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Colorado BioScience Association is thrilled to announce the companies selected to present at the Rocky Mountain Life Sciences Investor and Partnering Conference in Breckenridge September 12 + 13.

Our presenting companies represent the future of life-saving health innovation from the Rocky Mountain West. They will pitch to angel investors, VCs, and strategic partners from major financial hubs.

Meet the Presenting Companies: 

Biotech + Pharma: Up to $10M

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Illumen Therapeutics, Inc.

Illumen Therapeutics is pursuing a cancer treatment moonshot developing PARN Inhibitor drugs to increase functional p53, the 'Guardian of the Genome', to treat aggressive cancers. Dysregulation of p53, a tumor suppressor protein, is the hallmark of nearly all cancers. Drugging p53 has been considered the Holy Grail of cancer drug development. The company is the first to pursue this novel, promising therapeutic strategy of inhibiting PARN to increase functional p53 to treat wild-type p53 aggressive cancers. We are at the hit to lead stage of drug discovery. PARN as a target, and the therapeutic strategy of inhibiting PARN to increase functional p53, was discovered by Roy Parker and his lab at the BioFrontiers Institute, the University of Colorado Boulder. The company is being spun out of the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Funding Sought: $2M Pre-seed/Seed

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Onconaut

At Onconaut, we address the unmet needs of late-stage and metastatic cancers, where treatment options are limited, and survival rates are low. Our drugs are designed for use at any cancer stage and can be combined with standard care to improve patient outcomes, focusing on enhancing quality of life and increasing disease-free survival. 

Our primary target is late stage and metastatic colorectal cancer, where effective therapies are scarce. Standard treatments include surgery and chemotherapy, but only about 50% of patients respond to chemotherapy, which carries significant toxicity risks. The overall survival rate is typically around 30 months, highlighting the need for better treatment options. 

Onconaut leads with first-in-class small molecule drugs targeting the oncogene CHD1L, offering a revolutionary solution to combat tumor progression, metastasis, and drug resistance in colorectal cancer and other malignancies with unprecedented efficacy in combination with standard therapy. 

Funding Sought: $1M Pre-seed

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Photon Pharma

PhotonPharma is developing a novel autologous cancer vaccine, InnocellÔ, to treat cancer. Our key innovation is the inactivation of a patient’s tumor cells through a proprietary photochemical method that allows them to be safely returned to the patient presenting the full complement of tumor antigens to elicit an effective immune response to fight the cancer.  Innocell allows for the selective targeting of cancer with application to nearly all types of solid organ tumors (90% of all cancers) and has advantages over other cancer treatments in safety, specificity to patient tumor type, and cost and speed of manufacturing, and its product profile is amenable to combination with other cancer vaccine approaches.  In February 2024, the company received FDA clearance to initiate its clinical development of Innocell to treat ovarian cancer that afflicts 20,000 women every year.

Funding Sought: $2.5M to…

  • Complete Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced ovarian cancer (2024)
  • Demonstrate combination benefit with checkpoint inhibitors in animal models (Q2, 2024)
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Reglagene

Reglagene is a pioneering preclinical-stage therapeutics company focused on brain-penetrant therapies. Our lead product, RGN6024, is in preclinical development for treating high-grade gliomas and brain metastases from breast and lung cancer. RGN6024 has completed preclinical toxicology studies, with manufacturing and formulation processes in development. We anticipate filing an IND by May 2025. Targeting tubulin, the most well-validated target in cancer therapy, RGN6024 for the first time combines this clinically proven way of working with exceptional oral administration and brain penetration. RGN6024 has received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA and is part of the Texas Medical Center’s Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics to speed its path into the clinic. With a significant unmet medical need for brain cancer treatments, representing a US market opportunity of $2 billion, Reglagene aims to revolutionize brain cancer therapy and bring hope to patients who need it most. 

Funding Sought: Completion of $3.5M Bridge Round

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RheumaGen

RheumaGen is a Colorado biotech company on a mission to develop novel gene-editing therapies to cure autoimmune diseases. Millions of people across the world suffer from chronic, debilitating diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes (T1D), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Up to 1% of the world’s population suffers from RA. 
 
Even worse, a significant percentage of autoimmune patients are known as “refractory” or “treatment-resistant;” they have the most serious symptoms but no effective treatment options at all. These patients are desperate for help, and we must do more for them and their families. 
 
So, while it may be a bold vision, we believe it is time to revolutionize the field of autoimmunity. We are developing a new class of therapeutic: by editing the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene, or “immune gene,” RheumaGen’s therapies have the potential to cure even the most severe patients.  

Funding Sought: $5-10M Series A

 

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SiVEC Biotechnologies

SiVEC Biotechnologies, recognized as the 2022 Top Emerging Company at BIO International and recipient of >$4M in NIH grants, is poised to become a leader in delivering breakthrough, engineered biotherapeutics. Central to their mission is BactPac™, an advanced intracellular biologic drug delivery platform, enabling the next generation of gene therapies and making the undruggable, druggable. BactPac safely produces and delivers large therapeutic payloads, including mRNA, proteins and siRNA, evading immune detection and neutralizing antibodies. With its unique ability for targeted delivery to tumors and tissues, BactPac offers superior cargo diversity and precise targeting, supported by a robust patent portfolio. SiVEC is developing first-in-class therapeutics for oncology, respiratory and genetic disease. SiVEC’s lead oncology therapeutic, SVC-KRAb™, a pan-oncogenic KRAS inhibitor, shows promise across diverse KRAS mutations, underscoring its potential for broad patient applicability. 

 

Funding Sought: $6M Seed

Biotech + Pharma: $10M +

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Ajna Biosciences PBC

AJNA BioSciences bridges the gap between ancient plant medicines and modern healthcare needs. With a team experienced in both traditional drug development and natural products, we're uniquely positioned to identify, standardize, and develop botanical drugs, meeting the growing demand for safe and effective alternatives to traditional pharmaceuticals.

Funding Sought: We are raising $40M. The total raise is comprised of a Series B raise of $35M to fund phase 2 clinical trials for our lead drug candidate, AJA001, targeted at Autism Spectrum Disorder, and $5M to advance our second drug candidate in the pipeline, our psilocybin microdose. 

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Arpeggio Biosciences

Arpeggio makes more effective and safer medicine by designing molecules to target not a single protein, but the entire cellular network. Our AI and chemotranscriptomic dataset rivals those at Recursion & Novartis, resulting in an NRF2 degrader with rapid regression of KEAP1-mutant tumors in animals and an ACSL4 inhibitor that prevents oxidative stress in mouse kidney disease. Having raised a $17M series A from Khosla Ventures and Builders VC, we are well-positioned to bring new medicine to patients who desperately need it.  

 

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Codebreaker

Codebreaker has scaled the generation of the most powerful data for AI-driven novel target discovery. Our DecoderDU platform allows us to rapidly map any genetic variation, anywhere in the genome, and do so at world-leading efficiencies and precision directly in human cells. We are using this platform to build the world's largest Atlas of Variants and Novel Targets that underpin disease and drug response. In our SEED stage, we're building an AI-engine to mine for novel targets and candidate therapeutics that will be trained on our proprietary Atlas data spanning >100,000 variants across 601 loci associated with 11 different T-cell mediated diseases (a 1000x increase in mapping compared to prior approaches). Founded in 2024 by serial entrepreneur Ryan Gill, an innovator with a proven track record (previously Slade professor at CU Boulder and Founder of Inscripta and Artisan Bio), Codebreaker is poised to accelerate Novel Target and Drug discovery and deliver breakthroughs for patients.

Funding Sought: $25M Series A

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NuvOX

NuvOx is a Phase IIb platform biotech company. We strive to transform lives by mobilizing oxygen – deliver oxygen to tissue level and reverse hypoxia, the root cause of many life-threatening diseases. Our first-in-class technology is applicable in oncology, CNS, respiratory, and other indications, with the potential of multi-billion dollar ultimate revenue. NuvOx has positive Phase Ib/IIa human data in brain cancer and stroke, pre-clinical data in immuno-oncology/ respiratory/other indications. The technology is de-risked with safety data of more than 2000 patients, and protected by 10 US issued patents as well as IP around the world. We are enrolling and treating patients for Phase IIb brain cancer trial in US, and will be entering into Phase IIb stroke trial in UK and Phase Ib trial in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in Canada in 2024. NuvOx is a unique combination of derisked development, massive market, and incredible capital efficiency.

Funding Sought: $10-25M, priced round, Series B/equivalent

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STAQ Pharma

Choosing STAQ Pharma means opting for a reliable 503B partner dedicated to the highest standards of quality and safety in outsourced medication. Founded with the vision to address a critical need in the healthcare industry, STAQ Pharma has set itself apart by constructing two state-of-the-art 503B Outsourcing Facilities that adhere to cGMP standards from the start of design and construction. 

Our unique ownership model with hospitals ensures we meet the precise needs of healthcare providers and their patients. We position ourselves to strengthen the sterile injectable pharmaceutical supply chain to ensure that patients receive safe medication. Our commitment to addressing drug shortages by producing critical medications is fostered by the four fundamental values that make up STAQ Pharma: Safety, Transparency, Availability, and Quality. Every aspect of our operations, oversight and execution occurs with these four values at our core. 

Funding Sought: $30M

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Think Bioscience

Think Bioscience is reimagining synthetic biology by using living systems to guide the design and assembly of better medicines. The unique approach to drug discovery combines applied microbiology, enzymology, and computational science to develop small-molecule therapeutics against elusive targets. The company recently raised $17M in an oversubscribed Seed round to expand its drug discovery platform and advance its internal drug development programs.

Funding Sought: $40M 

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TrAMPoline Pharma

TrAMPoline Pharma, Inc. (TPI) was founded with a vision to support the next generation of cellular immunotherapies. In collaboration with the Davila lab at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility, and clinical partners in the greater Colorado community, TPI is developing novel methodology to enhance all forms of cellular immunotherapy. This includes a more ‘universal’ form of cell therapy referred to as tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, which was recently approved as the first cellular therapy for solid tumors. Our leading pipeline is an engineered TIL product, termed MightyTIL™, which demonstrates robust anti-tumor activity compared to unmodified TIL. We now have the funding in place to initiate a first-in-class clinical trial of our gene-modified MightyTIL™ technology in solid tumors.

Funding Sought: $50M +

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Vona Oncology

Vona Oncology is a Colorado-based privately-held Biotech company developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors to treat aggressive cancers with high unmet clinical needs. Our lead compound is highly effective at inhibiting the growth of advanced breast, skin, ovarian and lymphoma tumors at low doses with minimal toxicity, offering a much-needed therapeutic alternative to toxic standards of care. There is currently a large unmet need for more tolerable and effective therapies in these cancers where not all patients are eligible or benefit from a response to currently available drugs. Vona is completing IND-enabling studies for entry into a Phase I human clinical trial and raising a $20M Series A round to support manufacturing, toxicity, bioanalytical studies. The company is sponsored by an NCI SBIR Fast-Track Award and has raised close to $3M in non-dilutive funding.

Funding Sought: $20M Series A

 

Medtech: Up to $10M

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Aspero Medical

Aspero Medical is focused on improving gastrointestinal endoscopy for the patient and physician. Our differentiated products improve endoscopy while providing financial incentives for providers, improving patient outcomes, and reducing the total cost of care. Our first product, the patented and FDA-cleared Ancora-SB, allows endoscopists to go further, faster, during small bowel enteroscopy offering better diagnostic procedure stability, & seamless integration with existing procedure workflow. With our second product, Ancora-LB, we look to revolutionize third space endoscopy with simple, practical devices that create greater access, stabilization, and retraction with exceptional ease of use for advanced intervention of pre-cancerous and cancerous tissues in the large bowel. Aspero is a capital efficient medical device company, having secured over $6M in non-dilutive grant funding, offering asymmetric upside for investors with early exit acquisition potential. 

Funding Sought: $4M Series A

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EnteroTrack

EnteroTrack, a clinical-stage, platform technology company, provides a simple yet comprehensive solution to monitor and screen for upper gastrointestinal (GI) diseases in the office or home. Markers for these diseases do not present early or with sufficient sensitivity/specificity in blood, urine, or other samples; GI content must be directly sampled.   Endoscopic biopsy is not suitable for routine, repeat sampling.  Our patented EnteroTracker® represents the world’s only device for localized yet protected GI sampling from the esophagus through the small intestine, in a single procedure without sedation or advanced training.  Having met numerous milestones – regulatory, manufacturing, clinical labs, coding, reimbursement – and with line-of-sight to payer coverage for the company’s beachhead product, we seek to grow existing revenues and to expand into larger markets, including GI cancer, celiac, and food allergy, where our product is differentiated and where no good solutions exist.

Funding sought $9.2M Series A

 

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Eye to Eye Telehealth

Eye To Eye Telehealth Inc. is a medical device and digital health company dedicated to modernizing glaucoma care through remote monitoring and data analytics. Glaucoma, a chronic blinding eye disease affecting over 80 million globally, requires frequent intraocular pressure (IOP) monitoring, typically done every three months in clinics. However, IOP fluctuates throughout the day, often peaking outside clinic hours, leading to missed critical data and vision loss. The company provides a cellularly connected handheld device for patients to monitor their IOP at home, integrated into a software ecosystem. This platform captures a comprehensive IOP profile, allowing for personalized treatment and creating new revenue streams for home-based care. In addition to better patient care, clinics benefit from more efficient schedules, accommodating more patients and higher-profit visits.

Funding Sought: $5M Series A

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Green Sun Medical

Green Sun Medical has developed an intelligent dynamic brace for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). The Whisper Brace applies continuous corrective pressure to the spine while allowing the patients to move and function as normal teenagers. While wearing the brace, sensor data is transmitted through Bluetooth to mobile devices and hosted on a HIPPA compliant cloud-based server. Physicians will be able to monitor their patients in real time to ensure that they are receiving the proper treatment. The Whisper Brace has also provided significant pain relief for adults suffering from scoliosis.  

Funding Sought: $5-10M Series B

 

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illumify Dx

illumifyDx pioneers proactive medical diagnostics, integrating optical spectroscopy, machine learning, and robotics to revolutionize biomarker identification. Our mission is to refine early detection, beginning with our non-invasive blood test for head and neck cancer recurrence. This innovative approach underscores our commitment to transforming patient care and advancing the future of medicine through technology-driven solutions.

Funding Sought: $3-5M

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Lazzaro Medical

Lazzaro Medical is a Boulder, Colorado-based medical device company, co-founded by the pioneering thought leader Dr. Richard Lazzaro. Lazzaro Medical is treating a common but uncommonly diagnosed disease, Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM). TBM is a debilitating condition manifesting as chronic cough, which deprives approx. 8MM people, in the US alone, of their ability to breathe. We have developed a patented, minimally invasive, robotically-based solution as the lead product in our diagnostic and treatment platform to address this $40BN untapped market. With $3.5M raised and an additional $1.5M committed, we are seeking to close the remaining $3M of our seed round to fuel our 510K FDA submission and ramp-up for a 2025 commercial launch. We project $380M of cumulative revenue five years post launch on our initial product offering and envision a future where TBM is no longer a devastating, breath-stealing ailment. Connect with us at Lazzaromed.com, or follow @Lazzaro Medical on LinkedIn.

Financing Sought: $5M

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TissueForm

TissueForm aims to improve life for people affected by joint cartilage disease or damage through harnessing the natural, restorative power of tissue extracellular matrix. TissueForm’s biomaterial immediately fills defects, integrates with host tissue, provides a robust structural scaffold, and promotes long-term tissue growth and healing. Currently, there are limited cartilage repair methods suitable to repair tissue following local trauma, and halt or prevent progress toward a serious degenerative joint disease known as osteoarthritis (OA). Orthopedic surgeons do not have any simple and cost-effective materials to offer patients with cartilage damage to stop the progression of knee degradation towards OA. TissueForm’s acellular matrix-based cartilage solution, NatruLage, is flowable for easy delivery, immediately restores cartilage structure under loading, and is able customize to a wide variety of lesion shapes and sizes to repair the tissue damage and decrease pain for patients. 

Funding Sought: $1.5M

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Vega Surgical Systems

Vega Surgical develops bedside systems for treatment of intracranial hemorrhage. Our flagship product, Xcape SD, targets chronic subdural hematoma (CSDH) which is projected to be the most common cranial condition requiring neurosurgical treatment by 2030. CSDHs occur after minor trauma, cause significant morbidity and mortality, and disproportionately affect the elderly. By moving the treatment of CSDH from the operating room to the patient’s bedside, we improve efficiency and reduce costs while maintaining efficacy and quality. Xcape SD can be placed with local anesthesia in under 30 minutes. Vega Surgical will continue to develop novel systems that provide value to patients, physicians, and hospital systems.

Funding Sought: $3M

Medtech: $10M +

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Accure Acne, Inc.

Accure Acne is a start-up company based in Boulder, CO that was the first to develop a 1726nm laser system for the treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris. Founded in 2015, based upon technology out of Harvard University, the company now employees 17 full-time staff and 13 contractors, commercializing it's product in the US, Europe and Beyond.  

Funding Sought: $30M Series B

 

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AOA Dx

AOA Dx is at the forefront of developing a novel frontier in early-stage cancer detection for women, utilizing the power of glycolipids and their proprietary biomarker technology. Their GlycoLocate platform targets tumor marker gangliosides, advancing early cancer detection while also addressing a critical need by developing AKRIVIS GD, a liquid biopsy test designed for early-stage detection of ovarian cancer.

Their work in glycolipids was recently published in a peer-reviewed study, "GD2 and GD3 gangliosides as diagnostic biomarkers for ovarian cancer," proving high sensitivity and specificity. With $24M raised, they're advancing platform development and validation studies. Founded by experts in women's health, AOA Dx aims to redefine care standards, driven by a mission to revolutionize women's health through innovative technology.

Funding Sought: $40M

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Burst Diagnostics

Burst Diagnostics is developing the next generation of point-of-care (POC) and at-home testing solutions. We are on a mission to provide POC diagnostics when and where they’re needed for a range of health conditions. Our breakthrough innovation, CaDI (Capillary-flow Driven Immunoassay), achieves high performance (low detection limit, high sensitivity, ease of quantification) in a rapid, easy-to-use format resembling a lateral flow assay. CaDI operates in tandem with a low-cost chemiluminescence reader to enhance sensitivity. Our go-to-market strategy will establish the first rapid strep test using saliva instead of throat swabs to address market demands before expanding to other diagnostic needs. CaDI is adaptable toward many analytes, enabling us to deliver custom assay solutions to industries ranging from food safety to environmental testing. Our innovative technology offers the laboratory-grade results of an enzyme immunoassay without the cost or dependencies of a traditional lab.

Funding Sought: $10M

BurstDx is seeking $10M Series A funding to obtain 510k clearance for our saliva-based Strep test, drive market adoption of the Strep test, and advance the development of a second test for the platform.

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Darwin Biosciences

The COVID-19 pandemic spawned a diagnostics revolution. At-home testing is widely accessible, the layperson understands the difference between qPCR and antigen tests, and preventative measures to limit transmission are commonplace. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming number of tests in the market that confuse decision making. What should I test for? What does a positive result from this test mean? When should I test? And at the crux of it all, there is no test that answers the most important question — am I contagious? At Darwin, we have discovered RNA signals in saliva that predict infection by any pathogen. Additionally, the signals are correlated to the amount of actively replicating pathogen and we believe that this is an indicator of contagiousness. To detect this signature, we have developed a portable RNA amplification device that provides an easy readout on a paper strip. Darwin’s technology simplifies infectious disease diagnostics by providing one test capable of broad-spectrum detection. 

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GelSana

GelSana is advancing healthcare with groundbreaking polymers (ZIP Technology) that evade the foreign body response, reduce pain and promote healing; specializing in non-resorbable wound & burn treatments, with future resorbable devices and drug delivery systems. 

Funding Sought: $10M Series A

THANK YOU SPONSORS

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