Oncor Inc., which two years ago launched a subsidiary to commercialize gene identification breakthroughs by Johns Hopkins University researchers, has formed a second subsidiary commercialize gene therapy research from Yale and Princeton universities.
Stephen Turner, Oncor's chairman and chief executive officer, said yesterday that his company had formed OncorPharm Inc., which will search for ways to treat genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia.
OncorPharm, which has 10 employees in offices a few blocks away from Oncor's Gaithersburg headquarters, has been in development for about a year, Mr. Turner said.
He said the company announced the new company's creation yesterday because it just finished a $3 million private placement of one third of OncorPharm's stock with investors from Des Moines, Iowa, who provided OncorPharm with seed capital.
Oncor, which owns the other 67 percent of the new company, contributed $1 million.
Mr. Turner said he expects the new company to take seven to 10 years to find profitable treatments from research about the way DNA strands connect. He said, the company may find a way to treat the bone marrow of people with sickle cell anemia with a healthy gene that replaces the disease-causing gene.
Mr. Turner said he does not expect Oncor to form any more subsidiaries. In 1993, the company formed OncorMed Inc., which is attempting to market genetic tests based on research by Johns Hopkins University scientists.