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Six Arizona startups win entry to Flinn Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program

March 9, 2016

By Amy Pitney

PHOENIX—Six Arizona startup bioscience firms have been competitively selected to participate in the 2016 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.

The companies will receive $30,000 in funding support and a set of program services administered through a nonprofit partner. The program was established to foster entrepreneurship and help early-stage bioscience firms develop into successful and sustainable businesses.

The program’s selection process begins with written applications from bioscience startup companies throughout Arizona. These firms 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.  A review committee appointed by the Flinn Foundation reviews all applications, interviews the finalists, and recommends to the Foundation a pool of firms best prepared to benefit from participation in the program.

“Following a rigorous and competitive process we believe these six bioscience startups are excellent representatives of the innovation taking place throughout Arizona,” said Jack B. Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation. “The services and funding they will receive as participants in the Flinn program will benefit these entrepreneurs as they work to improve the quality of life in Arizona and around the world while strengthening our state’s economy.”

The winning companies for 2016 are:

AniCell Biotech (www.anicellbiotech.com): AniCell Biotech is a Chandler-based company that extends the active life of animals using a revolutionary treatment that can alleviate debilitating injuries through accelerated regeneration of tissue and bone. The treatment uses amnion growth factors and cellular components collected non-invasively during birth at zero risk to the animals.

Breezing (http://breezing.com): Breezing has created the world’s first mobile metabolism tracker that measures an individual’s metabolism through breathing. The Tempe-based company tracks one’s metabolism over time and integrates with weight, activity, and dieting goals to provide customized feedback on reaching weight goals.

EpiFinder (www.epifinder.com) EpiFinder’s proprietary app software enables neurologists to improve the consistency of seizure classification and the accuracy of epilepsy diagnosis. By providing quicker and more accurate diagnoses for a specific epilepsy syndrome, the Scottsdale-based EpiFinder reduces health-care costs for hospitals, enables doctors to provide personalized medicine, and helps to improve the quality of life of patients.

Neolight (www.theneolight.com): Neolight uses phototherapy beds to cure jaundice in pre-term and full-term babies quickly and without side effects. The Scottsdale-based company developed a small and portable incubator with LEDs that provides quick treatment time, reduces the amount of parts needed, uses a small amount of power, and enables newborns to remain close to their mothers.

Omica (www.omicascience.com): Omica’s Light Stream FloCell is capable of extracting a single cell or bulk cells from a targeted area, facilitating the evolution of health care towards personalized medicine. The process developed by the Scottsdale-based company increases the overall quantity and quality of cellular material collected.

Symple Surgical (www.symplesurgical.com): Symple Surgical’s DirectAblate Renal Denervation System is designed to help hundreds of millions of patients worldwide living with chronic hypertension, or high blood pressure, through a minimally invasive vascular procedure. The system developed by the Flagstaff-based company delivers microwave thermal energy directly to the precise location of overactive sympathetic nerves while minimizing thermal exposure to non-targeted tissue.

Over the past three years, the Flinn Foundation has selected 15 bioscience firms to participate in the program.

In addition to the funding and services through a nonprofit partner, the firms may also participate for one year as members of Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a group of the state’s science, health-care, business, academia, and policy leaders responsible for overseeing Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap.

The application for the 2017 Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program will open later this year. To learn more about the program, visit www.flinn.org/entrepreneur.