RESI First Coast Challenge Innovators Selected for Investor Pitch Competition

23 Aug

By Nono Hu, Director of Marketing, LSN

The First Coast Innovator’s Gathering is a new element of RESI Boston.  Tech hubs and their constituents based in the “First Coast” of life sciences in the US Northeast will gather together at RESI for the first time to get on the radar screens of potential global investors and strategic partners.

First Coast Innovation Challenge invited all eligible tech hub members from DC to Boston to apply for an opportunity to pitch to a panel of early stage investors. The 8 finalists were selected by LSN’s Expert System and scientific review team to present their technology through a 7-minute pitch.  Investors will provide feedback and questions to the pitching CEOs.

The competition is moderated by Dennis Ford, CEO & Founder, Life Science Nation, and the participating investors are:

  • Elona Baum, Managing Director, DEFTA Partners
  • Tim Xiao, Principal, Delos Capital
  • Allan Daisley, Managing Director, Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami
  • Qiong Ye, Investment Manager, Yonghua Capital
  • Dean Slack, Pharmaceutical Industry exec with New Product Planning, BD, Commercialization & Banking
  • Bert Lederer, Executive Director, Cherrystone Angel Group


Abilis Life Sciences

Tech Hub: FITCI

Abilis Life Sciences is developing a bladder cancer test for the population of over 1,000,000 persons each year detected with hematuria, blood in their urine. Our solution is a highly accurate, non-invasive urine test which will help many people, who fall into the 96% who are negative for bladder cancer avoid needing the full invasive diagnostic work up that is currently the standard of care for diagnosing bladder cancer. Once our test is completed, we plan to license our test to commercial labs who will run the test using our remote SaaS algorithm and pay a fee each time the test is run. We have completed the first version of our test and are accepting specimens from urology centers. We plan to file our application with the FDA in 2019 and begin clinical testing in 2020.


Avidea Technologies

Tech Hub: BioHealth Innovation

Avidea Technologies, Inc. is building a pipeline of immunotherapies for cancer treatment that is enabled by a versatile self-assembling nanoparticle (SNP) technology that was co-developed by Avidea co-founders and in-licensed from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of Oxford. Avidea’s lead product enabled by the SNP platform is a personalized cancer vaccine (PCV) for the treatment of advanced epithelial cancers. In rigorous preclinical studies in collaboration with NIH, AVT01 was shown to improve PCV manufacturability and enhance tumor regression. Avidea has developed a CMC process to manufacture AVT01 under cGMP and shown that AVT01 is safe and effective in primates. Avidea held a pre-IND meeting with the FDA. Clinical testing of AVT01 is planned for early 2019.


Cam Med Inc

Tech Hub: UMass M2D2

Cam Med aims to improve health outcomes with drug delivery technologies that enable patients to more easily comply with their medication regimens. Cam Med is commercializing a breakthrough design for a patch pump, the Evopump, the first truly bandage-like, actively controllable patch pump to deliver one or multiple injectable medications. Cam Med intends for the Evopump to become accepted as a platform device, widely adopted across numerous therapeutic areas and indications in partnership with other device and pharmaceutical companies, as both a standalone integrated system as well as the wearable drug delivery component of other companies’ closed loop systems. JDRF has partnered with Cam Med to support the development of the Evopump as an insulin pump.


Medley Genomics

Tech Hub: Brown University

In 2017, 1.7M people in the US were diagnosed with cancer and cancer accounted for 1 in 4 deaths. Recent advances in targeted therapies and immunotherapies have shown promising results in some patients. However, many patients develop resistance to targeted drugs resulting in relapse and it is difficult to predict whether immunotherapy will be effective for a particular patient. Theses challenges result from the fact that tumors are highly heterogeneous, with a tumor sample from a single patient containing a mixture of cancer cells with different complements of mutations. Medley Genomics proprietary data analytics describe this diverse mixture of tumor cells and their unique molecular signatures. These innovative algorithms and software were exclusively licensed for commercialization by Medley Genomics from Brown University based on the ground-breaking work of our co-founder, Dr. Ben Raphael and his continuing efforts at Princeton University. Our insights are necessary for optimizing targeted and combination therapies, personalized oncology vaccines and immunotherapies to individualize cancer treatment and provide hope of lasting cures for patients.


MAG Optics

Tech Hub: JLABS

MAG Optics is an ophthalmic device innovator and has developed the world’s first patient-centric corneal re-shaping platform. The intra-corneal implant is used to treat Keratoconus, a progressive, degenerative eye disease that causes severe visual impairment as well as other indications such as Presbyopia (age-related loss of near vision) and Astigmatism. We have conducted human clinical proof of concept studies (OUS) and implanted into 21+ patients, most with 1-2Y follow-up data. We are currently fundraising to advance regulatory activities with FDA. We are headquartered in Lowell, MA and with a UK office in London.


RistCall LLC

Tech Hub: UMass VDC

When it’s you or your loved one in that hospital bed, and you’re in pain or need help to the bathroom, the wait for an answer to that call bell can seem eternal. Yet on the other end of that call bell, the nurse has no idea what prompted this call, or the other calls from other beds. Whose need is more urgent? Who has been waiting the longest? How can a nurse know? RistCall, a smart watch enabled solution, solves this problem with nurse-resident communication flow. RistCall allows the nurse to prioritize requests based on acuity, urgency, and the time of the call. Before answering, the nurse can know the time, place and reason for the call–without the annoyance of buzzers of alarms.



Tech Hub: FITCI

Theradaptive is a DoD funded MIT spin-out developing a therapeutic delivery platform for targeted tissue regeneration with a total addressable market of over $10B in several clinical indications. The therapeutic delivery platform is based on a proprietary ceramic-binding technology that allows for the tethered delivery of any therapeutic protein on the surface of implants or as depot formulations. Lead clinical indications for this platform technology are spinal fusion and bone fracture repair with secondary indications of dental and maxillofacial reconstruction, and cartilage repair. More broadly the platform can be used to deliver any biologic on the surface of implantable or injectable ceramic carriers. Theradaptive has completed key GLP preclinical animal studies and GMP milestones for its lead therapeutic. We have raised over $6M in non-dilutive capital to date with an additional $7M in pending proposals to the DoD and the NIH.


ZSX Medical, LLC

Tech Hub: PCI Ventures (University of Pennsylvania)

ZSX Medical, LLC, is re-inventing surgical closure through our platform of pre-fabricated, bio-absorbable implants that make the hardest part of minimally invasive surgery fast and easy. Our lead product, Zip-Stitch™, addresses the big problem of cuff closure following laparoscopic hysterectomy (TLH). This final internal procedure can take up to 40 minutes and almost all adverse events in TLH are due to poor cuff closure. Zip-stitch™ will perform this closure in under four minutes and do so perfectly, benefiting the patient, the surgeon and preventing unreimbursed re-operations to save hospitals money.

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