SCRA received the Community Partner award at AICC’s Eagle Star Awards Gala last month.  SCRA is partnering with the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy on the recently announced South Carolina-Israel Collaborative R&D Fund.  “This investment in NeuroQuest is just one more reason SCRA is so deserving of our recognition,” said AICC President Tom Glaser.

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