TX: Gov. Perry Announces $2.9 Million TETF Investments in Three Houston Companies

1 Oct, 2010

Gov. Rick Perry today announced the state is investing $2.9 million through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in three Houston area companies for the development and commercialization of their innovative biomedical technologies.

“The ETF was created to strengthen our state’s high tech economy by supporting promising cutting-edge technologies during the critical phase between earliest innovation and market viability,” Gov. Perry said. “I applaud everyone involved in these worthy endeavors and look forward to the day when we can say the cure for drug resistant bacteria, a cost and life-saving treatment plan and a successful treatment for ovarian and possibly breast cancer were all developed to maturity here in Texas.”

“These innovative companies are prominent examples of how the TETF supports Houston’s transformation as a global hub of technology innovation and commercialization,” Houston Technology Center President and CEO Walter Ulrich said. “We are committed to accelerating the award winners to bring their technologies to Texas—and the world—as quickly as possible.”


The TETF awards are as follows:

  • AuricX Pharmaceuticals Inc. is receiving a $250,000 investment for the development and commercialization of its treatment for antibiotic resistant infections, including MRSA, which may be used in conjunction with other antibacterial drugs. Despite advances in antimicrobial therapies, the emergence of drug-resistant microbes poses great challenges to public health. AuricX will work with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer center to develop this drug.

  • Blue Box Health Inc. is receiving a $250,000 investment for the commercialization of their home-health disease management device. The technology sends key readings on the heart function and condition of patients who are at home after being discharged from the hospital. This will help doctors better manage care, anticipate deadly heart failure emergencies, and ultimately reduce the likelihood of hospital readmissions. Blue Box will work with the University of Houston to commercialize this product.

  • Oncolix Inc. is receiving a $2.4 million investment for the development and commercialization of Prolanta, a non-chemotherapy drug for the treatment of ovarian cancer. Prolanta is a variant of prolactin, a human amino acid, which targets the prolactin receptors responsible for cell proliferation and differentiation. The drug also has the potential to treat breast cancer. Oncolix will work with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop and commercialize this drug.

The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor’s request, and reauthorized in 2007 and again in 2009. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. TETF has allocated more than $173 million in funds to 120 early stage companies, and $161 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. The TETF is a valuable contributor to the business-friendly environment that has made Texas a national leader in technological development, innovation and job creation.

For more information on the TETF, please visit www.emergingtechfund.com.