Texas Roundup: Rapamycin, SparkCognition, MolecularMatch, Rackspace

Let’s take a pause midweek and review the latest innovation news in the Lone Star State.

—A San Antonio, TX-based biotech is placing a bet that an old drug can have new effects—with the help of a proprietary coating. Rapamycin Holdings hopes to begin testing in clinical trials a new formulation of the decades-old drug rapamycin that would prevent cancerous cells from growing into malignant tumors. The company is targeting patients with bladder and pancreatic cancers.

SparkCognition, an Austin, TX-based cybersecurity and artificial intelligence software company, has raised $6 million in a Series B funding round. Investors include Verizon Ventures and CME Ventures. The company’s target customers are companies, particularly in the energy sector, with Internet-connected physical assets that are especially vulnerable to cyberattack.

MolecularMatch, a Houston-based healthtech company that seeks to more efficiently connect cancer patients with appropriate clinical trials, has expanded its suite of products to more closely work with labs, hospitals, and oncologists to provide real-time information on the best treatment options for patients. This could be clinical trials or other forms of treatment such as drug regimens.

Rackspace has partnered with Cloud Technology Partners in Boston to help large businesses transfer IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure like Amazon Web Services. The move comes as San Antonio-based Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) seeks new ways to make money alongside its traditional business of building public, private, or dedicated cloud IT infrastructures for customers.

Merge VR, a virtual reality headset maker, announced a deal with gaming giant GameStop (NYSE: GME). The store is putting Merge VR’s goggles in 250 retail stores. The San Antonio company makes a device that can be used with most new Android or iOS phones and said it has lowered the price of its headset to $80.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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