90.3 FM in Cleveland, talks with VentureOhio members on possible regulatory changes:

Rahul Aras is CEO of Juventas Therapeutics, a Cleveland biotech firm.  Juventas made the front page of the Plain Dealer recently for its developing heart failure treatment, called JVS-100.

Aras says medical progress doesn’t come cheap.

“It’s quite costly,” he says. “We’ve moved the drug through what are called Phase 2 clinical trials.  The next step for us is going to be a Phase 3 clinical trial and those can cost upwards of $50 -60 million.”

Aras’s company is a spinout from the Cleveland Clinic, and has done well in its seven years.

But Aras is concerned over the recent activity in Washington.  As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the SEC has to revisit the definition of “accredited investor”.  Currently, it’s someone with an annual income of $200,000 or with a million dollars in net worth, not counting their home.

The proposed standards would raise the income requirement to nearly half a million dollars, and raise the net worth to $2.5 million.


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