Photo licensed from iStockphoto

Photo licensed from iStockphoto

Texas is one of the leading biotech states in the country, according to a 2014 report from the Texas Governor’s Office. In fact, it ranks second for employment of life and physical scientists nationwide.

The state has more than 3,600 biotechnology manufacturing and research and development firms. More than 92,000 people work for biotech companies in Texas. It has also become a hotbed of activity for startups tackling big problems like finding drugs to combat different types of cancer or medical devices to screen for cancer. San Antonio and Austin have dozens of innovative startups addressing big problems in the medical industry. Here are just ten to keep an eye on in the coming year:

Aeglea Biotherapeutics: the Austin-based startup develops variants on human enzymes to deplete key amino acids to fight cancer and other diseases. The company filed in June with the Nasdaq Stock Exchange for an Initial Public Offering to raise $86.2 million.

Aerin Medical: the company is in the process of relocating its headquarters from California to Austin. Fred Dinger, a serial biomedical entrepreneur, is heading it up as CEO in Austin. It also just filed a Form D with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $14.36 million in funding. The company focuses on solving breathing problems. It has created a device that opens up the air passages of patients so they no longer need breathe right devices or surgery to breathe easier. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office.

Bluegrass Vascular Technologies – the San Antonio-based startup relocated from Lexington, Kentucky. It raised $4.5 million in Series A financing last year led by the Targeted Technology Fund of San Antonio. The company makes the Surfacer, a central venous access catheter system. Gabriele Niederauer joined the company in September of 2014 as its CEO and President.

Chiron Health – the Austin-based startup provides telemedicine healthcare consultation for doctors with patients remotely over the Internet. With the Chiron Health platform, doctors can review lab results, adjust medication and answer other patient questions online. Founded by Andrew O’Hara, the company is working with 20 health care providers.

ENTVantageDX Diagnostics: the Austin-based startup is creating a test to detect bacterial sinusitis, which requires antibiotics to cure. The test is similar to a strep throat test administered in the doctor’s office.

Mirna Therapeautics, the Austin-based startup develops cancer-fighting drugs. Its drugs are currently in clinical trial testing with patients. It recently received $41.8 million in venture capital financing. The company has raised $82.8 million in four rounds from 11 investors, according to its Crunchbase profile. Dr. Paul Lammers is the company’s CEO and president.

Neurolink Medical: the San Antonio-based startup has created a brain implant system to monitor brain activity and to directly deliver drugs to treat brain seizures or epilepsy. It received $3.2 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

Savara Pharmaceuticals: the Austin-based pharmaceutical startup has created pulmonary therapeutics for cancer and other diseases. It received $1.9 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. To date, the company has raised $47.7 million in eight rounds.

Seno Medical Instruments: the San Antonio-based medical device startup has created laser optic technology to screen for cancer. It received $2 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.

StemBioSys: the San Antonio-based startup develops proprietary stem cell technologies for the regenerative medical market. Earlier this year, the company closed on $8 million in Series A funding led by the Targeted Technology Fund, a San Antonio-based venture capital firm. To date, it has raised $10 million. The company is in research partnerships with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Langer/Anderson Laboratories at MIT.