Gov. Rick Perry today announced a $2 million investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in ZS Pharma, Inc., for the development of its therapeutic solution for the treatment of complications associated with liver and kidney failure.
“Texas continues to lead the nation in the evolving biotechnology industry thanks to an environment that encourages innovation and investments from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund,” Gov. Perry said. “This investment in ZS Pharma will help develop a therapy that will provide kidney and liver failure patients with a more effective and less dangerous alternative to current blood cleansing treatments.”
ZS’ therapy uses zirconium silicate crystals to specifically target excess toxins, such as potassium, ammonium, urea and phosphate that have built up in the body as a result of liver or kidney failure. There is currently no effective treatment for hyperkalemia, or high levels of potassium in the blood, and treatments that exist are not suited for chronic conditions that require constant treatment. Taken with food, ZS’ tasteless and odorless therapy provides an alternative to hemodialysis which can be dangerous and more expensive.
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 $159 million in funds to 113 early stage companies, and $161 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.