Nicholas Franano and William Whitaker, the founders of Proteon Therapeutics, (Proteon) have launched Novita Therapeutics (Novita), a new biopharmaceutical and medical device firm located in Lenexa, Kansas.

Both founders will continue to contribute to Proteon through consulting relationships, and Dr Franano will remain on Proteon’s board of directors.

Novita has also reported the closing of its first round of financing from angel investors.

Dr Franano said: “After eight years at Proteon and given that the company is now well financed and has moved its lead drug candidate into phase 1/2 human clinical trials, Bill and I felt that the time was right to start out on a new path.”

Mr. Whitaker said: “We are grateful to have the support of these investors and also the support of the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) which made angel tax credits available to Novita’s investors. We will work diligently to see that their confidence in this new venture is rewarded.”

Kevin Carr, interim president and CEO of Kansas Technology Enterprise, said: “KTEC was pleased to offer Novita Therapeutics Kansas Angel Tax Credits. This venture aligns with KTEC’s mission of promoting innovation-oriented businesses in the state of Kansas.”

Proteon Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of first-in-class pharmaceuticals to address the medical needs of patients with renal and vascular diseases.