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Texas Roundup: “Moon Shots,” TeVido, TMCx, Clarify & Spanning

Xconomy Texas — 

This last week was an especially busy one for the biotech community in Houston, from using big data to fight cancer to nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs at the Texas Medical Center. In Austin, meanwhile, Clarify raised a seed round, Spanning’s founders found an exit with EMC, and TeVido BioDevices worked on creating a better nipple. Here is the roundup of the latest innovation news from Xconomy’s Texas bureau.

— The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s “Moon Shots” program is making a big push to leverage Big Data analytics in cancer. CEO Ron DePinho served as ringmaster at a recent event highlighting progress on the institute’s various projects.

—The good news is that more and more women are surviving breast cancer and being diagnosed at a younger age. The bad news is that many of these women end up getting mastectomies as part of their treatment. That has opened up a market for TeVido, which uses 3D printing technology to use patients’ own cells to improve a still unsatisfactory part of breast reconstruction: the nipple.

—Next summer, The Texas Medical Center’s new accelerator, TMCx, will be the home of the Bayou Startup Showcase, an effort that combines RedLabs and OwlSpark, the student accelerators of the University of Houston and Rice University, respectively.

Clarify, which makes an online platform for audio and video search and analytics, said it has raised $1 million in a seed round from investors such as Projector Ventures, Silverton Partners, Bazaarvoice founder Brett Hurt, and others. The Austin, TX-based startup will use the funds to further develop the platform, which enables developers to embed audio and video search directly into mobile and web applications.

—Austin startup Spanning, which protects clients’ data in the cloud, was purchased by computing giant EMC last week. Terms were not disclosed, but Spanning’s Austin operations and management structure will stay in place, according to a press release.

—With Johnson & Johnson opening up a new J-Labs in Houston, and TMC’s own accelerator in the works, there is a new buzz among those in the city’s biotech ecosystem. But panelists at a recent conference hosted by the University of Texas highlighted a missing ingredient: experienced life sciences CEOs. 

—Xconomy’s friends joined me, Kamille McIvert-Girton, and Jim Edwards for our second annual “Meet the Xconomists” reception at Houston’s Carrabba’s restaurant.