BioGenerator, the local nonprofit venture development group, announced Tuesday it will invest in Antegrin Therapeutics, a startup company that develops compounds to treat lung disease.

Antegrin was founded based on science developed by researchers at St. Louis University and the Center for World Health & Medicine, the university’s center dedicated to the treatment of often neglected diseases.

It’s the first company the university has spun out of the center.

BioGenerator declined to disclose the amount of its investment in Antegrin. It said, however, that the funding comes through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration’s i6 Project Fund, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The EDA gave BioSTL and its affiliate, BioGenerator, a $1 million grant in 2010.

“The Antegrin team has extensive expertise in the design and characterization of compounds that hold great promise for the treatment of fibrotic diseases,” said Robert Karr, Antegrin president and chief executive, in a written statement.

“We believe that no other company has with the same combination of potency and broad-spectrum anti-fibrotic activity that can bring hope to patients who suffer from these debilitating and often fatal conditions.”