Pet Medication Firm Scaling Up

Pet Medication Firm Scaling Up

Pinpoint Pharma, a West Lafayette-based startup specializing in custom compounded medication for pets, announced plans to scale its operations in Indiana to support the commercialization of its medicine-printing technology. Founded in 2016, the company has utilized several resources available to Indiana entrepreneurs, including the Purdue Foundry, gBETA program, Elevate Ventures, and Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), to fuel its growth to date.

“With the help of Indiana’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and world-class universities, companies like Pinpoint Pharma are primed for growth and positioned to propel new technologies that change the way the world works,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). “As a graduate of the gBETA accelerator program, we’re excited to see Pinpoint Pharma leverage Indiana’s startup community to build consumer awareness and scale its innovative pharmaceutical technology, and in turn, strengthen Indiana’s life sciences industry.”

The company, which developed and patented its high-precision, state-of-the-art medicine printing system while its founders were researchers at Purdue University, will invest nearly $240,000 to lease, renovate and equip more than 2,100 square feet of lab space at 1201 Cumberland Ave. in West Lafayette. Pinpoint Pharma, which recently received its license from the Indiana Pharmacy Board, started fulfilling prescription orders for its customized pet medication this month. With interest already from veterinarians across the country, the company’s innovations allow veterinarians and pet owners alike to submit animal prescriptions through the company’s secure site and communicate any unique needs to its on-staff pharmacists.

“With a strong ecosystem of life sciences companies and highly-skilled workforce, Indiana is the perfect place for Pinpoint Pharma to grow and scale the compounding of our customized pet pharmaceuticals,” said Dr. Arun Giridhar, co-founder and chief executive officer of Pinpoint Pharma. “After participating in the Purdue Foundry and gBETA program, we were able to sharpen our focus and build consumer awareness of the growing need for personalized medication. We appreciate the strong relationship forged with the state, Purdue University and our local partners and look forward to our continued growth right here in West Lafayette.”

Pinpoint Pharma was one of the first five Indiana startups to participate in the gBETA program, the state’s first application-based accelerator. In partnership with the IEDC, gener8tor, a nationally-ranked accelerator, expanded its gBETA program to Indiana in 2018, offering a free, seven-week program for early-stage companies like Pinpoint Pharma to help build consumer awareness and establish the industry-specific metrics needed to become candidates for angel investment or full-time accelerators.

To support continued growth following the gBETA program, the company, which has two full-time employees in Indiana, plans to create up to 27 new, high-wage jobs over the next few years. Pinpoint Pharma will begin hiring for positions in pharmacy technology, sales and shipping this year.

In 2017, Pinpoint Pharma received a $225,000 Phase 1 research grant from the National Science Foundation as part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and worked with the Indiana PTAC and Elevate Ventures to secure a $50,000 SBIR matching grant in 2018. Indiana PTAC, which is committed to helping Indiana small businesses compete for and win government contracts, offered counseling and application assistance to Pinpoint Pharma, while Elevate Ventures, Indiana’s venture development partner, distributed the matching funds from the state. The company was also awarded Gold and Black Awards totaling $100,000 in investment from the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund, a partnership between the Purdue-based startup accelerator Purdue Foundry and Elevate Ventures.

“We are excited about Pinpoint Pharma’s growth in West Lafayette,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. “The city of West Lafayette provides an incredible opportunity for great community amenities partnered with some of the most brilliant research programs in the world. Congratulations to Pinpoint Pharma on your growth and thank you for the research you do that improves the quality of life for our furry friends. We appreciate your investment.”

Pinpoint Pharma was founded by Dr. Giridhar, a research scientist at the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, and other Purdue faculty members. The company offers a unique and innovative approach to animal health care, working directly with veterinarians to evaluate pets’ medical factors to deliver precise and verified drug doses, taste-masking combinations, flexible product forms and other custom needs for medication.

The IEDC offered Pinpoint Pharma up to $243,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Tippecanoe County and Greater Lafayette Commerce will provide training grants in support of the project.

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