Illinois Ignite Start-Ups

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Meet These Start-Ups During the Networking Reception
Clarix Imaging
Start-up out of the University of Chicago

Clarix Imaging is a medical device company developing imaging hardware and software to provide workflow-friendly solutions for comprehensive surgical oncology. The start-up company's products enable multidisciplinary clinical teams to improve the accuracy and efficiency in surgical management of cancer. Its first product is a compact, real-time, high-resolution 3D specimen imaging system for intra-operative surgical margin assessment and for guiding gross pathologic evaluation.

ClostraBio
Start-up out of the University of Chicago

ClostraBio is creating new medicines to prevent life-threatening allergic reactions to food and related diseases resulting from gut microbiome disruption. The company uses its capabilities to study the microbiome to identify metabolites that are missing or depleted when the gut microbiome is disrupted, then replaces those metabolites using a proprietary polymer delivery platform to restore gut barrier function. ClostraBio is applying this strategy to develop drug candidates for food allergy and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Dimension Inx
Start-up out of Northwestern University

Dimension Inx provides material products compatible with advanced manufacturing processes, including 3D-printing as well as final manufactured product and service solutions for a wide variety of medical and non-medical industries. The start-up company's 3D-Paintable material products include synthetic and naturally derived biomaterials, simple and complex metals and alloys, advanced carbon and non-carbon materials, simple and complex ceramics, functional polymers and composites, extraterrestrial regoliths, and much more. 

Dystrogen Therapeutics
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Dystrogen Therapeutics is a regenerative medicine company focusing on rare diseases. The start-up company is currently testing Dystrophin Expressing Chimeric (DEC) cell therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. DECs work by combining a malfunctioning cell with a working cell, allowing the patient's body and immune system to accept the new cell without rejection. Dystrogen Therapeutics has created dystrophin-producing cells that can engraft inside the patient's muscles and increase their dystrophin levels.

EarthSense
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EarthSense creates compact, autonomous, and teachable robots for agricultural applications. Its TerraSentia robot carries a variety of sensors to collect data on traits including plant health, physiology, stress response, and more. The start-up company has also developed a cloud-based platform to teach its robots to automatically measure a variety of key traits. In turn, EarthSense is improving the speed, accuracy, and cost of in-field data collection and real-time analytics. 

Enzyme by Design
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Enzyme by Design utilizes enzyme engineering to provide safer cancer therapeutics for indications in which there is a large unmet clinical need. Current indications the start-up company is targeting include hematological malignancies with the potential to also treat certain solid tumors through decreasing the toxicity of these chemotherapeutics.

Ikaika Therapeutics
Start-up out of Northwestern University

Ikaika Therapeutics is developing biologics to target genetic modifiers of human muscular dystrophy. LTBP4, a latent binding protein, has been identified as a modifier of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. LTBP4’s hinge region after proteolysis can lead to TGFb & myostatin release which modifies muscular dystrophy. Ikaika Therapeutics is developing high affinity anti-LTBP4 antibodies to stabilize its hinge region, thereby limiting TGFb and myostatin activation. This, in principle, can be used to treat multiple forms of muscular dystrophy.

Innovations in Sight Technology
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Innovations in Sight Technology is advancing the diagnostics and evaluation of eye disease. The start-up company's primary focus is on the development and commercialization of the OcuCheck biosensor that is a novel, hand-held, point-of-service device for detecting anterior ophthalmic injuries.

Laurel Therapeutics
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Laurel Therapeutics is focused on working with a small peptide inhibitor which has shown remarkable promise for treating sepsis, an often deadly condition for which there are few treatment options. Animal studies have found this inhibitor to significantly decrease the vascular permeability associated with medical shock, a lethal complication affecting patients with sepsis. The start-up company is currently in the process of transitioning this peptide into clinical trials.

LifeFoundry
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

LifeFoundry applies synthetic biology, robotics, and machine learning to accelerate the research and development of biotechnology. Its BioFoundry platform enables on-demand, high-throughput, and precision engineering of biological systems for practical applications, including synthesis of high-value chemicals, drug development, waste treatment, and more. LifeFoundry partners with clients to expedite R&D and achieve significant cost reduction, and is currently helping companies optimize their fermentation processes.

NowPow
Start-up out of the University of Chicago

NowPow is a technology company empowering communities with the knowledge people need to get well, care for others, and manage disease. The start-up company's multi-sided referral platform seamlessly supports all participants in the referral process by building and managing community resource networks. NowPow partners with health systems, health plans, and community-based organizations to provide social needs identification, screenings, referral matching technology, closed loop referrals, and outcome tracking. 

Onchilles Pharma
Start-up out of the University of Chicago

Onchilles Pharma is a preclinical stage oncology company developing novel biologics for the treatment of cancer. The start-up company's biologics have a unique method of action that will enable the development of medicines for a variety of cancers that selectively kill cancer cells without damaging normal cells and tissues. Onchilles Pharma is not only focused on making medicines for the many unmet medical needs in oncology, but to make those medicines as safe as possible. 

Pax Neuroscience
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Pax Neuroscience is a life sciences company focused on the global development and commercialization of protein biomarker-based clinical laboratory services and products that address unmet needs in the fields of neuroscience and psychiatry. The start-up company is focused on the development of the biomarker assay to inform patient and physician decisions, and offers its services to drug development companies to improve research and development of new and better antidepressants.

Phi Optics
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Phi Optics is developing the next generation of optical imaging systems through its Quantitative Phase Imaging Platform. The company's technology platform uses standard tools and processes and combines the performance of traditional modalities of a light microscope (e.g. fluorescence, DIC, phase contrast) with the real-time 3D topography capabilities of QPI. This combination offers a significant advantage for applications that require low-cost, fast and accurate imaging of nanostructures.

PSYONIC
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PSYONIC's overarching mission is to redefine what it means to be human through advances in bionic technologies. The start-up company is dedicated to creating robotic medical devices that push the boundaries of human-machine interfaces while being accessible to those who need them worldwide. PSYONIC's first product, designed for people with upper limb amputations, is an advanced bionic hand which provides touch feedback and is robust to impacts.

QuesTek
Start-up out of Northwestern University

QuesTek provides innovative materials solutions. The start-up company designs and develops new advanced materials in less than 50% of the time and at less than 30% of the cost of traditional empirical methods. By leveraging its proprietary Materials by Design technology, the current focus is in high-performance steels and other alloys.

Seurat Therapeutics
Start-up out of the University of Chicago

Seurat Therapeutics is a biotech startup developing a new medication that uses a simple, nasal spray-like device which, unlike current migraine medications, stops migraines before they start. Seurat’s mission is to provide a lasting solution for people suffering from frequent migraines, giving them the freedom to go about their daily lives unburdened.

Synaural
Start-up out of Northwestern University

Synaural is a neurotechnology company offering a patented technology with proven capability to objectively measure brain health and function. This technology can be leveraged by professionals to inform the screening and diagnosis of neurological conditions throughout an individual's lifecycle. 

Tanvas
Start-up out of Northwestern University

Tanvas connects people to the digital world through rich touch interactions. With the use of electrostatics to control friction and create virtual touch, Tanvas provides a touchable canvas on which to create. The start-up company's programmable tools allow OEMs, agencies and developers to imagine and create an infinite number of holistic and integrated experiences on any touch display.

Vivotronix
Start-up out of the University of Illinois at Chicago

Vivotronix is a health technology start-up focusing on noninvasive continuous hemodynamic physiological monitoring in cardiac rehabilitation and sports medicine. The company has developed wearable cardiovascular monitors that can be applied as chest patches, chest bands, or integrated into sportswear. Its core technology includes sensors and sensor fusion algorithms with predictive analytics to estimate important hemodynamic parameters noninvasively and continuously from optical pulse wave analysis.