XconomyXconomy https://www.xconomy.com Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:27:08 +0000 hourly 1 Exact, Spectrum, PerBlue, & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist https://www.xconomy.com/wisconsin/2018/01/19/exact-spectrum-perblue-more-this-weeks-wisconsin-watchlist/ Sat, 20 Jan 2018 00:27:08 +0000 Jeff Buchanan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359535

It was a newsy week for Wisconsin’s innovation community. Catch up on some of the major happenings with these recent headlines:

—Exact Sciences’ (NASDAQ: EXAS) stock price finished the trading day on Wednesday down nearly 10 percent after the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced the results of a new study evaluating a liquid biopsy test for colorectal cancer. The study showed the test was up to 88 percent accurate, ABSCO said. Madison-based Exact’s flagship product is Cologuard, a stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer.

According to ASCO, the study took place in Taiwan and involved 620 adult... Read more »




Eli Lilly’s Eiry Roberts Joins Neurocrine as Chief Medical Officer https://www.xconomy.com/san-diego/2018/01/19/eli-lillys-eiry-roberts-joins-neurocrine-as-chief-medical-officer/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:11:11 +0000 Frank Vinluan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359531 Eiry Roberts is Neurocrine Biosciences’ (NASDAQ: NBIX) new chief medical officer. Roberts comes to the San Diego biotech company from Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), where her roles included serving as vice president of clinical pharmacology, and vice president of R&D in the company’s biomedicines business unit. Roberts succeeds Christopher O’Brien, who will retire in February. Neurocrine says O’Brien will continue in a consulting role to the company. Neurocrine develops and markets drugs that treat neurologic, psychiatric, and endocrine disorders.

Trieza Therapeutics Appoints Jeno Gyuris Chief Scientific Officer https://www.xconomy.com/boston/2018/01/19/trieza-therapeutics-appoints-jeno-gyuris-chief-scientific-officer/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 23:02:23 +0000 Frank Vinluan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359527 Trieza Therapeutics has named Jeno Gyuris its chief scientific officer. Cambridge, MA-based Trieza is developing cancer immunotherapies that use viruses to prompt an anti-tumor response. Gyuris’ experience includes senior scientific posts at two other Boston-area biotechs, Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) and Quiet Therapeutics.

After Whirlwind 2017, May Mobility Plans to Expand Driverless Fleet https://www.xconomy.com/detroit-ann-arbor/2018/01/19/after-whirlwind-2017-may-mobility-plans-to-expand-driverless-fleet/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:49:28 +0000 Sarah Schmid Stevenson https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359521

May Mobility, the autonomous vehicle startup based in Ann Arbor, MI, had an action-packed 2017.

The company launched in January, completed a stint in the Y Combinator accelerator over the summer, put driverless shuttles on downtown Detroit streets through a small pilot program in October, and raised more than $11 million over the course of the year from investors. If all goes according to plan in 2018, May hopes to be one of the first mobility companies in the world to replace an existing transportation service with its autonomous vehicles.

Although the terms of the deal are still being finalized, May... Read more »

Q&A: Dell Med’s DeSalvo Talks Social Health Startups, Data Ownership https://www.xconomy.com/national/2018/01/19/dell-meds-desalvo-discusses-health-it-now-and-in-years-to-come/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:06:33 +0000 Jeff Buchanan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359482

Karen DeSalvo has experience working in the public sector, but she’s hardly what you’d call a government bureaucrat.

DeSalvo, who is trained as a physician, served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology from 2014 to 2016 under President Barack Obama. During some of the time she headed the ONC, as the office is known, DeSalvo was also Assistant U.S. Secretary for Health, a position within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Before that, she was vice dean for community affairs and health policy at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans

Earlier this month, DeSalvo... Read more »

Boston Tech Watch: ICO Crackdown, “Shark Tank” Startups & More https://www.xconomy.com/boston/2018/01/19/boston-tech-watch-ico-crackdown-shark-tank-startups-more/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:01:20 +0000 Jeff Engel https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359486

[Updated 1/19/18, 2:47 pm. See below.] This week in Boston tech, we’re tracking legal action against a so-called “initial coin offering,” hiring sprees, a pair of acquisitions, several venture funding rounds, and more. Read on for details.

—Massachusetts securities regulators are wading into the murky waters of cryptocurrencies and “initial coin offerings.” The office of Secretary of State William Galvin filed administrative charges against Caviar and its partner, Kirill Bensonoff, alleging that the company’s ICO is an illegal sale of unregistered securities. Caviar has raised more than $3.1 million through the sale of digital tokens that enable purchasers to... Read more »

UTA Using Robots, Shakespeare to Study Ways to Address Loneliness https://www.xconomy.com/texas/2018/01/19/uta-using-robots-shakespeare-to-study-ways-to-address-loneliness/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 17:26:45 +0000 Angela Shah https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359474

Dallas—In healthcare, robots are being created to help with tasks like disinfecting hospital rooms or alerting patients when it’s time to take medications. A study at the Emotional Robotics Living Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington is even exploring how human-robot connection can help fight depression.

“We are looking at robots that would be companions socially with human beings,” says Julienne Greer, an assistant professor of theatre at UTA, who specializes in robotics and performance. Greer also serves as the director of the lab, which was launched in November.

Despite the many ways that technology supposedly binds us together—through... Read more »

Bio Roundup: Spark’s Road Ahead, Juno Rumors, Merck’s Big Day & More https://www.xconomy.com/national/2018/01/19/bio-roundup-sparks-road-ahead-juno-rumors-mercks-big-day-more/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:40:26 +0000 Ben Fidler https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359428

The most overblown health story of the week was President Trump’s health exam. America learned Trump is in perfect health and has “great genes.” He takes Propecia. He doesn’t have heart problems, had a perfect cognitive test score, and is one pound shy of obese.

This scintillating information led to a new social media phenomenon, the “girther” movement, and a number of articles questioning the findings of longtime White House physician Ronny Jackson.

Meanwhile, there was life-science and biomedical news actually pertinent to the public health of the U.S. Spark Therapeutics is trying to influence how our healthcare... Read more »

Tougher “Immigration” Policies On Foreign Tech Crossing U.S. Border https://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2018/01/19/tougher-immigration-policies-on-foreign-tech-crossing-u-s-border/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:00:50 +0000 Bernadette Tansey https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359454

It’s not only people from other countries that are struggling harder to get into the United States these days, it seems. Technology from foreign nations may also be subject to stricter “immigration” rules.

The national origins of tech devices and services wasn’t a front-burner question—at least for the general public—until the issue came up at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in May on Russia’s suspected hacking of the 2016 presidential election. Leaders of six U.S. intelligence agencies—including the FBI, CIA, and the National Security Agency—all told the senators they would not be comfortable using cybersecurity software provided by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab.... Read more »

IU Spinout CyUtil Helps VR Developers Create More Immersive Products https://www.xconomy.com/indiana/2018/01/19/iu-spinout-cyutil-helps-vr-developers-create-more-immersive-products/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 10:10:15 +0000 Sarah Schmid Stevenson https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359418

Imagine you’re a world history teacher in rural Indiana who wants to give students the chance to tour the great pyramids of Egypt—feeling the sun’s warmth on their faces and smelling the aromatic spices used to cook the food eaten by pharaohs—without leaving the state. Thanks to virtual reality technology being developed by Indiana University spinout CyUtil, immersive, simulated trips abroad may soon be possible.

CyUtil was founded last year by Chauncey Frend, a programmer and analyst in IU’s Advanced Visualization Lab. Frend wanted to help software developers creating their own virtual reality or augmented reality systems to add... Read more »

Absences, Surprises in Amazon’s Final List of 20 Cities for HQ2 https://www.xconomy.com/seattle/2018/01/18/absences-surprises-in-amazons-final-list-of-20-cities-for-hq2/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 18:05:13 +0000 David Holley https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359390

And then there were 20.

Amazon has winnowed down the field of 238 submissions from communities around North America vying to host a second headquarters (HQ2) of the Seattle-based tech giant. Most large cities with existing or emerging tech hubs appear on the list, from Austin, TX, and Boston, MA, to Washington, DC, and Toronto, Canada—the only non-U.S. city to make the finals.

There were a few notable absences from the list, released early today. Detroit, MI, which had high expectations as a competitor, was left out, as was Madison, WI, and most of California. San Diego and San Francisco... Read more »

Accomplice Reloads With $205M Fund After Makeover https://www.xconomy.com/boston/2018/01/18/accomplice-reloads-with-205m-fund-after-makeover/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:46:05 +0000 Jeff Engel https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359381

Accomplice, one of the Boston area’s prominent early-stage venture firms, has restocked its dry powder to invest in tech startups.

Accomplice raised $205 million for its second fund, according to a spokesperson. The firm announced the new fund in a blog post Thursday. Partner Jeff Fagnan (pictured) declined to comment further.

The fund marks a new chapter for one of the Boston area’s most active venture firms, which has undergone a significant transformation over the past three-and-a-half years. The firm was formed after the tech investing side of Atlas Venture split off in the fall of 2014 from the life sciences... Read more »

Bluegrass Vascular Opens U.S. Clinical Trial for Obstructed Veins https://www.xconomy.com/texas/2018/01/18/bluegrass-vascular-opens-u-s-clinical-trail-for-obstructed-veins/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 13:00:06 +0000 David Holley https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359369

San Antonio—Bluegrass Vascular Technologies has started to enroll patients in a U.S. clinical trial for its catheter system for regaining access to obstructed veins.

Bluegrass says it eventually will study 30 patients at 10 research centers across the U.S. in the next year, including St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, and Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. The company can file for FDA approval after it collects the data from the trial, says president and CEO Gabriele Niederauer.

Bluegrass, founded in 2010, received regulatory clearance in Europe in 2016 and started selling its system, called the Surfacer Inside-Out Access Catheter System,... Read more »

Austin Accelerator Sputnik ATX Picks Four Startups for First Class https://www.xconomy.com/texas/2018/01/18/austin-accelerator-sputnik-atx-picks-four-startups-for-first-class/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 12:00:10 +0000 David Holley https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359358

Austin—Sputnik ATX has selected four startups to join its first accelerator class in Austin, only a few months after the city’s newest accelerator program opened its doors.

Sputnik says it received 207 applications from startups in 10 states and 9 different countries, and narrowed the pool down to four less than a month after its Dec. 25 deadline. The four companies Sputnik selected have some sort of tech angle, which they apply to retail, fashion, podcasting, and cat sitting. Sputnik requires at least one founder to move to Austin for the 12-week duration.

Sputnik provides $100,000 in funding to... Read more »

Pandion Raises $58M to Bring Cancer-Fighting Tactics to Immune Disorders https://www.xconomy.com/boston/2018/01/18/pandion-raises-58m-to-bring-cancer-fighting-tactics-to-immune-disorders/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:55:10 +0000 Frank Vinluan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359353

Many drugs for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders work by suppressing the immune system, an approach that puts patients at risk of infection among other side effects. Pandion Therapeutics is developing antibody drugs that it says could instead work with the immune system, potentially offering a safer, more targeted treatment.

The Cambridge, MA, biotech has now raised $58 million to advance one, and perhaps two compounds into clinical trials in the next two years. Polaris Partners, the venture capital firm that founded Pandion last year and provided its seed funding, co-led the Series A round with Roche Venture Fund and Versant Ventures.... Read more »

Advancing A.I. for Business: Google Unveils Tools, Indico Nabs $4M https://www.xconomy.com/boston/2018/01/18/advancing-a-i-for-business-google-unveils-tools-indico-nabs-4m/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 11:00:52 +0000 Jeff Engel https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359319

Tech companies continue to develop software tools and services aimed at unlocking the potential benefits of artificial intelligence for all businesses, regardless of whether or not they have skilled data scientists on staff.

Two of the latest examples come from a startup, Boston-based Indico, and a tech giant, Google.

Today, Indico announced it pulled in $4 million in equity funding led by Osage Venture Partners. The company plans to use the money to extend the capabilities of its machine learning and data analytics products, and invest in sales and marketing.

Indico makes software for analyzing text, images, and other “unstructured data”... Read more »

Detroit Auto Show Puts Big Focus on Mobility Technologies, Startups https://www.xconomy.com/detroit-ann-arbor/2018/01/18/detroit-auto-show-puts-big-focus-on-mobility-technologies-startups/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:27:54 +0000 Sarah Schmid Stevenson https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359333

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked off this week in Detroit, allowing industry affiliates and media to get an early look before the show opens to the public this weekend. For the second year in a row, NAIAS highlighted the mobility sector’s potential business models and offered glimpses of how the trillion-dollar market for self-driving cars might take shape.

The AutoMobili-D exposition, created in partnership with Techstars Mobility and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., was also back for a second year. Set up in the Cobo Center’s lower level, AutoMobili-D featured nearly 60 startups from around the... Read more »

VelocityTX Turns to Chile to Bolster San Antonio’s Startup Scene https://www.xconomy.com/texas/2018/01/17/velocitytx-turns-to-chile-to-bolster-san-antonios-startup-scene/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 00:20:55 +0000 David Holley https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359343

San Antonio—Four new businesses from Chile will be opening up shop in San Antonio in late 2018, joining a program run by the emerging technology startup center, VelocityTX.

VelocityTX, a resource center for entrepreneurs and startups that’s also trying to attract more businesses to San Antonio, is planning to bring four companies from a group of 10 that graduated last week from an institution called Austral Incuba, an incubator run by Universidad Austral de Chile, a university in Valdivia, Chile. Velocity TX and Austral Incuba decided last year to partner on a program they call 6+3, where graduates of... Read more »

Nordic to Move Into Management Consulting After Partial Acquisition https://www.xconomy.com/wisconsin/2018/01/17/nordic-to-move-into-management-consulting-after-partial-acquisition/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:25:03 +0000 Jeff Buchanan https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359327

Nordic, a healthcare consulting firm that advises on implementations of computerized patient records software and other projects, said Tuesday that it had acquired part of The Claro Group.

Madison, WI-based Nordic said its acquisition of Chicago-based Claro’s revenue cycle transformation practice marks the Wisconsin company’s first foray into “the technology-agnostic management consulting world.”

Up to this point, Nordic has focused on helping customers—primarily hospital and clinic networks—install and configure new software applications. The company is known for hiring employees with expertise in products developed by Epic Systems, which is headquartered nearby, in Verona, WI. Many members of Nordic’s staff... Read more »

In “Age of Amazon,” All Retailers Are Tech Companies, Even Walmart https://www.xconomy.com/national/2018/01/17/in-age-of-amazon-all-retailers-are-tech-companies-even-walmart/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 19:45:52 +0000 Angela Shah https://www.xconomy.com/?p=359323

Technology took center stage this week as the nation’s retailers made their annual pilgrimage to New York.

At the National Retail Federation’s three-day conference, which ended Tuesday, the discussion centered on both the disruptive effects and potential promise of e-commerce technologies.

Kate Ancketill, the CEO of GDR Creative Intelligence, a retail trends consultancy, said retailers must adapt by becoming more than traditional stores. “The retailers best positioned in the future will be those who adopt a more expansive definition of retail itself,” she said, according to a blog post about the conference on the NRF website.

How that identity expands will... Read more »