Six bioscience startups creating innovative solutions to improve regenerative medicine, spinal surgery, sleep health, medical payments, the food supply, and even ear cleaning have been selected for the 2020 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.
The Arizona-based bioscience startups will each receive $30,000 in funding support through a nonprofit partner, a personalized plan to help advance the company, and connections with the state’s bioscience and policy leaders.
The Flinn Foundation has competitively selected 40 bioscience firms in Arizona since 2014 to participate in the program, providing nearly $1.2 million in funding support. The program was established to foster entrepreneurship and help bioscience founders develop their early-stage companies into successful and sustainable businesses in Arizona.
The 2020 program winners, including four from the Phoenix area and two from Tucson, are:
Additive Implants, Phoenix
Additive Implants has created an FDA-approved, 3D-printed titanium alloy SureMAX Cervical Spacer System for use in back and neck surgery. The cervical spacer offers a roughened porous surface with several unique features on the superior, inferior, and lateral aspects of the implant, designed to effectively engage bone on the vertebral endplates. These features combine to provide an ideal environment for fusion while also helping to resist rotational forces throughout the healing process.
GenetiRate aims to improve the food supply through natural-selection technology that measures metabolic rates to identify animals that are genetically superior for growth, including fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. GenetiRate uses its proprietary diagnostic assay and sorter to test various aquatic eggs, embryos, hatchlings, and tissues to select aquatic species with greater growth potential and feed efficiency.
Humabiologics provides a stable supply of high-quality, human-derived biomaterials for tissue engineering, research, and regenerative medicine. The company, dedicated to bridging the gap between researchers and the gift of donated human tissues, partners with academic and industry institutions to develop biomaterials to address debilitating diseases and improve the quality of life for patients.
Resonea is the developer of DROWZLE, an FDA-approved proprietary software and analytical algorithm system for sleep-health guidance deployed on consumer smartphones, including medical-grade screening, detecting, monitoring, and measuring outcomes of obstructive sleep apnea. Resonea has also developed the DROWZLE Sleep Health Program and the online Sleep Well/Live Well sleep-improvement program.
RexPay provides an innovative solution to the medical-billing industry through an app where patients can understand, manage, and pay their medical bills and check insurance coverage all in one place. By making it easier for patients to pay, RexPay helps health-care providers by reducing delayed and defaulted payments, improving patient satisfaction, and reducing operating costs.
SafKan has developed the first automated ear-cleaning device for clinical use, the OtoSet, for the more than 600 million people worldwide with excess or impacted earwax. The OtoSet’s pulsed irrigation and continuous suction automatically breaks down and removes excess earwax in 35 seconds.
“These Arizona startup founders and researchers are taking their impressive cutting-edge ideas and growing them into businesses that will make Arizonans’ lives better,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “The foundation is proud to offer a program that benefits not only these six firms, but Arizona’s entire bioscience ecosystem.”
The program benefits include a professionally developed, yearlong plan specific to the needs of each participating company. The firms also receive a one-year membership to Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, joining about 100 science, health care, business, academic, and policy leaders who guide Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the long-term strategic plan leading Arizona toward becoming a national leader in select areas of the biosciences.
The selected bioscience startups must be engaged in the commercialization of bioscience research and biotechnology and/or the sale of products in the areas of medical devices and equipment; drugs, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics; agricultural feedstock and chemicals; research, testing and medical labs; or bioscience-related distribution—the industry categories recognized together as the biosciences in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.
Each $30,000 grant is awarded to and administered by the nonprofit Arizona Bioindustry Association, a trade association that promotes the growth of the state’s bioscience sector.
To learn more about the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program, visit www.flinn.org/entrepreneur.
The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to advancing the biosciences in Arizona, the foundation supports the Flinn Scholars Program, a merit-based college scholarship program; arts and culture; and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its Flinn-Brown Fellowship.