Currently Active and Past PROPEL Companies

3PrimeDx is a clinical diagnostics company developing a novel blood test (PulsePredicTM) to predict risk of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), the most common cause of cardiac death (>300,000/year in the U.S.). Presently, ~100,000 U.S. heart failure patients/yr determined to be at high SCD risk undergo implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) placement, yet ~70% of such patients never need a life-saving shock. Conversely, ~90% of SCD occur in the 3.3 million U.S. patients with moderate heart failure and undetected risks. The Company’s mission is to save lives and health care costs by bringing the PulsePredicTM SCD risk assessment assay to this >$500M U.S. market and help solve both these problems.

Learn more about 3PrimeDX

Advanced Cooling Therapy (ACT) has developed an innovative, patented, disposable medical device enabling cost-effective patient temperature control through an esophageal route. The Esophageal Cooling Device (ECD) is inserted in a similar fashion to a standard orogastric tube, and can be used to control patient temperature in the operating room, recovery room, emergency room or intensive care unit, allowing safe, efficient temperature modulation for cooling, warming, or maintaining patient temperature at clinically desired set points.

Learn more about Advanced Cooling Therapy

Ag-Defense Systems is developing technology with real-time reporting capability for on-site monitoring in the $1.25 trillion food processing industry. Food contamination leads to over 75 million illnesses per year. The portable BioSage will be used to detect pathogens within minutes while employing GPS tracking capabilities so that as the threat of food supply contamination grows, Ag-Defense Systems will be ready to monitor and alert people in realtime.

American BioOptics is a medical device company located in Evanston, Illinois. The company is working to revolutionize colon cancer screening, and eventually screening of other cancers, with a highly accurate, minimally invasive test based on a novel light-scattering technology platform.

ARIEL Precision Medicine moves genetics beyond a test into a precision medicine tool, leveraging advanced data analytics and machine learning technology to help people with chronic diseases. Genetic results and each patient’s clinical history are integrated into our bioinformatic platform, providing context for understanding what is triggering that patient’s symptoms; enabling early diagnosis, preemptive action and targeted management. Contact info@arielmedicine.com for more info.

Learn more about ARIEL Precision Medicine

BioAnalytics is a biotechnology company developing faster, more sensitive, and more multiplexed reagents for protein analytics. This technology is broadly compatible with nearly every existing immunoassay platform, allowing for diverse applications in the $16.8 B global immunoassay market. BioAnalytics is presently focused on assay optimization within the academic research and pharmaceutical markets, but ultimately plans on applying their technology predominately in Point-of-Care medical diagnostics.  For more information, please contact Michael.Willard@BioAnalyticSystems.com.

Learn more about BioAnalytics

B&H Biotechnologies seeks to develop novel diagnostic, preventative (including new vaccines) and therapeutic products for infections, autoimmune diseases and cancers by revealing the pathogenic mechanisms of these diseases.

The surgeon’s lack of tactile feedback during minimally invasive surgery leads to difficulty in safely visualizing and manipulating blood vessels, ureters, and bile ducts. Briteseed combats this problem by building smart surgical tools using low-cost optical technology to non-invasively visualize both between and near the jaws of a surgical tool in real time. By increasing the quality and decreasing overall cost of care, Briteseed provides value to surgeons and the hospital administrations that support them. Contact info@briteseed.com for more info.

Learn more about Briteseed

Cell Habitats is redefining the field of tissue repair by using biological and physical cues to prompt the body’s stem cells to restore normal function to damaged or diseased tissue. Cell Habitats’ novel approach is to inject Regenerods, micro-sized devices that mimic biological material, to attract the body’s own stem cells, and act as a substitute cellular habitat that promotes endogenous stem cell growth, potentially improving outcomes in the treatment of heart muscle disease and wound healing.  For more information, contact cellhabitats@gmail.com.

Learn more about Cell Habitats, Inc. 

ClostraBio is creating drugs that restore the natural protective function of the intestinal barrier. These drugs are modified from metabolites identified from the intestinal microbiome. The company has completed early preclinical efficacy and mechanistic studies for severe peanut allergy and recently began animal studies for inflammatory bowel diseases. ClostraBio is licensing this technology from the University of Chicago. Contact john.w.colson@clostrabio.com for more info.

Learn more about ClostraBio

Corvida Medical is an emerging medical device company commercializing innovative technology to optimize safety, increase efficiency and reduce the cost of preparing and delivering hazardous medications, such as chemotherapy. Hospital pharmacies and oncology clinics create a $500 million U.S. market potential, with a current market opportunity in excess of $100 million growing over 25 percent annually. The company has pending patents, proven technology, experienced management, reputable advisors and written commitments from leading cancer centers as beta sites/launch customers, culminating in successful Series A Financing.

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DeNovX is a life sciences company providing innovative products that overcome the challenges posed by controlling the crystal form of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Over 90% of APIs are crystalline materials, and managing the physical properties of these crystals is a competitive imperative in the pharmaceutical marketplace and a regulated part of API development, production, and use. DeNovX’s patented R&D products are “slot-in” solutions that accelerate drug development timeframes, and our benchtop-sized continuous manufacturing technologies can increase API crystallization capacity while replacing capital intensive batch reactor methods.

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EDGEe Surgical is a medical device start-up with the first and only Electronic Depth Gauge (the EDG) that will set a new standard of care in the orthopedic surgical setting. The company’s patent-protected EDGs are specifically designed to address common issues associated with using the current standard of care by improving accuracy in selecting screw length to fixate orthopedic implants, and mitigating bioburden contamination risk – a leading cause of surgical site infections. For more info, contact info@edgesurgical.com.

Learn more about EDGe Surgical

Great Lakes Neuroscience, Inc. (GLN) is a virtual biopharmaceutical company aimed at developing novel therapeutics for orphan neurodegenerative diseases characterized by motor function loss. Currently >40,000 patients suffer from primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and >25,000 suffer from Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), with no efficacious treatment. TP5 targets the correction of an aberrant pathway common to these diseases. The company has executed an exclusive license agreement with the NIH to develop and commercialize TP5 for MS, ALS and 13 other associated diseases. GLN’s mission is to provide patients suffering from these fatal diseases, a fighting chance at life by bringing TP5 to this potentially >$3B market in the US.

Learn more about Great Lakes Neuroscience, Inc. 

Green Era, LLC focuses on biomass energy production and other renewable energy technologies. The company’s lead initiative is an anaerobic digester (AD) that converts food and landscape waste into a renewable source of energy: closing the loop on pre and post consumer food and other biodegradable wastes that are directly reconnected to food production. Additionally, the company provides sustainability and urban food system consulting services and development assistance to organizations and communities. This includes planning, executing and supporting activities for agriculture and edible landscapes.

Inspirotec is developing innovative and affordable technologies that collect and detect airborne pathogens and allergens. Its first generation product is a simple, quiet and compact air collector that easily integrates with pre-existing assays for detection while its second generation product is an all-in-one collector and detector that connects with a smart phone and allows for rapid detection. The Inspirotec technologies have applications in multiple fields, including bio defense and healthcare. For more information, contact pgandhi@inspirotec.com.

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Inspirotec is IntuiIntuiTap Medical is an emerging medical device company that removes the guesswork from spinal-puncture procedures, including epidural steroid injections, lumbar punctures, and spinal and epidural anesthesia. The current, blind technique requires multiple attempts to properly place the needle, resulting in significant pain and frustration, as well as the frequent need for costly x-ray guidance, exposing patients to unnecessary radiation. IntuiTap’s handheld device combines tactile imaging of the vertebrae with needle guidance to help physicians access the spinal canal on the first attempt; without the need for radiation. For more information, please contact info@intuitapmedical.com.

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Kim Laboratories is the developer of the NoroCheck™ and ValidCheck™ pathogen detection systems for the real-time detection of food-borne pathogens. The company produces its detection instruments and test kits and sells them globally to food manufacturers and processors, school cafeterias, restaurant suppliers, water testing companies and government agencies. Kim Laboratories also produces an array of diagnostic reagents for the detection of pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and norovirus. For more information, contact sales@kimlaboratories.com.

Learn more about Kim Laboratories, Inc.

Microfluidic Innovations’ mission is to dramatically accelerate the migration of existing and new assays to Lab-on-a-Chip Technology by providing life scientists an off-the-shelf, programmable lab-on-a-chip (PLOC), which can reduce development time by 80% and costs by tens-of-thousands of dollars. This reduction in time accelerates data generation to make time critical decisions and bring life-saving drugs and diagnostics to market. The product is fully developed and currently in the commercial pilot stage. For more information, contact info@microfluidicinnovations.com.

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Nerve Access is developing therapeutics to treat CNS diseases through a novel route of administration (direct nose-to-brain delivery). We developed a novel formula of insulin (NA135) to treat Alzheimer’s disease. We met the FDA on a pre-IND meeting that placed NA135 on a fast track of approval. They requested one short animal toxicity study and short term clinical studies. We filed for patent protection last year. For more information, email contact@nerveaccess.com.

Learn more about Nerve Access, Inc. 

Ohmx is developing an automated standalone system which applies innovative electrochemical detection to Point of Care (POC) tests. The versatile analyzer can quickly and accurately detect protein, small molecule, and DNA targets, providing reliable results for diagnosing diseases and managing chronic conditions. In addition, Ohmx is developing a biomarker for prognosis of prostate cancer, aimed at enabling physicians and patients to make an informed decision on whether active surveillance is an appropriate option.  Contact info@ohmx.com for more info.

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Pax Neuroscience, Inc. is a clinical diagnostics company focused on development and commercialization of blood tests for depression diagnosis and for antidepressant response. These tests are based on novel protein biomarkers derived from hypothesis-driven data sets and early clinical results are promising. The Pax diagnostic platform allows patients and physicians to make individualized treatment decisions and shorten tremendously the 6-8 week time lag between initiation of antidepressant treatment and knowledge about therapeutic response.  Contact Pax for more info.

Learn more about Pax Neuroscience, Inc.

Preora Diagnostics is a medical diagnostic company that is developing a low-cost, minimally invasive and highly sensitive early screening test for lung and colon cancer. The test is simple enough to be performed in a primary care office without any extensive preparation.  The test is based on a proprietary platform technology, licensed from Northwestern University, called Partial Wave Spectroscopy (PWS) or Nanocytology which measures cellular disorder at the nanoscale level.  Contact info@PreoraDx.com for more info

Learn more about Preora Diagnostics 

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Resonance Medical and researchers at Northwestern University have developed a way to algorithmically replicate neural circuits within the brain, allowing a several orders of magnitude increase in data throughput and 10x increased battery life in implanted brain-machine interfaces. For cochlear implant patients, our product provides vastly increased music and speech appreciation and increased battery life. For a spinal cord stimulator patient our technology most obviously improves battery life, with the assumption that the ability to send more data into the brain will improve device efficacy. For more information, contact info@resonance-med.com.

Learn more about Resonance Medical

ResQ Pharma was created to repurpose a lipid emulsion nutritional supplement (Intralipid 20%) as an antidote for [non-opiate] drug overdoses, delivered in pre-filled syringes to simplify use, enabling fast response and greater adoption.  Off-label use as LipidRescue Therapy emerged in the absence of FDA-approved treatment for 2.1 million patients in the ER due to [non-opiate] drug overdose, of which 47,000 die.  The market opportunity is in excess of $500M. The team is uniquely well suited to the task.

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Shamrock Structures is a drug discovery services company that offers integrated research capabilities to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Shamrock conducts projects in protein crystallography, medicinal chemistry, cell biology and biological screening to enable customers to more rapidly discover potent and selective new drug lead compounds.  For more info, contact info@shamrockstructures.com.

Learn more about Shamrock Structures

Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SPI) will acquire rights to, and develop, deprioritized drug candidates with strong clinical potential to fulfill unmet medical needs. SPI’s initial program is planned to be a drug for type 2 diabetes. Many patients do not achieve recommended glycemic control, leading to increased morbidity/mortality and indicating utility for novel treatments that provide additional clinical benefit in combination with today’s drugs. Contact david@sparrowpharma.com for more info.

Learn more about Sparrow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Stone Medical is dedicated to providing the Clean Collect Blood Collection System to hospitals and clinical laboratories worldwide. The Clean Collect Blood Collection System is a development-stage product line that prevents the contamination of blood cultures, a $3.7 billion problem annually for hospitals worldwide. For more information, contact info@stonemedcorp.com.

Learn more about Stone Medical Corporation

Surgical Innovation Associates is a medical device company rooted in Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and Kellogg School of Management, with the goal of developing and commercializing best-in-class bioabsorbable products invented by practicing plastic surgeons to solve clinical and economic problems that they and their patients face every day in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. For more information, contact info@surgicalinnovationassociates.com

Learn more about Surgical Innovation Associates

Surefooted LLC’s initial product is revolutionary in the fall prevention market, the Surefooted Trainer. It consists of a shifting slippery platform that patients walk on with the protection of a safety harness. Surefooted intends to help patients develop reflexes to improve balance and thus reduce fall injuries. Surefooted is redefining the standard of care in fall prevention.

 

Surgimatix is an early-stage company that is developing medical devices for wound closure. Its product development efforts are the result of close collaboration between experienced engineers and surgeons. The mission of the company is to commercialize products that improve clinical outcomes while increasing efficiency, patient comfort and safety. For more information, contact info@surgimatix.com.

Learn more about Surgimatix, Inc. 

Surgimatix is an early-stage company that is developing medical devices for wound SwipeSense is the only complete monitoring system that combines point-of-care hand hygiene dispensers, with a smart sensor network for real-time hand hygiene performance data. Our goal is to improve hand hygiene behavior in the health care settings in order to save the 100,000 lives lost every year due to hospital acquired infections. Email jaymie@swipesense.com for more information.

Learn more about SwipeSense, Inc.

Offering the first revolution in mainstream detection technology in nearly 15 years, Sword Diagnostics’ high performance detection technology dramatically improves the overall performance of biomedical assays and tests. Sword’s product is easily adopted, requiring no chances in instrumentation, procedures or the tests themselves. With the ease of adoption, Sword’s technology accelerates advances in drug discovery and diagnostic testing, making the dream of early disease detection a reality.

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Three Rivers Cardio provides smart solutions that improve minimally invasive heart valve replacements.  SmartGuidewire™ (SGW) medical devices provide actionable data during transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) that improves patient outcomes and reduces healthcare costs. SmartGuidewire™ integrates novel design elements and two precision pressure microsensors into a single disposable guidewire for TAVR. The IP is covered by an international patent portfolio including issued patents. SGW will be reimbursed via existing CPT codes. Contact mail@3RCardio.com for more info.

Learn more about Three Rivers Cardio.

TRACT Therapeutics, Inc. is focused on the commercialization of a new approach to avoid the body’s rejection of a transplanted organ. The proprietary technology utilizes the patient’s own expanded T regulatory immune cells to restore balance and has the potential of reducing or eliminating the lifelong use of toxic drug therapy and the need for additional transplants. This could transform the medical approach in treating transplant patients in the near future and shows promise in the treatment of autoimmune disease.  Contact gjohnson@tracttherapeutics.com for more info.

Learn more about TRACT Therapeutics, Inc.

Visura Technologies, LLC is a medical device company dedicated to developing and commercializing a novel device that will provide camera visualization to improve the safety and success of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) procedures.  TEE is the gold standard for imaging heart valves and atria, however physicians currently place TEE ultrasound probes blindly resulting in failed intubations that can lead to major complications. Contact info@visuratechnologies.com for more info.

Learn more about Visura Technologies

Vidasym is a biotech company developing vitamin D receptor modulators to manage renal disease progression and complications associated with chronic kidney disease. Its platform has several advantages including a strong management team, a huge untapped market and well-established development and regulatory paths with access to FDA-approved biomarkers.

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A statistical analysis of the currently active PROPEL companies revealed:

  • 35% are medical device, 28% therapeutic, 15% medical diagnostic, 13% life sciences tools, 5% ag-industrial bio, and 5% combination or other.
  • 33% have university-licensed technologies, 60% have company-owned technologies, 5% combined, 3% company- or federal lab-licensed.
  • 92% are Chicagoland-based companies, 8% are based outside of Chicago.
  • 35% of the entrepreneurs are experienced business people, 28% are recent graduates, 20% are long-time scientists and 18% are serial entrepreneurs.
  • 25% are led by women and 20% by minorities.

Funding for PROPEL comes in large part from