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Ali Munawar, Harvard Trained Scientist, Fighting Viruses

BioAdvance, operator of the Biotechnology Greenhouse Corp. of Southeastern Pennsylvania, made a $550,000 seed-stage investment in Novira Therapeutics Inc. on Monday.

Novira, based in Philadelphia, is specializing in the discovery and development of antiviral therapeutics based on emerging biology in the field of virus-host interactions.

The company was founded by Ali Munawar, a Harvard-trained scientist who developed and acquired intellectual property demonstrating how Novira’s technology can be applied in multiple viruses. The company was originally founded in 2006 as Molecmo Nanobiotechnologies in Cambridge, Mass.

“Viruses have evolved to rely on, and exploit, the cells that they infect,” Munawar said. “Disabling the ability of viral proteins to ‘hijack’ cellular elements represents a unique and effective means of therapeutic intervention.”

Munawar said BioAdvance’s investment will be used by Novira to expand its intellectual property, advance its drug discovery projects and expand the company’s management team.


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