GULF COAST REGIONAL CENTER OF INNOVATION AND COMMERCIALIZATION AND HOUSTON TECHNOLOGY CENTER ANNOUNCE RECIPIENTS OF TEXAS ETF AWARDS
HOUSTON (June 4, 2010) – The Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization (GCRCIC) was pleased to announce four companies who will receive up to a total of $6.5 million in commercialization awards from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF). The announcement was made this morning at the Houston Technology Center (HTC), a business accelerator that assists Houston-based emerging technology companies, whose client companies are among the award recipients.
“Texas is the best state in the nation for developing ground breaking technologies thanks to investments from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, which has fostered an environment of innovation that attracts companies and top researchers to our state,” Gov. Perry said. “These four TETF investments will help develop these cutting edge technologies in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to electronics.”
The TETF program was established by Gov. Perry and the Texas Legislature in 2005 to attract the best scientists and researchers to Texas, increase high-paying jobs, and help start-up companies get off the ground faster.
“These innovative companies are prominent examples of how the TETF supports Houston’s transformation as a global hub of technology innovation and commercialization,” said Walter Ulrich, president and CEO, Houston Technology Center. “We are committed to accelerating the award winners to bring their technologies to Texas—and the world—as quickly as possible.”
The latest TETF award recipients include these HTC client companies:
Ensysce Biosciences, Inc. is receiving an initial Pre-Seed Commercialization Award of $250,000 for development in identifying carbon nanotube complexes that improve cancer therapy, and is eligible to receive up to a total of $1,500,000 from the TETF. Their first focus is on carbon nanotubes complexed to siRNA for delivery into cancer cells, having the advantage of less toxicity than other delivery methods. The company’s first agent, a nanotube-siRNA directed toward kidney cancer, is in preclinical development. For more information, visit www.ensysce.com.
Leonardo Biosystems, Inc. was awarded $2,500,000 to pursue development of multi-stage mesoporous silicon particles for the delivery of cancer drugs and other agents for the treatment of cancer. The technology is designed to deliver a range of cancer therapeutics that are currently difficult or impossible to use because, while they work well in the test tube, they cannot be delivered effectively in humans due to our highly evolved system of defenses. For more information, please call (626)304-3400.
Nano3D Biosciences, Inc. (n3D) is receiving an initial Pre-Seed Commercialization Award of $250,000 for development of its device to magnetically levitate cells to enable three-dimensional tissue growth using a proprietary combination of nanoparticle-based reagents and magnetic fields, and is eligible to receive up to a total of $1,000,000 from the TETF. n3D’s “Bio-Assembler” succeeds in offering an in vitro device that mimics the in vivo environment with many major advantages over existing cell culturing methods. This breakthrough technology directly addresses core needs in life sciences, drug discovery, toxicology, and regenerative medicine. For more information, visit www.n3dbio.com.
Each of these companies collaborates with area academic and research institutions, including Rice University and University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Leonardo Biosystems also partners with University of Texas Health Science Center and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Veros Systems, Inc. is receiving an initial Pre-Seed Commercialization Award of $250,000 to help develop and launch its intelligent software product for non-intrusive, real-time assessment of reliability and energy efficiency in electric machine systems, and is eligible to receive up to a total of $1,500,000 from the TETF. This autonomous monitoring and assessment solution provides very early detection of developing mechanical and electrical faults, allowing timely repair/replace decisions and eliminating costly loss of product, expensive emergency repairs, excess energy usage, and safety and environmental liabilities resulting from unexpected machine problems—with information obtained from the machine’s electrical infrastructure; without requiring sensors. Veros Systems’ university collaboration partner is Texas A&M University. For more information, visit www.verossystems.com.
Established by Gov. Perry and the Texas Legislature in 2005, the TETF program was renewed in 2009 to fund awards for an additional $203.5 million through August 2011. The TETF program has announced awards of up to $37.5 million to 35 Gulf Coast region companies.
HTC serves as the Gulf Coast Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization (GCRCIC) for the TETF, collaborating with the Greater Houston Partnership, area universities, community volunteers and economic development organizations within its 30-county region. The GCRCIC is responsible for processing all funding applications and supporting emerging technology companies in its region. For more information about the GCRCIC, visit www.gulfcoastrcic.org.
About the Houston Technology Center
Named among Forbes’ top 10 “incubators changing the world,” Houston Technology Center (HTC) is a business accelerator that assists Houston-based emerging technology companies by providing in-depth business guidance, access to capital and professional services, and education. A 501(c)(3)non-profit organization, HTC fosters innovation and technology commercialization in the Greater Houston area within five key sectors: Energy, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Nanotechnology and NASA/Aerospace technologies. For more information, visit www.houstontech.org.