A regenerative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a respiratory-assist device to improve COPD patient care, and a treatment to solve bad dog breath are some of the transformative advances of the 2022 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program participants.
And these three are all startups founded to commercialize University of Arizona innovations.
“Having three of our startups get selected for the Flinn program is validation that the programs and process that we’ve put in place to prepare our startups for success are working to help our teams rise to a high level of excellence,” said Tech Launch Arizona Director of Venture Development Bruce Burgess. “I’m proud of what these teams have achieved thus far and am excited to see their continuing success.”
Tech Launch Arizona, the office of the UArizona that commercializes inventions stemming from research, helped all three companies through the processes of intellectual property protection and licensing, and provided services, education and mentoring to help each startup team strategize for the future and prepare for the competition.
All told, seven Arizona-based, early-stage companies competitively selected for the foundation’s program will each receive $30,000 in funding support through a nonprofit partner, a personalized learning plan, and connections with the state’s bioscience leaders in business, research, and policy.
Along with the three UArizona startups, the 2022 program participants include, two companies from Phoenix and one each from Scottsdale and Surprise.
“These seven companies are working on innovations and treatments that could dramatically improve millions of lives and make for a healthier world—even for our pets,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “The Flinn Foundation program provides these entrepreneurs with the tools they will need to continue to grow their firms and attract investors.”
The 2022 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program participants are:
NeuTherapeutics is a Tucson-based company whose mission is to provide safe and effective regenerative treatments for the brain to cure neurodegenerative diseases and precision therapies that preserve women’s brain health. The company was founded to commercialize a therapy based on Allopregnanolone or allo developed at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center for Innovation in Brain Science (CIBS) and the BIO5 Institute. CIBS’ director Roberta Diaz Brinton led the research and development effort. Allo is a clinical-stage, regenerative treatment that promotes the development of new neurons, new synapses, and new neural circuits in the brain for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Tucson-based SaiOx Inc. is bringing to market Hespiro™, a respiratory-assist device that helps treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD, and other respiratory diseases. The system, which improves patient comfort and reduces intubation occurrences, delivers a mixture of helium and oxygen, and captures exhaled gas and scrubs it free of carbon dioxide in a completely closed “rebreather” system. Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, professor of medicine and chief of the UArizona Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and Dr. Marvin Slepian, Regents Professor of Medicine and director of the UArizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, invented the device.
uPetsia solves the problem of bad dog breath by modifying natural canine oral bacteria. The bacterial strain, developed by Eric Lyons and David Baltrus, both associate professors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, can be incorporated into dog treats and chews, giving them fresh breath with a mint aroma for several hours. Their Tucson-based firm was one of five companies that won Purina’s 2022 Pet Care Innovation Prize.
Since the program was launched in 2014 to foster bioscience entrepreneurship, the Flinn Foundation has competitively selected 54 Arizona companies and provided $1.6 million in support for the program.
The program benefits include a $30,000 grant awarded to and administered by the nonprofit Arizona Bioindustry Association, a trade association that promotes the growth of the state’s bioscience sector, and an individualized plan provided by an industry expert. Each firm is also awarded a one-year membership to Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, enabling company leaders to engage with more than 125 science, health-care, business, academic, and policy leaders who guide Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
Learn more about the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program and the firms, on the Flinn Foundation site.