PHOENIX—Six Arizona bioscience startup firms have been competitively selected by the Flinn Foundation to participate in its 2018 Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program, receiving $30,000 each in funding support and program services administered through a nonprofit partner.
The Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation has allocated $825,000 in grants since 2014 to nonprofits to administer funding and services to 28 bioscience startups. The foundation’s program was established to foster entrepreneurship and help early-stage bioscience companies develop into successful and sustainable businesses in Arizona.
“The six companies chosen this year are further evidence of the amazing innovation that is occurring in the biosciences here in Arizona,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation President and CEO. “The leaders of these companies demonstrate both the talent and entrepreneurial spirit to bring new technologies to market that will improve and save lives.”
The firms were selected from 30 applicants, a record for the program.
The 2018 winning companies, based in Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson, are:
Avery Therapeutics (http://www.averytherapeutics.com/)
Avery Therapeutics is a Tucson-based startup company dedicated to advancing tissue-engineered therapeutics to treat diseases and injuries to human muscle. Avery’s lead product, MyCardia, a tissue-engineered heart graft developed to treat heart failure, is in the pre-clinical development phase. MyCardia is positioned to be the world’s first off-the-shelf product for treating heart failure.
Gemneo Bioscience (http://gemneo.com/)
Scottsdale-based Gemneo Bioscience has created a new immune-cell profiling technology that identifies each patient’s unique tumor signature and also identifies rogue cells that current technologies have not been able to detect. The technology will give physicians a more precise tool for effectively treating cancer and a host of other diseases.
GT Medical Technologies (https://www.gtmedtech.com/)
GT Medical Technologies, a Mesa-based medical-device company, has developed an innovative approach to the treatment of brain tumors by combining a conformable collagen matrix with brachytherapy (radiation) seeds. The company’s first product, GammaTile, is protected by 10 issued U.S. patents and is available for investigative uses.
Phoenix-based TheraSpecs manufactures and sells precision-tinted eyewear that helps people with more than 50 conditions, including migraines, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, autism spectrum disorders, and traumatic brain injuries. The lenses directly address light-triggering symptoms from fluorescent lighting, computer and device screens, or sunlight for those with conditions triggered or worsened by light.
TouchPoint Solution (https://thetouchpointsolution.com/)
The Scottsdale-based company’s flagship product, TouchPoints, is a neuroscience wearable that alleviates stress in as little as 30 seconds. A successful PTSD therapy component isolated into the patent-pending BLAST technology can reduce general stress, improve sleep and focus, enhance performance, reduce cravings, and help users manage anger by safely and non-invasively interfering with nervous-system reactivity.
Vapometry Biolabs (http://www.vapometry.com/)
Vapometry Biolabs of Phoenix analyzes the gases released by biological specimens to create accurate, cost-effective diagnostics for hospitals and consumers. The company’s flagship product is a diagnostic for sepsis, which affects over 1 million Americans every year, that diagnoses the disease within four hours—a four-to-tenfold improvement over the current standard of care.
In addition to funding and services, company leaders will participate for one year as members of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a group of the state’s science, health-care, business, academia, and policy leaders that guides Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
To qualify for the Flinn program, the selected firms must be engaged in the commercialization of bioscience research and biotechnology and/or the sale of products in the areas of medical devices and equipment; drugs, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics; agricultural feedstock and chemicals; research, testing and medical labs; or bioscience-related distribution—the industry categories recognized together as the biosciences in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
The application for the 2019 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program will be available later this year. To learn more about the program and past winners, visit www.flinn.org/entrepreneur.
The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to advancing the biosciences, the foundation supports the Flinn Scholars Program, a merit-based college scholarship program; arts and culture; and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.