Penn Center for Innovation

Penn-affiliated Startups Actively Fundraising – Spring 2021

Posted on March 16, 2021 — Jessica Jones Gupta

PCI supports and facilitates startup formation and growth through our startup creation programs and our licensing partnerships. This list of Penn affiliated startups are actively fundraising. For more information and to directly contact these companies, please email: pciinfo@pci.upenn.edu

 

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Diagnostic Companies

  • Chip Diagnostics (series A) is commercializing an innovative hardware and data/AI informatics platform, used to develop novel, exosome-based biomarker signatures for early disease diagnostics and therapy management. Our solutions enable extremely accurate “fingerprinting” of a broad range of disease states, offering inexpensive, and less time and resource-intensive workflows across drug discovery and diagnostics use cases.
  • Exio Biosciences (series A) is pioneering a predictive and prognostic blood-based biomarker test to ensure optimal immunotherapy treatment for cancer patients. The first application focuses on detecting exosomal PD-L1 to stratify patients as clinical responders versus non-responders to checkpoint immunotherapy.
  • FloBio (series A) is developing a rapid, near patient diagnostic for bleeding and thrombotic risk in emergency and critical care settings. Using our microfluidic platform technology that mimics the body’s blood clotting process, FloBio’s first product fills the information gap in managing the treatment of at-risk patients on direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), where no widely accessible or FDA approved test is available.
  • Instanosis (seed) focuses on commercialization of an innovative and broadly-applicable point-of-care platform to detect ultra-low concentrations of disease biomarkers, with the lead application being an ultrasensitive and low-cost COVID antigen test
  • Liquid Biotech (series A) is a biotechnology company with a unique and powerful approach to diagnosing cancer. Their technology can detect cancer at early stages of the disease. The company is committed to developing rapid and non-invasive tests for cancer in addition to supporting academic and corporate collaborators in their quest to uncover novel cancer gene drivers and develop next generation targeted therapies.

 

Digital Health Companies

  • Cogwear (seed) is creating the first clinical-grade, cognitive wearable for active situations powered by nanotechnology sensors, machine learning, and breakthrough science. Their nanotechnology EEG sensors perform as well as the best clinical-grade wet electrodes, with the convenience and longevity of dry electrodes, to provide high-quality brain insights on the go.
  • Galileo (seed) is developing decision support tools for medical professionals assessing medical images.
  • Hypknowledge (seed) mission is to help people get their most, best sleep by making mobile tech, wearables, and smart devices smarter.
  • Neuralert Technologies (seed) is developing an automated stroke detection system for the acute care hospital market where 10% of all strokes occur. Non-invasive, wearable devices attached to a patients’ wrists monitor for asymmetric arm movement/weakness, transmits telemetry data to a proprietary algorithm to rapidly identify stroke symptoms, and sends an alert to medical staff to quickly begin stroke-mitigation treatment, saving lives, improving outcomes and reducing cost.
  • Quantitative Radiology Solutions (QRS) (series A) offers advanced body-wide quantification of medical images for applications in radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology. Its unique Automatic Anatomy Recognition software supports recognition and delineation of anatomical objects and diseased tissue in multiple body regions in MRI, CT, and PET/CT images.
  • TAIRIS (seed) is improving neurosurgery and neurosurgeons through anatomical pattern recognition assistance.

 

Advanced Materials Companies

  • EnaChip (series A) is developing and commercializing a disruptive technology platform compatible with existing semiconductor manufacturing. Their innovative materials and manufacturing process for power management components, that exist in every electronic device, enables up to 70% solution size reduction, up to 30% efficiency increase, and up to 3X cost reduction.
  • Hydropore (seed) is developing an innovative, lightweight, high-performance hydrogen generation system for fuel cell-powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones. It will deliver at least 3X the performance of lithium-ion
    batteries- meaning longer flight times with heavier payloads.

 

Therapeutics Companies

  • Axonova (seed) is developing novel tissue-engineered nerve grafts offering a promising new technique to repair currently untreatable peripheral nerve and spinal cord injuries.
  • Cantius Therapeutics (seed) has a unique, well-placed strategy to treat cachexia and block nausea/emesis. GRASP technology utilizes small peptides that penetrate the brainstem to antagonize the GFRAL-Ret receptor complex. This complex, expressed exclusively in the brainstem, was established as the sole mediator of GDF15 (MIC-1) signaling, a cytokine critical in disease-induced cachexia, anorexia, and emetic behaviors from cancer, chemotherapy, and pregnancy-induced morning sickness.
  • EpiVario (series A) is a preclinical stage biotechnology company that is developing neuroepigenetic modulators to treat memory related psychiatric disorders. Our newly discovered epigenetic regulatory mechanism, ACSS2, provides a target for treating memory-related neuropsychiatric disorders. Based on this paradigm-shifting finding, EpiVario is developing pharmacotherapeutics to treat anxiety and addiction disorders, including PTSD and alcohol use disorder.
  • Innervace (series A) is developing the first implantable, tissue engineered neural pathways that can physically reconstruct lost brain circuitry. The first indication of this platform is for treating patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in particular with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Intervir (series A) is a pre-clinical stage biotech company with an experienced drug discovery team that is focused on first in-class antiviral therapeutics. Intervir’s novel, host-oriented mechanism of action disrupts budding, release and dissemination of viruses. Target indications are deadly hemorrhagic viruses and emerging and mutating viruses such as SARS-CoV2. The company is seeking funding of $7 million to advance through a phase I trial.
  • LignaMed (series A) is dedicated to developing breakthrough treatments for asthma, organ transplant viability, and fibrosis.
  • Linnaeus Therapeutics (series C) is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel small molecule oncology therapeutics that target G protein-coupled receptors.
  • LuxFiat Therapeutics (series A) is developing platforms that utilize gene therapy and other treatment modalities to cure genetic and other causes of blindness.
  • Mechano-Therapeutics (seed, angel) is developing a tunable drug delivery platform that leverages the human body’s natural physiologic mechanisms to deliver therapeutics. Potential applications of this proprietary platform include the delivery of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic drugs and therapeutic biofactors to control acute joint injuries, alleviate pain, dampen inflammation and promote musculoskeletal tissues regeneration. Our technology is designed to utilize existing and novel therapeutics and deliver them more effectively in mechanically loaded environments. Mechano-Therapeutics technology provides a paradigm shift in the approach to treat of a variety of clinical issues including traumatic joint injuries and osteoarthritis.
  • MyoArete (seed) will develop and commercialize newly identified utrophin upregulation therapies that treat all DMD patients, independent of mutation. Utrophin functionally substitutes for the missing dystrophin and has been validated in preclinical studies, but not as yet translated to patients.
  • Peroxitech (series A) is a novel therapeutic to prevent acute lung injury, the major cause of death with sepsis.
  • Pinpoint Therapeutics (series A) is developing novel cancer treatments to specifically inhibit autophagy, a key cell survival and treatment resistance pathway in cancer. Pinpoint inhibitors target a recently discovered enzyme in the autophagy pathway called PPT1, which is highly expressed across most cancers. These inhibitors could be applied to a broad range of cancers alone or in combination to overcome therapy resistance.
  • StrongHolt (seed) is a pre-clinical stage company developing a gene therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Vellum Biosciences (seed) is a non-invasive imaging diagnostic to differentiate cancer, inflammation, and infection.
  • Verismo Therapeutics (seed) is a privately held seed-stage company focused on bringing a new generation of CAR-T treatment to market using a Killer-Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (“KIR-CAR”)
  • Vetigenics (seed) is an animal health biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, safe and effective immunotherapies to treat cancer in pet dogs. By leveraging its proprietary fully canine phage display library, Vetigenics can engineer therapeutics designed to be precise, highly efficacious and non-immunogenic, which is not possible with transgenic or other discovery approaches.

 

Advanced Materials Companies

  • Neoneur (seed) is developing a device to measure and monitor critical infant feeding behaviors as compared to normative maturation data to provide treatment guidance to high-risk infants.
  • Onocor (series A) is developing a catheter-based retrieval system designed to recover malposition cardiovascular devices.
  • OsciFlex (series A) is developing medical devices based on a novel scientific discovery of the mechanism underlying VTE, which aims to protect immobile patients from deadly blood clots.
  • Ostiio (series A) is developing a novel distractor that can be fully buried under the patient’s skin and expanded wirelessly and with precision.
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