Ten Life Science Startups to Watch in Austin

Medical Scientist and chemist in laboratory using  an pipette or dropper for liquid samples, photo licensed from iStockphoto.

Medical Scientist and chemist in laboratory using an pipette or dropper for liquid samples, photo licensed from iStockphoto.

By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Austin is home to a small, but growing biotech and medical technology industry with about 200 companies, according to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

That number is sure to skyrocket in coming years as the city feels the full effect of the new Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin and the healthcare innovation zone being created in the downtown area.

Right now, the city’s strength lies in medical device and diagnostics, biologics and biotech, contract research, pharmaceuticals and startups in a wide variety of areas. Here’s just ten local companies we’ve highlighted.

Alafair Biosciences – The company, founded in 2011, a medical device startup, recently received FDA clearance for its first product, VersaWrap Tendon Protector. It is used in the treatment of tendon injuries. Earlier this year, the company closed on $2 million in funding to help roll the product out nationwide. To date, it has received $5.9 million in funding.

Curtana Pharmaceuticals – The company, founded in 2013, moved from San Diego to Austin in 2014. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, known as CPRIT, awarded the company a $7.6 million grant to develop a drug for glioblastomas and other brain cancers.

Lumos Pharma – The company, founded in 2014, is a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for rare and neglected diseases. In April, Lumos completed $34 million in funding and planned to use the proceeds for clinical trials and commercialization of its lead drug, LUM-001, for the treatment of Creatine Transporter Deficiency, the second leading cause of X-Linked mental retardation in males after Fragile X Syndrome. To date, the company has raised $48 million, according to its profile in Crunchbase.

PotentiaMetrics – The company, founded in 2010, relocated from St. Louis to Austin in 2015, and provides proprietary real-world outcomes registries and analytics platforms to reveal personalized and predictive insights. It is harnessing patient data to provide better treatments and outcomes for different diseases.

Savara Pharmaceuticals – the company, founded in 2007, creates drugs to treat rare respiratory diseases. In June, it acquired the assets of Serendex Pharmaceuticals, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Its lead product is AeroVanc, an antibiotic being developed for the treatment of persistent MRSA infection in people with Cystic Fibrosis. The drug’s Phase III clinical trials are expected to begin later this year. In March, the company closed on $20 million in Series C financing.

Spot On Sciences – the company, founded in 2014, recently received a $225,000 grant to support research for a preanalytical, endogenous standard to compare blood sample types. The company has developed HemaSpot devices to simplify collection, preservation and shipping of dried blood samples. The company also participated in the first ever White House Demo Day in 2015.

TeVido BioDevices – The company, founded in 2011, is making nipples from human cells using 3-D printers for breast cancer patients. It has received funding through crowdfunding and a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute and a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is also a graduate of the Texas Ventures Lab at the University of Texas at Austin.

TVA Medical – The company, founded in 2008, is a medical device maker developing minimally invasive therapies for patients suffering from end-stage renal disease. In late 2015, it completed a $15 million Series C financing. It plans to use that money to support clinical activities and commercialization of everlinQ endoAVF system, a catheter-based technology designed to create hemodialysis access for chronic kidney disease patients in a minimally invasive procedure. To date, it has raised $27.1 million in funding, according to its profile in Crunchbase.

UnaliWear – The company, founded in 2013, makes the Kenega watch aimed at seniors that provides discrete support for fails, medication and reminders and guards against lost-wandering. Earlier this year, the company announced it had raised $3.4 million in seed funding. It has also joined forces with Maxim Integrated Products to make the watches. The company also successfully raised $110,154 from 306 backers on Kickstarter last year.

Xeris Pharmaceuticals – the company, founded in 2005, closed on $41 million in Series C financing in January. It is using the proceeds to develop patient friendly injectables for treatment of diabetes, epilepsy and immunology. It plans to use the proceeds of the funding for Phase 3 clinical trials and commercialization of its G-Pen, glucagon injection program for severe hypoglycemia.

Comments

  1. Jane Wilson says:

    Austin needs to stay competitive as it further defines its identity and continues as a leading startup and innovation city. keep out the losers from SF, Houston, and Dallas. The failed entrepreneurs, fake investor VCs, and other posers looking for free food and beer as they tell tall tales about their successes, but are just failures with a big mouth. Perfect example, Molly Cain! She is the Dallas entrepreneur turned VC that was called out by the press as fake, lied on her resume, and made up her startups with ex lover just for publicity. Typically rich Dallas kid with nothing else to do. She got fired from an accelerator in Dallas for lying on her resume, and she basically works for free as an intern at startups and now has a fake VC firm Sumo. They’ve only invested in her and her boyfriends startups, all of which are just blogs! She’s been poking around the Austin scene like rabid monkey. Keep stupid out of Austin!!!

Speak Your Mind

*