Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc is a veterinary biotechnology company focused on creating affordable personalized cancer therapeutics for companion animals diagnosed with cancer. Torigen’s founder, Ashley Kalinauskas, started this business with the goal to become a leader in the veterinary oncology market and utilize research and innovation to create new products to help pets after a cancer diagnosis.
$125,000 Paycheck Protection Program Loan
Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and CTSBDC: A Success Story
Ashley started Torigen shortly after finishing up her graduate education and was looking for a mentor for her business to help navigate the growth goals she had for her business. Through UConn’s Technology Incubation Program, Ashley was introduced to the Connecticut Small Business Development Center. After meeting with her CTSBDC Business Advisors, Greg Lewis and Patty Meagher, Ashley felt confident about new grants she could apply for and networking opportunities she could leverage for her business.
“SBDC helped me apply for SBIR grants, receive federal PPP loans and understand manufacturing-specific grants available to Torigen,” Ashley stated. “Additionally, some of the angel investor network connections that were made through SBDC have become investors in the company.”
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are available through various federal agencies to help stimulate research and development and technological innovation for small businesses.
When COVID hit in March 2020, Ashley again worked with Greg to get her paperwork prepared so she could receive federal funding relief ASAP. At the time, Torigen had been preparing to close a bridge round of financing and everything came to a screeching halt. By working with Greg, Ashley shared that her business was one of the first full applications into her bank. She successfully received $125,000 in PPP funding which helped her continue her research and operations as the pandemic gripped the nation.
Each year in the United States, over 4 million dogs and 4 million cats are diagnosed with cancer. With 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 dying from cancer, and limited therapeutic options available, Torigen stands in a place of great opportunity for their business.
“Torigen is on a great growth trajectory,” Kaliauskas shared. “We have filed new patents, are developing innovative technologies and are focused on becoming a leader in veterinary industry.”