Texas Roundup: Acessa Health, CareSet, TeVido, Larry Lawson, TAMU
Here’s what’s making news across the cities in Xconomy Texas.
—Acessa Health in Austin announced the company has completed a $30 million Series A financing and acquired a non-invasive treatment for uterine fibroids from a California medical device company. Acessa says the new capital comes from institutional venture investment firms and will be used for marketing efforts and to develop additional technology. Acessa bought the therapy from Halt Medical, which filed for bankruptcy in April. The company uses a laparoscopic instrument to deliver radiofrequency energy to fibroids, which shrink and are reabsorbed by surrounding tissue following the procedure, Acessa says.
—CareSet Systems has released what it calls the “Root NPI Graph,” updated doctor referral information culled from Medicare claims data. The Houston-based healthcare analytics company decodes this data to work with pharmaceutical companies in efforts to develop new drugs. The Medicare data tracks patient journeys by disease, how the disease progresses, and which doctors are treating the patient. “Medicare is the largest single payer in the United States, and the map of the healthcare system that can be generated from its claims database is one of the most comprehensive pictures of the healthcare system in the United States,” Fred Trotter, CareSets’ founder and CTO, said in a press release.
—Austin’s TeVido BioDevices is exploring how its autologous cell therapy can help a new class of patients: those suffering from vitiligo. The skin condition is characterized by the appearance of white patches on any part of the body, such as the face, hands and arms. So far, TeVido has used 3D printing technology incorporating a woman’s own cell and fat tissue to build a more lifelike nipple and areola on women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery following cancer.
—Texas A&M University is part of a group of institutions receiving a $7.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy to help research and deploy new technologies, such as smart grids and energy storage, in India. The other US universities participating are Washington State University, MIT, and the University of Hawaii.
And, in case you missed them when first published, here is some of the latest innovation news of note.
—Houston healthcare entrepreneur and investor Larry Lawson is the latest Texas innovator to answer “five questions.” In our conversation, Lawson talks about how his young adulthood playing in and managing a rock band called the Clique has influenced his career in medical device companies—R.E.M. covered one of their big hits, the importance of looking for positive lessons from each situation, and what he admires about Steve Jobs.
—We are wrapping up the month of June with new funding announcements. Austin-based SparkCognition, which makes machine learning software to monitor clients’ infrastructure and technology for malfunctions and other problems, says it raised $32.5 million in a Series B round from investors such as Verizon Ventures and Boeing HorizonX.
In San Antonio, Dauber, a trucking-focused app maker that’s working with the RealCo startup program, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding. Dauber makes apps that allow construction trucking companies track shipments, analyze load data information, and digitize tasks normally done on paper.
—Dallas-area biotech Neos Therapeutics got the nod from the FDA to sell its version of an old therapy for ADHD, methylphenidate. Neos has developed a controlled-release technology for the drug that allows the tablet to deliver the medication over time, instead of all at once. The pills can also orally disintegrate on the tongue—without needing to swallow water, for example—that the company says makes the medication easier to take for children.
—In its first major move since Texas lawmakers OK’d telemedicine services in the state, Teledoc (NYSE: TDOC) acquired Boston-based Best Doctors in a $440 million cash-and-stock deal. Teledoc, which has corporate offices in Lewisville, TX, and Purchase, NY, says the acquisition will give it the ability to offer more specialized telemedicine services using analytics tools and cognitive computing software.