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SNP Therapeutics sets base in Kannapolis

KANNAPOLIS — SNP Therapeutics — pronounced “snip” — is a new medical food and supplement company at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.

It is the first startup company to form because of the research success of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, which is located on the research campus. It received a startup grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

The company was founded by Dr. Steven Zeisel, who CEO Jon Kleu said as an expert in nutrition and a global vault leader who has won numerous awards. It was formed a year ago and received a $1 million investment from venture capital firm Coddle Creek Capital.

The Kannapolis-based company researches diseases and medical conditions to create medical food products to help treat these conditions.

“We all have a common gene variant called a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP),” Kleu said in an interview. “These SNPs are in the genes in our bodies. … These different gene variants are what make us different.”

SNP Therapeutics’ first supplement will be for women having difficulty during pregnancy.

According to Kleu, the company is developing medical food products to treat diseases and conditions such as fatty liver, muscle wasting, sarcopenia, and sperm motility.

“These gene metabolic disabilities sometimes lead to health problems. … We develop tests for people who have these SNPs that are leading to health problems … and we create medical food nutrition to overcome these problems,” Kleu said.

The company’s current focus is on the development of genetic tests and development of its genetic lab, he said.

The therapeutics company plans to start hiring staff this fall.

“We’re going to have to hire technicians, customer service, and on the senior operational level … to help not only develop our company but to help bring new jobs to the area,” Kleu said.

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