The Texas Medical Center named 15 groundbreaking researchers and companies to its inaugural class of the Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics on Thursday. All hail from the Lone Star State.
The ACT program is the only accelerator focused on cancer treatment at the earliest stages of commercialization, thanks to a $5 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas awarded to the TMC in the fall of 2019.
The nine-month program kicked-off at the end of January and will be run by TMC Innovation, according to a release from the TMC. It aims to provide the class with resources to help their oncology biotech projects reach new milestones, including even commercialization.
The inaugural cohort is made up of companies and researchers exploring immunotherapy, cell therapy, targeted therapy, cancer pain, and drug platforms. The group is split about evenly between companies and academic researchers. The group of Texans includes:
- Raptamer Discovery Group
- IDA Therapeutics
- Elbrus Therapeutics
- Parthenon Therapeutics
- Lokesh Battula
- Autoimmunity Biologic Solutions
- Max Mamonkin
- Qing Yi
- Astero Alta
- TEZCAT Laboratories
- Anil Sood
- Xiadong Cheng
At the end of the nine months, the class will present an integrated strategic plan and at least one grant submission. They will also have the opportunity to pitch investors and corporations.
The class will also gain support in grant writing, chemistry, and funding opportunities, as well as mentorship.
"As the past year has shown, the pace of scientific discovery can be blistering," says Tom Luby, director of TMC Innovation. "At the same time, successfully translating research into effective therapies available to patients requires a mix of business, technical and regulatory skills that may not typically be available to researchers.
"By linking the participants with mentors who can both advance their scientific work and support the technical needs, we expect this first class of ACT participants will make a meaningful difference for cancer patients in Texas and beyond."
TMCx, which is also run by TMC Innovation, recently announced seven health tech companies that were selected to its 2021 class of its health tech accelerator.
Broader in scope that the ACT accelerator, the TMCx startups focus on an array of subject matters from heart health to artificial intelligence to extremity rehabilitation.