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October 03, 2019 | Tom Ballard

Two Knoxville companies among four selected to pitch at next month’s “Life Science Venture Forum”

Life Science Tennessee (LST), a statewide member organization whose mission is to advance and grow the life science industry in Tennessee, has announced four finalists who will compete in the annual “Life Science Venture Forum” that is part of “LSTCON.” Two of the four hail from Knoxville.

The event is set for November 14 in Nashville (details here). For the first time ever, companies could apply to compete in the forum, and 16 did. Their applications were evaluated by mentors within the Life Science Network.

The four finalists are:

  • VenoStent, based in Nashville, is developing a venous wrap to improve the quality and length of life for the more than two million dialysis patients globally. The company’s device, called the SelfWrap, is designed to reduce access site failures. This technology can be applied anytime a vein-artery connection is made, including coronary and peripheral artery bypass grafting. It promotes a more desirable, uniform outward vein growth.
  • Diatech Diabetic Technologies Inc., headquartered in Memphis, is developing a patent-pending smart infusion set that monitors and alerts patients with insulin-dependent diabetes and their caretakers when an insulin pump delivery malfunctions. The product, named the SmartFusion, is a sensor-based infusion set for insulin pumps that monitors insulin delivery for accuracy and infusion abnormalities.
  • EDP Biotech Corporation, based in Knoxville, is an ISO-certified in vitro diagnostics company focused on the commercialization of simple, cost-effective assays used to detect disease early. As frequently spotlighted in, the company’s ColoPlex™ is a blood-based test aimed at detecting colorectal cancer at its earliest stages when patients have the best opportunity for successful outcomes.
  • Winter Innovations, also headquartered in Knoxville, is a medical device company that develops novel orthopedic surgical tools to improve patient outcomes in high-risk procedures. Its flagship product, the EasyWhip™, is a specialty needle designed to improve stability, speed, and efficiency of graft stitching, which is a critical component of surgery for torn ligaments and tendons. The EasyWhip™ double-loop stitching needle is the first to leverage removable, connected needle portions to give surgeons more control over the stitching process.

The “Venture Forum” is sponsored by Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. Each company will have 10 minutes to pitch before a panel of judges who will evaluate each team on both its intellectual property and commercialization strategies. The winner receives a $5,000 prize awarded by Waller.

Nashville-based IDBiologics won last year’s competition.

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