VABeachBio’s Newest Company Wins Top Award

Sanyal Biotechnology Honored As Top Startup

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

​Sanyal Biotechnology, the first company to anchor the VABeachBio Princess Anne corridor, was selected from among 200 applicants to receive the TOP UNIVERSITY STARTUP 2016 award by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2). This is a national competition and Sanyal is the only startup from Virginia to be selected. 

The company recently relocated its headquarters to the new 1,500-square-foot VABeachBio Accelerator, located at the Regional Health Professions Center at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach. The company will add eight new scientific and technical jobs in Virginia Beach with annual salaries averaging $100,000. The Virginia Beach Development Authority awarded Sanyal Biotechnology an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $25,000 based on the number of jobs created. 

Sanyal Biotechnology was founded to further the work of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) professor Dr. Arun Sanyal, who spent a decade developing methods to test the impact of drugs designed to fight non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  

"VCU's outstanding faculty generates many impressive inventions each year, but I knew when I came across Dr. Sanyal's new technology that this invention was going to be the foundation for a successful contract research organization," said Rebecca Caffrey, Ph.D., MBA, CLP, founder and CEO.  "The Innovation Gateway team at VCU also understood the scientific uniqueness and commercialization potential of Dr. Sanyal's technology, and supported us during our launch.  We are pleased to continue to work closely with VCU."

"Sanyal Bio was a product of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program that VCU Innovation Gateway implemented as one of the series of initiatives to support entrepreneurship and startup creation at VCU," said Executive Director Ivelina Metcheva. "We are very happy and proud that in a matter of months the company has successfully raised equity funding and has started delivering products to customers that would ultimately help combat NASH and other liver diseases." 

Sanyal Biotechnology has exclusive worldwide rights to the DIAMOND™ mice (Diet-induced Animal Model of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), a mouse strain that naturally develops NASH and other diseases in response to a high-fat, high sugar diet. The mice become insulin resistant, obese and dyslipidemic just like humans. Disease progression in the DIAMOND™ mice parallels human disease progression right down to the histopathology. Sanyal Biotechnology created a partnership with Eastern Virginia Medical School, where its specialized mouse colony will be used to study the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. 

"Sanyal Biotechnology has quickly made a national and international name for itself thanks to groundbreaking research," said Warren Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. "We know their presence in the VABeachBio Accelerator and partnership with EVMS will continue to catapult this company to the next level of growth."

The National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) is a membership organization of university Startup Officers from the top research universities in the United States. NCET2 aims to advance and professionalize university Startups Officers by providing opportunities for networking, policy advocacy, and education.

To learn more about VABeachBio, visit

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit

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