The Arizona bioscience startups scene looks to be very healthy. A regenerative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, a respiratory-assist device to improve COPD patient care, a blood-based test for colorectal cancer, and a treatment to solve bad dog breath are some of the transformative advances of the 2022 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program participants.
The seven Arizona-based, early-stage companies competitively selected for the foundation’s program will 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.
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The 2022 program participants include three Tucson-based Arizona bioscience startups, two 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:
Anuncia Medical (Scottsdale)
Anuncia Medical of Scottsdale is the developer of the ReFlow™ Ventricular System, which helps patients with cerebrospinal fluid disorders, such as hydrocephalus, a debilitating and life-threatening condition affecting more than 1 million U.S. patients. The device, which is placed beneath the scalp, facilitates a safe, noninvasive retrograde fluid flush when ventriculoperitoneal shunt flow is restricted or blocked.
Beacon Biomedical (Phoenix)
Beacon Biomedical provides easy, accurate, and affordable blood tests for earlier cancer detection as well as COVID-19 virus detection and antibodies testing. The company’s lead product, BeScreened™-CRC, is a blood-based test for the early detection of colorectal cancer. The Phoenix-based company also has early detection assays for breast, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancers in development.
Navi Nurses (Phoenix)
Phoenix-based Navi Nurses offers personalized, private nursing care after surgery and hospitalization. Navi Nurses exclusively hires bachelor-degree-and-higher registered nurses and provides carefully matched care based on the needs of the individual in the homecare setting.
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’s lead molecule, Allopregnanolone, is a clinical-stage, regenerative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases that generates new neurons, new synapses, and new neural circuits in the Alzheimer’s brain.
ReSuture has created a synthetic vasculature that mimics the properties of live human tissue for surgical training, delivering a lifelike procedural experience to allow surgeons to gain operative experience in a controlled environment. The Surprise-based company seeks to reduce surgical complications and improve patient outcomes by giving future surgeons a superior training experience.
Tucson-based SaiOx Inc. has developed 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.
uPetsia solves the problem of bad dog breath by modifying natural canine oral bacteria. The bacteria can be incorporated into dog treats and chews, giving them fresh breath with a mint aroma for several hours. The 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.
To learn more about the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program and the firms, visit flinn.org/entrepreneur.