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SandBlog News & Views

Unnatural Products Follows the Natural Path to Independent Operations

UNP capitalized on the lab and business services at Startup Sandbox to raise funds and reach escape velocity.

04 June 2019

Startup Sandbox resident Unnatural Products (UNP), developer of an advanced drug-discovery platform, has followed the natural graduation path to operation as an independent company. UNP joined the Sandbox in December of 2017, shortly after its founders, Cameron Pye and Josh Schwochert, earned their PhD's from UCSC's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.

Since coming to the Sandbox, UNP has raised $1M in equity financing from accelerators and VCs, hired their first employees, and built the initial version of their drug-discovery platform. By tapping into the incubator infrastructure and ecosystem of Startup Sandbox, UNP was able to stay in Santa Cruz and build on the ideas and IP they formulated in the Lokey Lab at UCSC.

“I've always been a builder. The summer before graduate school I built a cabin on my uncle's property in the Santa Cruz mountains where I still live today. When I finished grad school, building a company was the obvious next step. And doing it at Startup Sandbox couldn’t have been a better decision.” Cameron Pye

In FY2018/19, Unnatural Products broke 500 compounds synthesized on their oncology pipeline project in continued pre-clinical development of their drug discovery platform. They also were accepted into and began the CLSI FAST accelerator program in preparation for the next phases of fundraising and growth.

Leveraging the exciting results they were able to generate while in the Sandbox, UNP is continuing to grow and is moving to a 4,500 square foot production facility on the west side of Santa Cruz.

"We're excited about growing Unnatural Products, expanding the team, and continuing to develop our platform in our quest to drug the undruggable."
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