South Side Startup Raises $8M for Human Trials of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs


Complexa Inc. is planning human trials of a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs to treat diabetes, kidney failure and other diseases next month, but getting there involved more than medical science.

The South Side-based startup company raised more than $8 million from venture capital investors during the last two years to license and develop molecules discovered and patented by Professor Bruce Freeman and a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Complexa is a “great example” of the success Pittsburgh technology companies are having in raising money from so-called angel investors, said Rich Lunak, CEO of Hazelwood-based Innovation Works, a government-funded nonprofit that invests in startups and is one of the nation’s most active seed-stage investors.

“The company would not be here except for the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse and Innovation Works, which provided seed money and carried us for a long time,” said Complexa’s CEO Joshua Tarnoff.

Read more at the Tribune-Review.