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New Resident of Science Center’s Port Business Incubator Targets SARS and Ebola

Deadly viruses such as Ebola are the target of Phelix Therapeutics, the newest resident of the University City Science Center's Port business incubator at 3711 Market Street in Philadelphia.

With a $4.5 million Phase 2 SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health in hand, Phelix Therapeutics is focused on therapies for unmet medical needs while EpiSmart is developing nutritional supplements. The company is developing first-in-class protease inhibitors based on a technology platform inspired by human biology. This platform mimics natural structures, allowing attack on protease enzymes that are involved in a range of diseases. Initial targets include antiviral therapies for SARS, MERS and Ebola, and future platform expansions are planned to address cardiac and brain disorders.

Another new Port resident, EpiSmart, specializes in the research, development and marketing of novel nutritional supplements. The company’s initial product, Bone Marrow SmartTM, is the first supplement intended to support bone marrow health. In the future, EpiSmart plans to offer supplements to support the health and wellness of skin and other body systems.

The Science Center’s Port business incubator helps emerging life sciences, physical sciences, and digital technology companies operate and grow through a suite of related programs and facilities. The Port provides co‐working spaces, cubicles, fully furnished offices, and/or wet and dry labs directly in the heart of the Science Center’s vibrant urban campus. Beyond the physical infrastructure, Port residents are immediately plugged in to a rich network of resources where they can access the programs, the people and the support that can help grow their businesses. Port resident companies raised more than $150 million in private capital from 2009-2014.

About the Science Center
The University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. The Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Since it was founded in 1963, graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to

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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing