Discharged

Major Texas hospital merger between Memorial Hermann and Baylor Scott & White called off

The merger that would have created the largest hospital system in Texas has been called off. Photo via memorialhermann.org

Two Texas hospitals that were headed for union have called off their engagement plans, according to a joint statement. Dallas-based Baylor Scott and White and Houston-based Memorial Hermann announced in October that they were on track to combine forces following a letter of intent to merge and create a combined system.

The merger would have created a system with over 68 hospital campuses, 1,100 care delivery sites, almost 14,000 physicians, and serve almost 10 million patients each year, according to the October release. The more formalized agreement was expected this year.

"After months of thoughtful exploration, we have decided to discontinue talks of a merger between our two systems," the February 5 release states. "Ultimately, we have concluded that as strong, successful organizations, we are capable of achieving our visions for the future without merging at this time."

Jim Hinton, current CEO of Baylor Scott and White, was announced to be the system's CEO. Chuck Stokes, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann, was said to serve in the proposed office of the CEO, along with Baylor Scott and White president, Pete McCanna.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for each other and remain committed to strengthening our communities, advancing the health of Texans and transforming the delivery of care," the release continues. "We will continue to seek opportunities for collaboration as two forward-thinking, mission-driven organizations."

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Building Houston

 
 

You can now hop online and invest in this promising cell therapy startup. Photo via Getty Images

A clinical-stage company headquartered in Houston has opened an online funding campaign.

FibroBiologics, which is developing fibroblast cell-based therapeutics for chronic diseases, launched a campaign with equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine. The platform lets anyone — regardless of their net worth or income level — to invest in securities issued by startups.

The funding, according to a press release, will be used to support ongoing operations of Fibrobiologics and advance its clinical programs in multiple sclerosis, degenerative disc disease, wound care, extension of life, and cancer.

"We're excited to partner with StartEngine on this campaign. StartEngine has over 600,000 investors as part of their community and has raised over half a billion dollars for its clients," says FibroBiologics' Founder and CEO Pete O'Heeron, in the release.

"This is an exciting time at FibroBiologics as we continue progressing our clinical pipeline and developing innovative therapies to treat chronic diseases," he continues. "This new funding will fuel our growth in the lab and bring us one step closer to commercialization."

The campaign, launched this week, already has over 100 investors, at the time of publication, and has raised nearly $2 million, according to the page. The minimum investment is set at around $500, and the company's indicated valuation is $252.57 million.

In 2021, FibroBiologics announced its intention of going public. Last year, O'Heeron told InnovationMap on the Houston Innovators Podcast of the company's growth plans as well as the specifics of the technology.

Only two types of cells — stem cells and fibroblasts — can be used in cell therapy for a regenerative treatment, which is when specialists take healthy cells from a patient and inject them into a part of the body that needs it the most. As O'Heeron explains in the podcast, fibroblasts can do it more effectively and cheaper than stem cells.

"(Fibroblasts) can essentially do everything a stem cell can do, only they can do it better," says O'Heeron. "We've done tests in the lab and we've seen them outperform stem cells by a low of 50 percent to a high of about 220 percent on different disease paths."


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