Gov. Rick Perry has announced awards from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) to three early stage companies that are developing groundbreaking technologies in Texas to help treat and diagnose diabetes and heart failure.
"Texas remains the epicenter for job creation and innovation by attracting entrepreneurs, enabling businesses to grow and creating an environment that helps bring new products into the marketplace," Gov. Perry said. "By investing in key start-up companies, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund continues to fill a critical gap, providing the necessary early stage capitol to successfully develop new ideas from biotechnology to health care to safe and efficient energy production."
The TETF investments are as follows:
Xeris Pharmaceuticals is receiving $1.9 million for the commercialization of its lead product, the Glucagon Rescue Pen (G-Pen) and a follow on product, the G-Pen Mini, which use Xeris' proprietary formulation of glucagon, a rescue drug for severe hypoglycemia. Featuring a pre-loaded auto-injector with pre-mixed liquid glucagon, the G-Pen provides patient-friendly injectable treatments for diabetes and endocrine and metabolic diseases, cutting the current standard of care from nine steps to two. The G-Pen Mini allows for the treatment of moderate hypoglycemia without requiring the patient to ingest additional calories, which helps diabetes patients manage their weight and blood sugar levels. The company is working with Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas-Austin Technology Incubator and UTHSCSA-Texas Diabetes Center.
Admittance Technologies Inc. is receiving $500,000 of a potential $1.99 million award for the development and commercialization of CaridoVol, which allows for real-time blood volume measurement using existing pacemaker components to detect heart failure. Using electrical admittance technology implanted in pacemaker-bi ventricular leads, the CardioVol measures left ventricular blood volume, which is the earliest indicator of heart failure. This potentially life-saving technology is based on a 13 year collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Procyrion Inc. is receiving $750,000 of a potential $1.5 million award to develop a first-in-class, catheter-deployed circulatory assistance device for treating heart failure and increasing end-organ perfusion. The device addresses the large unmet clinical need of Class III and early Class IV heart failure patients in the US who are too sick for medical therapy alone, but not sick enough for a risky and invasive transplant or Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). Procyrion's low-cost micro pump can be implanted and retrieved in a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure. When activated, the device augments blood flow and reduces the workload of the heart, allowing the patient's heart to rest and heal. The company is collaborating with the University of Houston and the Texas Heart Institute.
The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor's request, and reauthorized in 2007, 2009 and 2011. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $200 million in funds to 140 early stage companies, and over $216 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. Additionally, since the inception of the TETF, more than $761 million in additional investment from other non-state sources has followed on to the TETF investment, more than tripling the amount invested by the TETF.
For more information on the TETF, please visit http://www.emergingtechfund.com.