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Whidbey investors behind a ‘medical revolution’

Scientists work at the Whidbey-funded Nativis research facility in La Jolla, Calif. - Courtesy photo
Scientists work at the Whidbey-funded Nativis research facility in La Jolla, Calif.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Business people and investors from Whidbey Island are behind the development of revolutionary advancements that promise to make the treatment of cancer and other diseases more effective while reducing or eliminating side effects associated with current treatments.

Starting with brain tumors, patients could find their tumors reduced or eliminated and suffer fewer side effects in the process, if preclinical trials prove out.

The new approach to therapy will be featured today on a cable TV show called The Eco Capitalist on CNBC World, and will be publicized in an upcoming story in the New York Times.

A company called Nativis exists thanks largely to more than 30 North Whidbey investors rounded by Oak Harbor resident John Kingma, who has deep roots in his home town. A life-long Oak Harbor resident and CPA for 27 years, John Kingma is the son of former Whidbey News-Times advertising director Ralph Kingma and nephew of Ryan Kingma of Fakkema and Kingman, Inc., an engineering firm.

John Kingma met up about eight years ago with Langley resident John Butters, a world-class businessman who had gained knowledge of a new therapy idea through scientists he knew. Together they founded a company called Nativis, whose motto is “medication transformed.”

“He’s the inventor and brainchild behind this,” Kingma said of Butters. “He has the business background in bringing scientists together.”

Since its founding, the company has grown and moved its base to La Jolla, Calif., to be near the biotech and pharmaceutical community in San Diego.

Kingma won’t say how much money was raised, but today Nativis has about 10 employees of its own and, more importantly, hires what Kingma described as “the best scientists for our research lab.”

After obtaining worldwide patents for the technology, the company was ready for publicity. It established a website this week at www.nativis.com and is helping the media in its coverage.

Nativis hasn’t developed a new drug, but rather a way to make existing drugs more effective, focusing first on incurable forms of brain cancer.

“This is a revolutionary method of treating diseases,” Kingma said. “We initially focused on brain cancer because there’s no hope, no cure.”

The company describes its product as “drug signal therapy,” dealing with the unique photon fields of molecules. The end result, states a news release, is a therapy “that promises to transform the treatment of diseases, including those for which there are no known cures, like brain cancer.” In enables drugs to penetrate the brain-blood barrier and deliver therapeutic agents.

Another benefit is that by delivering drug signals instead of traditional drug molecules, Nativis can also bypass the lengthy and costly process of developing traditional drugs in manufacturing facilities, which require extensive use of chemicals. As a result, Nativis describes what it offers as “green technology” without the traditional impacts of drug manufacturing.

Researchers have not reached the stage of human trials yet, but Kingma foresees a day when sick people are treated much more effectively and with minimal side effects from the treatment. That’s primarily the reason he and other investors are involved, he said.

“We’re excited and motivated by the benefits this will have to medicine,” Kingma said. “We all know people who have been sick, and we’ve been sick. We can make treatment more effective and reduce side effects. We’re excited about being part of that.”

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