ready to grow
For the fourth year, Texas Medical Center Innovation has named its annual cohort of Texas health tech innovators working on promising cancer therapeutics.
TMCi named its 2024 Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics cohort last week, and the 23 Texas researchers and companies selected will undergo a nine-month program that will provide them with mentorship and programming, as well as open doors to potential investors and strategic partners.
“The ACT program provides a bridge to commercialization in Texas by surrounding innovators with strategic mentorship, milestone development, and a network of resources to move their projects forward,” Emily Reiser, associate director of TMC Innovation, says in a news release. "We are excited to welcome this year's cohort and to continue enabling participants to advance their solutions to treat cancer."
The program has accelerated 76 researchers and companies to date, many of which — like March Biosciences and Mongoose Bio — have gone on to secure $130 million in funding from venture capitalists and grant funding.
“Our program has cultivated a dynamic ecosystem where partners, researchers, and inventors, who have been part of the journey since its inception and received various forms of funding, continue to propel their life-saving products and technologies forward," Ahmed AlRawi, program manager of ACT, says in the release. "Our 2024 cohort represents our most diverse cohort to date, including eight companies led by women entrepreneurs. Additionally, we are particularly proud that the cohort includes a blend of new and recurring organizations that have leveraged this opportunity in the past to extend their work and continue the momentum to build off the successes of our previous years.”
The 2024 participants are:
- Alexandre Reuben of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Betty Kim & Jiang Wen of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Bin He of Houston Methodist
- Daniel Kiss & John Cooke of PeakRNA at Houston Methodist
- Hongjun Liang of Texas Tech-Lubbock
- Jacob Goell & Isaac Hilton of Mercator Biosciences at Rice University
- Jay Hartenbach & Matthew Halpert of Diakonos Oncology Corp.
- Kathryn O’Donnell of UT-Southwestern
- Maralice Conacci Sorrell of UT-Southwestern
- Neeraj Saini of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Neil Thapar of Barricade Therapeutics Corp.
- Nina Keshavarzi of Celine Biotechnologies
- Raphael G. Ognar & Henri Bayle of NKILT Therapeutics Inc.
- Richard Austin & Michael Abrahamson of Reglagene Inc.
- Tim Peterson & Joppe Nieuwenhuis of Bioio Inc.
- Todd Aguilera & Eslam Elghonaimy of UT-Southwestern
- Venkata Lokesh Battula of Siddhi Therapeutics Inc. at UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Weei-Chin Lin & Fang-Tsyr Lin of Baylor College of Medicine
- Yong Li & Dongxiao Feng of Sotla Therapeutics at Baylor College of Medicine
- Anil Sood & Zhiqiang An of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Narendra Kumar & Jayshree Mishra of Texas A&M-College Station
- Tao Wang of NightStar Biotechnologies Inc. at UT-Southwestern
- Jian Hu of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center