The Convergence Legacy
“Three converging technologies are materially changing how we live, how well we live, and how long we live.”
—Dr. Gillis, June 3rd, 2014
In 2014 Dr. S. Malcolm Gillis presented a lecture at the Royal Institution entitled “Convergences in Technologies: Nano, Bio and Info.” In it, Dr. Gillis called for the formation of venture capital funds to support future growth and development of biotechnology and life sciences. Dr. Gillis’ vision planted the seed for Convergence Ventures.
Gillis + Mendelsohn
In 2015, Dr. Gillis passed away from cancer—and his wife, Elizabeth, continued to pursue his passion, alongside Dr. Richard Mathies and Dr. and Mrs. John Mendelsohn. Convergence Ventures was initially funded by the Gillis and Mendelsohn families to support the development of science through investment in Texas-based companies that advance this vision.
With the passing of Dr. Mendelsohn in 2019 as a result of glioblastoma, Convergence Ventures renewed its efforts and sharpened its focus to support CPRIT-funded companies in Texas. This work continues Dr. Mendelsohn’s legacy of discovery, technology and collaboration aimed at creating a biotech and life science hub that will serve Texas for generations to come.
Convergence Ventures’ first project was to identify, support and fund Greffex.
Greffex, Inc. is a genetic engineering company that has developed a proprietary disruptive gene therapy platform (vector) for introducing genetic information coding for any chosen array of proteins with broad treatment applications including gene therapy, immune suppression, and vaccines. The Company’s novel vector platform is clean, safe, stable, and versatile. The Company has a valuable portfolio of patents (12 awarded patents and 12 patents pending) protecting its platform IP.
Although the Greffex genetic platform can revolutionize many aspects of Medicine, the company began its market approach through vaccines because of (1) the platform’s disruptive advantage in the vaccine market, (2) the expedited FDA clinical trial process available for pandemic vaccines, and (3) the quick path to commercialization via government buyers. Greffex has fourteen vaccines in development and is preparing to take its H5N1 (avian flu) into the clinic. Time-to-produce, and costs to manufacture and distribute vaccines, are an order of magnitude faster and lower than current vaccine technologies in the market.
Greffex has a vibrant Gene Therapy approach to mediating genetic diseases, engineering specific applications for hemophilia A, blindness and childhood diseases including cystic fibrosis and a host of other diseases.
Company has already developed vaccines for H5N1 (avian flu), H7N9, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika, and others.