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Innovative Investigators and Early-Stage Biotechnology Companies Were Selected for the Texas-Based Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics

The 2022 Accelerator participants will receive developmental and strategic support from Texas Medical Center Innovation to advance their groundbreaking cancer therapies.

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Texas Medical Center Innovation (TMCi) today announced the 2022 Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics annual cohort, comprised of Texas-based startups working to address the world's most significant cancer challenges with novel technologies and treatments. As the innovation hub of the Texas Medical Center, TMCi spearheads the Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) in association with the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

Accelerator participants benefit from 9 months of clinical and business development education and advisement to create and incorporate a strategic plan for their companies. The selected cohort of participants will be positioned to apply for grants and pitch to investors and corporate partners to further the development of their inventive cancer solutions.

Through customized support from the Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics, founders gain access to valuable resources, integrated training, and mentorship to strategically launch commercialization so that executives and researchers can prepare for clinical trials before accessing multi-institutional and functional collaborations within the Texas Medical Center member institutions.

"We're able to greatly benefit from a historically dense collective of researchers, hospitals, and corporate partners, which positions us as the go-to accelerator for cancer therapeutic founders," said Emily Reiser, Ph.D., Associate Director of TMC Innovation. "With the ongoing pandemic, which poses more threat to at-risk populations, it has never been more important to mature novel cancer therapeutics. Any drug currently on the market is developed in the spirit of scientific discovery. The importance of developing innovative solutions is not just something that drives TMCi and our Accelerators, and it is at the heart of our ability to improve patient care and outcomes."

With the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, we are proud to announce the newest TMC Accelerator for cancer therapeutics' newest cohort. This class includes 20 total participants from across Texas including central Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Of the 20 participants, 6 are formed companies, and 18 are academic researchers. Participants specialize in a wide assortment of focuses as follows:

  1. Dr. Bruna Corradetti (ExMet) – Transforming groundbreaking immunological advances into precision vaccines against cancer.
  2. Dr. George Calin – The discovery and characterization of small molecules directly targeting oncogenic microRNAs.
  3. Dr. Rosa Hwang (StellaNova) – Developing the first cancer therapies targeting cancer-associated fibroblasts and their symbiotic interactions within the tumor microenvironment.
  4. Dr. Robert Jenq – Leveraging a powerful T cell antigen identification tool to design novel immune therapies.
  5. Dr. Chun Li – MD3: Multi-drug delivery system making cancer accessible to therapeutic agents.
  6. Dr. Shuxing Zhang (Ubigen) – Using cutting-edge technologies to target the ubiquitination pathways for cancer therapy.
  7. Dr. Stephen Safe – DIM compounds as NR4A-dependent anti-inflammatory and anticancer agents.
  8. Dr. Xiaotong Song – A novel CAR-T cell therapy platform for solid tumors.
  9. Dr. Robert Tsai – Clinical evaluation and commercialization of a novel mucoadhesive ChemoPatch (LeukoPlax) as a non-invasive therapy for patients with oral precancerous lesions to prevent their future development of oral cancer.
  10. Dr. Wei-Chuan Shih and Dr. Steven Lin (Xolytix) – Developing an integrated point-of-care exosome characterization platform for early disease detection and treatment response assessments.
  11. Dr. Wenbo Li – Harnessing tumor-specific eRNAs to develop effective and precise cancer therapeutics.
  12. Dr. Cara Gonzales – Pre-clinical development of 1,3-Thioureas: a novel class of anticancer drugs.
  13. Dr. Yogesh Gupta – Harnessing the epigenetic landscape and alterations in chromatin architecture for cancer treatment.
  14. Ms. Johanna Webb and Dr. Jean Jiang (Riverwalk Therapeutics) – Developing new adenosine-receptor-based therapeutics to tackle cancer metastases and improve patient outcomes.
  15. Dr. Ratna Vadlamudi – Small molecule inhibitors of Proto-Oncogene PELP1 as anti-cancer therapeutics.
  16. Dr. Subhash Chauhan – Advancing diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
  17. Dr. Hans Hammers and Dr. Xiankai Sun – Prime and Enhance immunotherapy in solid tumors using prodrug approaches.
  18. Mr. Russell Hayward and Dr. Ganesh Raj (EtiraRX) – Creating therapies for untreatable metastatic cancers.
  19. Dr. Jacques Lux – MUSIC: An innovative technology that allows Image-guided cancer immunotherapy with US activation.
  20. Dr. Phillip Scherer – Adipokine neutralization as a potent cancer therapeutic approach.

About Texas Medical Center (TMC) — the largest medical city globally—is at the forefront of advancing life sciences. Home to the brightest minds in medicine, TMC nurtures cross-institutional collaboration, creativity, and innovation among its 106,000-plus employees. With a campus of more than 50 million square feet, TMC annually hosts 10 million patients, performs over 180,000 surgeries, conducts over 750,000 ER visits, serves close to 14,000 heart surgeries, and delivers over 25,000 babies. Beyond patient care, TMC is pushing the boundaries of clinical research across its extensive network of partner institutions daily, pioneering effective health policy solutions to address today's complex health care issues, and cultivating cutting-edge digital health applications and medical devices.

About Texas Medical Center Innovation (TMCi): Texas Medical Center Innovation forms, fosters, recruits, and funds healthcare companies worldwide that are writing the future of healthcare. TMCi performs diligence on the companies seeking to progress toward clinical and business milestones in collaboration with Texas Medical Center member institutions and our global network of advisors and embedded corporate partners. We align these resources through our globally recognized programs: Biodesign, Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics, and Health Tech.


Texas Medical Center
Tatum Boatwright

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Last Updated: 08-Feb-2022