Sanyal Bio lands national recognition among university startups

(Courtesy Sanyal Bio)
(Courtesy Sanyal Biotechnology)

A biotech company in Virginia Beach ranks among the best university startups in the country, according to an industry group.

Sanyal Biotechnology, 3645 Faculty Blvd., was selected from more than 200 applicants as one of the 36 best university startups by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, an association of university startup officers. Sanyal’s co-founder and chief medical officer, Dr. Arun J. Sanyal, is a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine in Richmond. Sanyal Biotechnology was the only Virginia-based company on the list.

“We were really excited about it,” Rebecca Caffrey, co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a phone interview.

The announcement comes roughly two months after Sanyal announced it would move its corporate headquarters from Richmond to Virginia Beach, where it has office space at Tidewater Community College. The Virginia Beach Development Authority approved a $25,000 grant for the relocation in June.

Sanyal offers its proprietary mice for contract research services to help clients develop treatments for liver disease, according to its website. Sanyal’s research will potentially be of use to people at risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, Caffrey said in an email.

The NCETT also recognized startups affiliated with institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Princeton University and Texas A&M University.

“These companies are the most exciting early-stage companies presented by the country’s great universities,” the NCETT said in a release.

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Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.