Startup CureMatch Wins $35,000 Grand Prize in Global Trade Pitchfest

CureMatch, a San Diego startup with technology to help doctors choose the best combination of anti-cancer treatments based on an analysis of each patient’s tumor, took home a $35,000 grant intended to help companies expand overseas.

The cash, awarded last Thursday, was the grand prize in the annual MetroConnect contest organized by the World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. CureMatch CEO Stephane Richard (at right in photo above) said the company would use the award to expand into Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

CureMatch was the top vote-getter among four finalists that gave presentations in a pitchfest that followed a months-long selection process. Out of 65 companies that applied for the program in 2017, 15 qualified for a $10,000 MetroConnect grant funded by JPMorgan Chase. From that list, four companies were selected to compete in Thursday’s MetroConnect’s Grand Prize Pitchfest. About 200 people attended the event, according to MetroConnect organizers.

CureMatch uses its technology to analyze the results of tumor DNA sequencing. The company says its analytic software then ranks more than 4.5 million different combinations of anti-cancer drugs to rank the ones that offer the best chance against the specific tumor gene mutations found in individual patient’s tumors.

Since the MetroConnect program began in 2015, companies involved in the program have collectively produced an additional $15 million in export sales and 161 new jobs in the regSion, according to the Metro Connect program. The other three finalists were:

Planck Aerosystems has developed technology that enables drones to operate in maritime environments, lifting off from moving vessels of any size without the need for a dedicated pilot or extensive installed hardware.

FoxFury makes powerful, specialized LED lights for use in firefighting, law enforcement, industrial safety, hazardous areas, filming, photography, and the military.

Tioga Research is a contract research organization that specializes in supporting the development of dermatology products, including topical ointments and creams, transdermal drugs, and prestige cosmetic products.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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