TX Roundup: TMC’s BioBridge to the UK, New Execs at Fannin & TechFW

Let’s catch up with the latest innovation news in Texas.

—The Texas Medical Center has announced an expansion of its BioBridge program to the United Kingdom. BioBridge is designed to help TMC and UK-based companies collaborate on a number of medical issues, including advancement of genomics and artificial intelligence technologies for cancer research. The medical center launched the program in late 2016 with a set of hospitals in Australia.

Three British companies are already working within the program. They include Paxman Scalp Cooling, which is researching cooling therapies for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and has set up a Houston-based subsidiary; SurePulse Medical, which is pursuing technologies to better monitor newborn vital signs; and FirstKind, which is developing an electrical stimulation device to be used for deep vein thrombosis, prophylaxis, edema control, and wound healing. The latter two companies are also part of the TMC’s latest accelerator class.

—The Monarq Incubator has announced its latest class of women-led startups, which will convene for a four-month program starting Oct. 1. Among the dozen startups include innovations in e-commerce, edtech, and e-sports. This is the third cohort for Monarq, which is based in New York and Houston. Startups pay a flat fee of $3,000 to participate in the program; Monarq takes an equity stake in the startups if it decides to make an investment at the program’s end, says Diana Murakhovskaya, Monarq’s co-founder.

Fannin Innovation Studio has brought on Elizabeth Hoff, a medical device executive, as managing director in charge of leading further development of the firm’s health IT projects. Hoff has worked at companies such as Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) and Guidant. Fannin is a Houston-based firm that helps to bring executive experience to young biotech companies in order to support commercialization of their innovations.

Ancor Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in the Fort Worth, TX, suburb of Southlake, has acquired STATinMED Research, a medtech company with locations in Plano, TX; Ann Arbor, MI; and New York. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “As the nation’s economy continues to be challenged by escalating health care costs, STATinMED has emerged as one of the primary drivers of innovation whose trusted research influences strategic health care decision-making,” Vic Keller, Ancor’s managing partner, said in a press release.

Hayden Blackburn has been promoted to executive director at TechFW, replacing Darlene Boudreaux. TechFW is non-profit supported by the University of North Texas Health Science Center, the University of Texas at Arlington, the city of Fort Worth, and members of the local business community, according to a press release. After 12 years as ED, Boudreaux will stay affiliated and work with select life sciences clients, the organization said in a press release.

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