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San Antonio Company Cytocentrics Renames Itself CytoBioscience

Xconomy Texas — 

San Antonio — Cytocentrics, the maker of instruments that can be used to screen if and how cells might react to drugs, has changed its name to CytoBioscience.

The name change is happening in part because the San Antonio company is expanding its footprint in bioscience, CEO James Garvin said in a press release. The company’s lead device, the CytoPatch, automates the process of measuring the reaction that cells’ ion channels have to various drug compounds, helping researchers determine how a given compound might help or harm a cell, Garvin told me earlier this year.

“By telling what’s going on in those channels, you can give an awful lot of data about how a particular compound or a particular drug or a particular event is affecting that cell,” Garvin said in August. “If there are 500 compounds that go into making a drug, we’re going to look into each one of those compounds, and we’re going to tell whether that compound does something to a human cell.”

CytoBioscience is able to do that quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, Garvin said in August. The name change and expansion in bioscience still reflects its primary focus on ion channels and safety pharmacology, Garvin wrote in an e-mail today.

The company is “expanding that into other research areas, though with a foundation on ion channels, but looking at proteins, disease treatment modalities whose foundational aspects stem from ion channel understanding,” Garvin wrote in an e-mail. The company is considering acquisitions, according to the press release.

The Center for Innovative Drug Discovery, a research group founded in 2012 as a joint venture between the University of Texas at San Antonio and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, uses one of the CytoBioscience devices.

Founded in 2001 in Germany, CytoBioscience was lured to San Antonio in 2015 by venture capital money and government incentives. The company has raised $15.8 million from some 11 investors since 2015, including San Antonio-based firm Targeted Technology, according to a regulatory filing. The city of San Antonio promised to give the company as much as $1 million for moving here, creating jobs, and investing around $15 million in making the Alamo City its headquarters.