A fledgling, state-backed bioscience accelerator on the Connecticut shoreline said it has selected a UConn Health educator’s new venture and 11 other startups to participate in its second annual program.
The Accelerator for Biosciences in Connecticut, or ABCT, a Branford-based program spearheaded by Design Technologies LLC, aims to support Connecticut’s aim of being a bioscience hub. Last year, Design Technologies received a three-year commitment of up to $720,000 from quasi-public entrepreneurship organization CTNext to invest in ABCT.
The accelerator says it will provide its latest group of startups with education and networking opportunities, including with the program’s supporting companies like Purdue Pharma, Pfizer and Microsoft.
While members of the second annual cohort are heavily centered around Yale and New Haven County, Greater Hartford is represented through the selection of DeMay Bio, founded by Caroline Dealy, associate professor of reconstructive sciences, orthopedic surgery, and cell biology at UConn Health. DeMay Bio is developing an adjunct treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, according to ABCT.
Dealy is also a founder of UConn Health’s now bustling Technology Incubation Program in Farmington.
Besides Dealy’s company, members of ABCT’s 2019 cohort include:
- Yale University’s Dr. Abbas Shojaee, who is developing a chatbot called MEaDvise to conduct medical interviews.
- Yale University Associate Professor of Medicine Choukri Ben Mamoun, whose ELIV5 Therapeutics LLC is developing a new class of antifungal drugs.
- Yale University Blavatnik Fellow Sorin Fedeles’ TargetSite Therapeutics is “harnessing the power of a differentiated oligonucleotide therapeutic platform to target pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in therapeutic areas of distinct need.”
- Krouzon Pharmaceuticals, headed by V. P. Eswarakumar, associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Yale University, is developing a treatment for ultra-rare orphan pediatric skeletal disorders.
- Ludmila Kvochina of Hamden-based Vanessa Research’s The MIDA Project is developing a screen test for detection of microvillous inclusion disease (MVID), a rare genetic disorder that can result in malnutrition, stunted growth and a shorter lifespan.
- Qi Zhao of Enrich Therapeutics, which lists a Worcester address, is working on a platform enabling easier sorting of individual therapeutic cells.
- Tom Wenchell of New Haven’s RevMedica, which aims to provide the first-ever powered reusable endoscopic stapler that doesn’t require cleaning or sterilization.
- Dr. Jeremy Wiygul, a pediatric urologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, is developing a biofeedback device consisting of a garment with embedded sensors and a downloadable software program.
- Dr. Vera Nezgovorova of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York is working on a platform called Neurobot, targeted at people with compulsive, impulsive and autism spectrum disorders that comprises a wearable and AI-driven chat bot.
- Brian Adams, CEO of The Brain Institute of America in New Haven, which aims to increase the five-year survival rate for brain cancer patients by implementing innovative noncoding-RNA biomarker discovery platforms.
- Engineer Mahmoud Morshedy’s EnVision software program, targeted at surgeons and other medical providers, converts X-rays and other two-dimensional medical images into three-dimensional holographic images.
Last year’s ABCT cohort included 17 participants, 11 ventures, 30 mentors and eight corporate supporters, which accomplished several milestones, according to ABCT.
Among the participants was UConn startup LambdaVision, which uses implantable technology to correct age-related blindness. The technology was recently launched into space to test how a weightless environment might benefit production of the company’s implants, according to UConn Today.
According to ABCT, several other inaugural cohort members have since secured their first customer sales and landed seed funding. That includes Shoreline Biome, LifeStyle CX, and SolAware.
ABCT is not Design Technologies’ first such accelerator program. It also founded ELabNYC in New York, which is now on its sixth cohort. Thus far, ELabNYC’s 95 alumni companies have raised $190 million after graduating, according to Design Technologies.