Cyta Therapeutics Named Best Startup at Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day

University of Massachusetts Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences’ (IALS) startup company Cyta Therapeutics was the Judges’ Choice Best Startup at the 16th annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation (MALSI) Day in Boston on July 27.

Cyta Therapeutics is an early-stage life sciences company developing proprietary products to treat obesity and related metabolic conditions. Cyta is building a pipeline of products based on a novel class of polymer-based nanogels, called IntelliGels, developed in the laboratory of S. Thai Thayumanavan, distinguished professor of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences; department head of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering; and director of the Center for Bioactive Delivery, IALS.

UMass Amherst was well represented, with four startup teams developing technology based on faculty research. This is the second year in a row that a woman-led venture from UMass Amherst has secured the top prize. Karen Utgoff, director of IALS Venture Development, was on the planning committee for this year’s event.

“Winning this MALSI award is a tremendous honor for the university and validates the Startup portfolio, the venture mentoring teams, and the supporting ecosystem we have built at IALS. Cyta Therapeutics is a company we continue to support, and believe their novel technology has the potential to treat obesity and other metabolic conditions such as NASH, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.” – Peter Reinhart, Founding Director of IALS

Over 200 biotech executives from business, academia, and the larger investing community attended the event, which was held at the Halloran Consulting company headquarters in the Boston Seaport. Pitching and accepting the award was Cyta Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Bonnie Fendrock.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this award as we are in the midst of fund raising. MALSI is an excellent forum to engage with industry and investment leaders.” - Bonnie Fendrock, CEO, Cyta Therapeutics.

"UMass Amherst has become the proud home of many start-up companies that are operating at the cutting edge of the life sciences, while also addressing real-world challenges affecting the health of people. Winning the MALSI award is a testament to the vision of Cyta Therapeutics and its leadership team, but also to the innovation opportunities here on our campus. We are very excited to see what comes next for Cyta." Laura Vandenberg, Acting Vice Chancellor of Research & Engagement

MALSI Day is the biggest day for life sciences startups and innovation in the Commonwealth, bringing together scientific leaders and business experts to mingle with scientists, post-docs, professors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and venture capitalists.

For further inquiries please contact Karen Utgoff,

Bonnie Fendrock, CEO, Cyta Therapeutics