Tag: Emerging Medical Technology Symposium

ENTvantage Diagnostics of Austin Wins the Emerging Medical Technology Symposium’s Pitch Competition

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IMG_2722ENTvantage Diagnostics won the Emerging Medical Technology Symposium’s pitch competition on Tuesday afternoon.

“ENTvantage Diagnostics provides primary care and ENT physicians with critical information on the causes of ear, nose and throat illnesses,” said Joseph Skraba, its CEO.

The Austin-based company’s first product is a test its developing that can detect bacterial sinusitis. The test is similar to a strep throat test administered in the doctor’s office, Skraba said. The test will be able to help a doctor confirm a case of bacterial sinusitis that requires antibiotics to cure.

Right now, no such test exists.

Doctors must diagnose a patient with bacterial sinusitis based on symptoms, which are similar to cases of viral sinusitis. As a result, doctors often over prescribe antibiotics to their patients. About 30 million patients annually are diagnosed with sinusitis and 90 percent of all cases are viral and not bacterial, Skraba said.

ENTVantage Diagnostics’s $15 test would dramatically cut down on prescriptions for antibiotics and give patients a more accurate diagnosis of their condition. Skraba estimates it will take three years to get the test to the market.

The company is looking to raise a $1 million seed stage round to complete its initial product, a class two medical device, Skraba said. It received a $1,000 check from the Targeted Technology Fund as the winner of the pitch competition.

The runner up, Claresta Solutions, won six months worth of office space at the San Antonio Technology Center. But since Claresta Solutions already had an office, it gave up the prize to Leto Solutions, which is based at the center, so it gets six months of free rent.

Altogether, eight startups delivered five-minute pitches to a panel of judges. The other startups included Wisewear, StemBioSys, TVA Medical, Chiron Health and ClotFree.

Jerry Wilmink, CEO of Austin-based Wisewear, pitched a wearable health device to monitor fitness including heart rate and motion detection. Its sensor is a sticky patch that affixes to the chest and it sends its data to a cell phone.

Somer Baburek, CEO and founder of Claresta Solutions, came up with a better labor fetal monitor after a difficult labor with her daughter. She spent 26 hours in labor and had an emergency C-Section. But the monitor kept setting off alarms and required constant adjustment by the nurses throughout her labor. She left the hospital thinking there must be a better solution. She came up with it. Her device is based on an electrical system and is 90 percent accurate, she said. Most labor monitors are currently Doppler devices that are only 75 percent accurate, she said. The company is currently seeking $250,000 in seed stage funding to create a working prototype of its device.

IMG_2713The sixth annual Emerging Medical Technology Symposium took place the day before the InnoTech San Antonio conference, which kicks off Wednesday morning at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio.

The event was a big success, said Gabriele G. Niederauer, vice president of research and development for ArthoCare Corp. and chair of the symposium’s organizing committee.

One of the big themes that kept coming up again and again throughout the day was the importance of having a good team behind the startup, she said.

Emerging Medical Technology Symposium to Spotlight San Antonio’s Biotech Industry

Photo licensed from iStock

Photo licensed from iStock

Founder of Silicon Hills News

San Antonio has a long history of innovation when it comes to the biotechnology and the medical industry.

Dr. Julio Palmaz, then a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center invented the heart stent, which restaurateur Phil Romano later backed and they eventually sold it to Johnson & Johnson for about $500 million.

The city has had other successes in drug development, medical devices, and tissue and cell research companies and military medicine.

Most recently, Teleflex bought Vidacare last October for $285 million and Austin-based ArthoCare bought ENTrigue Surgical last June for $45 million in cash. And in February of this year, Smith & Nephew bought ArthoCare for $1.7 billion.

The sixth annual Emerging Medical Technology Symposium on April 1st, the day before the InnoTech San Antonio conference, seeks to put a spotlight on all of the medical and biotechnology innovation going on in South Texas, said Gabriele G. Niederauer, vice president of research and development for ArthroCare Corp. and chair of the symposium’s organizing committee.

“The whole goal of the meeting is to provide a venue for entrepreneurs in the medical technology space to network, learn and share their experiences to foster growth of future companies,” she said.

Of all the nationwide InnoTech conferences, San Antonio has the only one that offers a half-day focused just on medical entrepreneurs, she said.

More than 150 people are expected to attend the conference this year, Niederauer said. Registration costs just $54 and includes lunch, all presentations, an evening reception and access to InnoTech the following day.

The conference kicks off with a keynote address from Catherine “Cathy” Burzik, former president and CEO and a director of Kinetic Concepts in San Antonio. She is currently general partner at Targeted Technologies and serves as director on several public boards. She’s going to talk about building high performing teams that create value and ultimately create exit value for the company.

The symposium also features the second annual pitch competition. This year, eight companies will present before a panel of judges and angel and institutional investors. The winner will receive a $1,000 check from the Targeted Technology Fund and other perks.

The companies presenting include Claresta Solutions, TVA Medical, Leto Solutions, Wisewear, Chiron Health, StemBioSys, ClotFree and ENTvantage Dx. The judges include Jordan Kaufmann, president of Cardiovate and winner of the 2013 pitch competition, Mike Troy, CEO of FlashScan and Daniel R. Lee, CEO of Aperion Biologics Inc.

With the new Dell Medical School in Austin, this region will have even more biotechnology and medical startups. And the Targeted Technology fund, a venture capital fund focused on the biotechnology industry, is already raising its second fund, Niederauer said.

InnoTech’s Emerging Medical Technology Symposium takes place today

At the San Antonio Convention Center, the Emerging Medical Technology Symposium is taking place from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The agenda includes a luncheon and keynote presentation by Dennis McWilliams, president, CEO and founder of Apollo Endosurgery about its greatest challenges for raising money.
Following the keynote presentation, a panel discussion runs from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on fundraising, tips and strategies.
You can find the full schedule here.
Gabriele G. Niederauer, senior vice president of technology and development at Entrigue Surgical Inc. is the conference chair.

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