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Yale start-up fund debuts with a $100,000 investment in novel zinc-based antacid

By David Schwartz
Published: February 26th, 2014

Yale University startup Eli Nutrition Inc., developer of the novel antacid Tummyzen, has become the first company to receive investment from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI) Innovation Fund, which Yale launched in 2013 to help university start-ups in their earliest stages.

The fund granted Eli Nutrition $100,000 to continue developing Tummyzen, a zinc-based, long-lasting, side-effect-free treatment for acid reflux that can also assist in healing patients with wounds in the digestive system.

According to Tummyzen research leader and Yale professor of medicine Dr. John Geibel, “If you had an active erosion in the esophagus, [Tummyzen] could aid in the repair process in addition to balancing the acid levels to provide heartburn relief.”

Eli Nutrition was launched out of Yale’s Technology Commercialization Program, which is jointly run by YEI and the Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR). To build Eli Nutrition, Geibel was paired with serial entrepreneur Hasan Ansari and with a team of students from various academic backgrounds, including law, healthcare, and web development.

“Our belief is that many people taking harsh medications can manage heartburn much more safely through a dietary supplement,” says Ansari. “The $100,000 [from YEI] enables us to start the process of more extensive marketing and sales. It’s also a vote of confidence in the company and a signal to other investors.”

The Eli Nutrition students plan to use the funding to launch an online marketing campaign, order their first batch of 10,000 bottles, and ramp up sales online. “People are eager for new solutions,” says Ansari. “We are on our way to changing how America manages its heartburn.”

Source: Yale News

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