Life science investors, leaders and innovators from around the world gathered virtually to discuss the pandemic, medical technology and the future of the industry at the Texas Life Science Forum, where Houston companies claimed top honors.
The forum, co-hosted by BioHouston and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, is one of the premier life science venture capital conferences in the U.S. It featured pitches by 40 companies developing innovative solutions in medical devices, digital health, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics. The presenting companies – about half of which are Houston-based – have already raised more than $275 million in funding.
Starling Medical won the Michael E. DeBakey Memorial Life Science Award, established by BioHouston in honor of the groundbreaking Houston cardiovascular surgeon. The Houston digital health device company is revolutionizing severe bladder dysfunction management with artificial intelligence.
Ten other entries were chosen by investors as the Rice Alliance Most Promising Life Science Companies, presented by the Greater Houston Partnership. They are:
Droice Labs, New York, is an AI/big data company that helps match patients to therapies by delivering personalized medicine at scale.
SFA Therapeutics, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, is developing oral drugs for treating conditions of chronic inflammation that have the potential to change the practice of medicine.
Hummingbird Bioscience, Houston, pursues challenging targets that play a key role in disease yet have not been effectively drugged; its work includes 12 therapies in various stages of development, four of which have the potential to revolutionize their fields.
CaseCTRL, Houston, is a management platform for surgeons, providing software-as-a-service technology that uses AI and logistics to lower operational costs and simplify surgical planning.
Perimeter Medical, Dallas, is driven to transform cancer surgery with advanced, real-time, ultrahigh-resolution imaging tools including AI to address areas of unmet medical need.
Studio Bahia, San Antonio, provides an accessible model for therapy in addressing mental health crises from the pandemic.
Tvardi Therapeutics, Houston, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of small molecule, STAT3 inhibitors.
Koda Health, Houston, uses AI to help guide difficult conversations in health care, starting with end-of-life care planning.
ImmunoGenesis, Houston, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics to catalyze effective immune responses in immunologically “cold” cancers such as prostate, colorectal and pancreatic.
Ictero Medical, Houston, is developing the first minimally invasive cryoablation solution to treat patients with gallstone disease.
Financial support for the forum was supported by the Texas Medical Center and Insperity.