Nature Technology Corporation

Founded 14 years ago by Clague Hodgson, Nature Technology Corporation (NTC) is a biotechnology company that provides world-class technology platforms for gene therapy and DNA vaccines, including non-viral vectors and processes for vector production. NTC also provides cost-effective outsourcing of product development services including synthetic gene design, vector construction, plasmid DNA manufacturing and recombinant proteins.

Hodgson, a native of Minnesota, received his doctorate from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota, and formerly was an associate professor of Biomedical Sciences at Creighton University School of Medicine.     

 During 2011, the company produced more than 40 vaccines and therapeutics for its industry partners, and several of those products are now entering early stage clinical trials.

A year ago, the company was awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to continue research into improving non-viral vectors for gene therapy. The work, in collaboration with researchers at Johns Hopkins University, involves products and methods to overcome transgene silencing, which is a barrier to successful gene therapy. NTC’s research and development team, headed by Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Jim Williams, developed the antisilencing technology.

NTC holds seven U.S. patents with a dozen more in the development stage. The company employs nine researchers and support personnel in its facilities in the University of Nebraska Technology Development Center (TDC) in Lincoln.

That center was just being developed at the time Hodgson was launching his company. Although Hodgson considered locating in a state without an income tax, the opportunity in Lincoln attracted him. He was able to participate in the facility’s design, which required no capital investment from his company.

 “As a result, we were able to focus on our mission instead of our facility,” Hodgson said. “We subsequently found that Lincoln was a source of workforce talent with a strong work ethic.” Hodgson sees similar possibilities for new companies at the Nebraska Innovation Campus.

Bio Nebraska’s role is to direct industry and government leaders to the opportunities available. “Bio Nebraska should stay focused on creating and maintaining a business environment that encourages small companies to stay and grow the workforce here, including greater access to investment funding and a friendly tax environment,” Hodgson said.

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