Washington University Startups

Start-ups raise exciting issues such as potential growth and equity ownership. They also raise important issues regarding conflict of interests and conflict of commitment.

Information for Startups

If you are considering forming a company to develop an invention that has been discovered at the university, please email OTM or call 314.747.0920 so we can discuss your ideas and help you make better decisions regarding such issues as capital and marketing. While most of our technology is transferred to the public domain through large, established companies, start-ups often provide the very best means to accomplish this objective.

You can learn more about starting a business and connect with other people by going to Olin Cup and Entrepreneurship on the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship website. Additionally, there are numerous other entrepreneurship activities in St. Louis and many can be found by contacting the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association (RCGA).  Please review OTM Policies to learn more.

Startup companies based on Washington University technology:
Accuronix Therapeutics
Accuronix develops novel therapies that selectively target cells and deliver cytotoxic payloads, thereby increasing efficacy and reducing toxicity risk.  With an initial focus in pancreatic cancer, the company’s mission is to develop novel oncology therapies based on technology that selectively targets σ-2 receptors over-expressed on cancer cells.

Acera Surgical
Acera Surgical, Inc. is a medical device company located in St. Louis, MO, producing a first-in-class line of implantable electro-spun surgical materials and related tools/accessories.  The company’s lead product, Cerafix®, is a unique non-biologic surgical material optimally engineered for use in neurosurgical repair of dural defects.

AcuPlaq is focused on advancing a proprietary nano-emulsion drug complex developed by Washington University cardiovascular researcher Dr. Samuel Wickline.

Apath is engaged in the commercial application of virology and viral genetics to assist pharmaceutical companies in discovering and developing therapeutic products for the treatment of viral infections. The current focus of Apath is on hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Applied Particle Technology
Founded in 2014 by leading researchers at Washington University in the field of aerosol science and indoor air quality, APT’s mission is to enable energy efficient, high performing innovation air purification technologies.

AVVI Biotech
AVVI Biotech is based on technology developed by Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin IV, MD, PhD, the Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and head of the Department of Pathology and Immunology, and his collaborator, Dan Barouch at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  AVVI is working to advance the development and commercialization of novel adenoviral vectors to generate vaccines.

C2N Diagnostics
C2N is pioneering novel, intelligent ways to develop drugs against brain disorders at a more rapid pace and lower cost than conventional methods. In addition,  the company is commercializing point-of-care diagnostics to enable early detection of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Cardialen is revolutionizing atrial fibrillation (AF) treatment by offering a unique solution: a gentle, low energy therapy, released from an implantable device. This treatment will stop symptoms at the onset of AF, keep people out of the healthcare system, and greatly reduce AF’s significant financial impact.

CardioInsight Technologies
The CardioInsight™ Noninvasive 3D Mapping System is a non-invasive mapping system that collects chest ECG signals and combines these signals with CT scan data to produce and display simultaneous, bi-atrial and biventricular, 3-D cardiac maps. The mapping enables physicians to characterize abnormal rhythms of the heart.  The company was acquired by Medtronic in 2015.

CardioWise, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of a non-invasive analysis method for detection of heart disease. The company offers technology solutions, which includes CardioWise MPS, an multi-parametric strain analysis software that enables a quantitative diagnostic evaluation of the heart system using the data from a single magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Cellatrix provides a physiologically relevant, patient-derived 3D culture system that accurately recapitulates the complex biology of the bone marrow microenvironment.  The company impacts biological research, drug discovery and personalized medicine in hematological malignancies, especially in Multiple Myeloma.

Celldex Therapeutics
Celldex is developing targeted therapeutics to address devastating diseases for which available treatments are inadequate.  Its pipeline is built from a proprietary portfolio of antibodies and immunomodulators used alone and in strategic combinations to create novel, disease-specific therapies that induce, enhance or suppress the body’s immune response.

Cephalogics is developing a noninvasive portable imaging system to provide clinicians with valuable measures of cerebral perfusion status in brain-injured patients.  Undetected perfusion deficits lead to ischemia. Cephalogics detects perfusion deficits and enables early interventions to help avoid ischemia and associated adverse outcomes.

clEAR (Customized Learning Exercises for Aural Rehabilitation)
clEAR, LLC teaches hearing-loss patients to recognize speech and to improve hearing amidst noise, doing so in a way that is engaging, entertaining, and affordable.  Instead of the repetitive hearing exercises found in other auditory training programs, the clEAR™ program is unique in that it provides auditory training in a game-like format.

Courier Therapeutics
Courier is developing a platform technology for precise delivery of cytokines to NK and T cells. The core technology is based on observations about viral stealth proteins that have evolved over millions of years to target immmune cell receptors with extremely high affinity. This enables us to eliminate off target effects of cytokine therapy while increasing efficacy.

Curtiss Health
Curtiss Health was founded by Roy Curtiss III, former George William and Irene Koechig Freiberg Professor of Biology Emeritus at Washington University. The company uses a regulated process to weaken live bacteria that are used as vaccines so they are better able to trigger an effective immune response against the same or similar bacteria.

DNA Polymerase Technology
DNA is working to develop improved technology for detecting, analyzing and manipulating genes.  The core area of our research is PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), which is a method for amplifying targeted sequences of DNA.

EyeCyte Therapeutics
EyeCyte, Inc., an early stage stem/progenitor cell-based ophthalmology research and development company based in La Jolla, California. The company will exploit a decade of research into the causes of, and potential treatments for, retinal disease

Fimbrion Therapeutics
Founded in 2012 by Drs. Scott Hultgren and James Janetka at the Washington University School of Medicine, along with Dr. Thomas Hooton at the University of Miami, Fimbrion is taking an unconventional approach of treating bacterial infections.  The company targets key virulence mechanisms utilized by bacteria, such as adherence to, and invasion of, host cells.

Global Velocity
Global Velocity’s Securio™ platform provides a powerful ICS solution to continuously monitor and manage sensitive data in the cloud and enterprise,for organizations of all sizes.  It is the first and only “virtually aware” ICS solution available in the market that fully leverages cloud-computing virtualization concepts to provide unprecedented scalability.

Health Communication Impact
2-1-1 Counts is the first tool to provide real-time, searchable and visual presentations of data from 2-1-1 call centers across the nation. Using 2-1-1 Counts, you’ll find a snapshot of community-specific needs displayed by ZIP code, region or call center as recently as yesterday, enabling you to easily check trends, make comparisons and share information.

Igenica Biotherapeutics is focused on the discovery and development of antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer. Through our robust pipeline of first-in-class candidates and proprietary ADC platform, Igenica is accelerating the development and delivery of effective therapies that hold the potential to change the face of cancer treatment.

The company provides phenotypic compound screening services for first-in-class drug discovery and drug re-positioning.  InvivoScience’s unique combination of tissue engineering technology with assay automation and sample miniaturization offers a rapid and cost effective platform for unprecedented therapeutic discovery.

IP Reservoir
IP Reservoir uses a method and apparatus for hardware-accelerating various data quality checking operations.  Incoming data streams can be processed with respect to a plurality of data quality check operations using offload engines (e.g., reconfigurable logic such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs)).

Kailos Genetics
The Kailos test is used to find out which types of genes you have in your body. If you have certain genes, it can mean certain prescription medicines may not work as well for you or could give you serious complications.  The only way to know what genes you have is with a genetic test like the Kailos test.

LipoSpectrum was founded to provide enhanced, state-of-the-art lipid analysis human blood and tissue samples, which allows an improved way to diagnose early and find cures for a wide range of serious diseases including diabetes and cancer.

Medical Guidance Systems
Medical Guidance Systems focuses on the development of antibodies to cancer antigens that include two targets: TIP1 and GRP78.  The company’s role is to lead selection of antibodies and lead development, which essentially refers to humanization of the lead antibodies.

Metro Midwest Biotech

MPA provides commercial photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) systems at both optical resolution (OR-PAM) and acoustic resolution (AR-PAM) worldwide.  The company develops rapid-scanning optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM), which is capable of label-free imaging of non-fluorescent optical absorbers.

NanoString Technologies is a privately held life sciences company marketing a complete solution for detecting and counting large sets of target molecules in biological samples.  The company’s nCounter® Analysis System is the first and only technology platform to deliver highly multiplexed, direct profiling of individual molecules in a single reaction without amplification.

The Company seeks to develop a revolutionary platform of devices, based on Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technology, which promise to restore function to patients who are disabled as a result of neurological injury.

OsteoVantage is focused on minimizing pain, increasing mobility, and improving clinical outcomes via improved bone fusion and osseointegration technologies for sufferers of back injuries, fractures, degenerative diseases, and other orthopedic, craniomaxillofacial and dental disorders.

PierianDx provides the most comprehensive, robust and integrated solution for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) that enables labs to quickly go from raw sequencing data to actionable, informed patient diagnosis and treatment.

The company provides trusted and actionable insights– to uncover what works, for whom, under what circumstances and at what cost.  PotentiaMetrics’ outcomes and insights platforms empower customers to illuminate complex issues, hone in on useful insights, and make more intelligent decisions that lead to better outcomes.

QureTech Bio
QureTech Bio is developing a new class of antibacterial agents that may have broad-spectrum activity against Chlamydia and other pathogens. Termed virulence blockers, these agents selectively disarm the pathogenic capability of certain bacteria, without affecting normal bacterial flora, and therefore decrease the selection pressure for resistance development.

At Radiologics, we focus on improving the efficiency and utility of imaging in clinical research.  Over 8,000 ongoing trials depend on one or more forms of imaging data – MRI, PET, CT, X-Ray, and an array of other modalities. Radiologics’ software was built from the ground up to support imaging in these studies.


Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel medicines to transform the lives of patients with life-altering central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

Tioma Therapeutics
Tioma is an immuno-oncology company developing anti-CD47 antibodies for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers.  Our functionally diverse antibodies represent a new class of checkpoint inhibitors that harness both the adaptive and innate immune responses.

Trasir Therapeutics
Trasir Therapeutics is a company focused on utilizing RNAi for treating diseases with multiple mechanisms of inflammation.

XTEND Energy
Xtend Energy produces ultra-high-performance Lithium-ion battery cathode materials.  Xtend Energy’s technology will help address the issues of cost and performance for electric vehicle batteries.  Xtend Energy’s technology was developed at Washington University and is being commercialized in labs in St. Louis and through a partnership with Argonne National Laboratory.