Tonight, at a special graduation and alumni event, the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a not-for-profit part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), will graduate 21 companies. Of those 21, two companies were part of ATI’s Bioscience portfolio: Savara Pharmaceuticals and Terapio. Both have had a tremendous impact on the growing bioscience community in Austin, hiring dozens of workers and raising millions of dollars in funding.
Over 20+ years, ATI has developed and refined industry specific capabilities, currently organized into Information Technology, Wireless, Clean Energy and Bioscience sectors. In each industry sector, ATI brings its portfolio companies deep domain expertise, market- and technology-specific networks of advisors and investors. Tonight’s graduation event showcases successes in all four sectors, including two remarkable companies in bioscience.
Founded in 2008 in partnership with the City of Austin, ATI-Bioscience works closely with other members of the Central Texas and statewide life science ecosystem, including BioAustin, Central Texas Life Science entrepreneurs, the University of Texas faculty and students and regional hospital and healthcare groups. ATI-Bioscience recently completed a study, supported by the regional community and the Economic Development Administration, to quantitate the need of wet-laboratory space to support life sciences companies in Central Texas. ATI-Bioscience has also partnered with UT’s College of Pharmacy to create an on-campus wet lab facility, UTech Dorm Room, which can be accessed by early-stage life sciences companies in Austin. The ATI-Bioscience hosts symBIOsis, a quarterly educational series, co-sponsored with the Rice Alliance, to bring the entrepreneurial, commercial and academic life sciences communities together. The two Bioscience graduates are:
Savara Pharmaceuticals is developing the first inhaled antibiotic for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients targeting the highly contagious “super bug” Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is dramatically increasing worldwide. Savara’s Aerovanc has recently completed its first clinical with encouraging results.
Terapio is a biopharmaceutical company developing the RLIP76 protein as a medical countermeasure for radiation exposure and chemical threats to civilian, military and first responder populations. The RLIP76 protein works though the oxidative stress pathway and protects as both a prophylactic and post-exposure treatment. Terapio tapped the unique talents and network at ATI to help secure Texas ETF, federal grant and venture capital funding totaling over $7M in less than two years.
“We are extremely excited and pleased about our first bioscience graduate companies,” said Cindy WalkerPeach, PhD, Bioscience Director. “Terapio and Savara are exceptional healthcare-focused companies that will not only have a positive impact on patient care but will favorably impact regional economic growth as well.”
Laura Beck for ATI