Ideas discovered in the labs at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center often evolve into successful companies that are changing the landscape of health care. In the process, investigators become entrepreneurs and innovation becomes the technology of tomorrow. Wake Forest Innovation provides assistance with capital formation, incubation and early development of startup companies
Companies Started by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Wake Forest Innovations supports economic development by incubating start-up companies based on discoveries and inventions from the research performed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center:
KeraNetics LLC – KeraNetics LLC is a biomaterials company focused on developing and commercializing keratin-based products for use in the areas of regenerative medicine and trauma care.
FiberCell – FiberCell Inc. is based on innovations made at the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University. Its strong IP position comes from a portfolio of patents covering its unique light-gathering design, absorber compositions and manufacturing approach. Its radical departure from traditional solar collectors gives FiberCell Inc. unusual freedom in the field of Solar Cells.
Gene Smart – Gene Smart uniquely focuses on proven approaches to reduce whole body inflammation, which is associated with many of our most prevalent and fastest-growing health conditions.
PureLux – PureLux is developing a new form of general illumination using nano-composite polymer films that surpass the efficiency of commonly installed lighting devices. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent lights, which lose a significant amount of energy to heat, PureLux lighting is extremely efficient in converting energy directly to light. In fact, PureLux is already 10 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and three times more efficient than common fluorescent bulbs.
GreatWall Systems – GreatWall Systems is a tech-transfer company spun out of Wake Forest University, specializing in ultra high-end network security. The three areas of concentration for support of intellectual property include high-end firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, and rule policy optimization. GreatWall is focused on meeting the goal of providing a high-end network security prototype for the National Labs under a Department of Energy STTR grant.
Isotrace Technologies, Inc. – Isotrace Technologies, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on both the development of new molecular imaging agents and the manufacturing source of non-standard P.E.T. nuclides for use by medical researchers. The company’s twofold mission is to develop new molecular imaging agents to detect, treat and monitor various diseases and inflammation, and to assist researchers currently developing compounds by providing them with isotopes not readily available.
Seed Stage Associates – Seed Stage Associates provides consulting services for technology transfer and technology licensing. Seed Stage assists universities with technology transfer, which is the process of taking inventions to the marketplace. Seed Stage serves many of the schools in the University of North Carolina system and also advises companies on licensing. Finally, Seed Stage provides early stage commercialization services to university spinout companies.
Child’s Mind Publishing - Seed Stage Associates, doing business as Child’s Mind Publishing, has produced and licensed the Predictive Assessment of Reading, which is based on research conducted in the neuropsychology department at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The Predictive Assessment of Reading is the result of 20 years of research and clinical studies of early reading development. The test is administered to students in grades K-3 and provides immediate results with specific recommendations for corrective intervention to address areas of weakness.
Prova Images – Prova Images was founded in October 2002 to develop and distribute cardiac MRI image visualization and analysis technology. The technology was invented at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center by W. Gregory Hundley, MD, a cardiologist, and Craig Hamilton, PhD, a biomedical engineer. Hundley and Hamilton refined the technology through thousands of cardiac MR procedures conducted during research projects at the Medical Center. The technology was exclusively licensed to Prova Images in 2002. Since 2002, Prova Images has received FDA approval and has redeveloped the technology to include a full Cardiac MR workflow solution.
Kucera Pharmaceutical Company – Kucera develops unique chemical entities that create safer, more selective and efficacious drugs to improve the health and quality of life of patients with acute or chronic diseases.
Amplistar – Amplistar, formerly Elcatech Inc., was founded in 1985 by George Doellgast, a former biochemist at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The company worked to develop a blood test for the early detection of ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and later expanded to develop blood tests for other cancers.
MithraGen – MithraGen was founded to develop effective immunotherapies incorporating Class I and II restricted epitopes for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases. The company’s vaccine platform provided a clear opportunity to form several different types of partnering relationships. In 2008, MithraGen was acquired by Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc., a development stage biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing immunotherapy products that generate and enhance immune system responses to treat cancer.
Point Dx – Point Dx was a medical imaging technology company created in 2000 with the help of Wake Forest and Triad angel investors. The company hit the market with its “virtual colonoscopy” product, a technology combining medical-imaging and computer software to detect and diagnose colorectal cancer. The company was acquired by IDX, Inc., which was eventually acquired by GE Healthcare. Today, virtual colonoscopy is widely used by physicians to screen, diagnose and identify patients with colorectal tumors.
Causa Research – Causa Research is based on a discovery by Dr. Steve Feldman of a method to significantly improve patients’ adherence to treatment. Dr. Feldman has shown that adherence in acne treatment can be more than doubled when patients are asked to self-report the status of their treatment using online surveys. Additional investigation suggests that this effect is relevant to many other types of therapies, providing an elegant, simple solution to the intractable problem of poor adherence. The company has taken the online survey platform that was used in the research and commercialized the platform to be used by adherence stakeholders as a multi-platform service, encompassing web, smartphone and tablet functionality.
Other Startup Companies Based on Technologies from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Aqualutions – Aqualutions is dedicated to the research and development of innovative products intended to increase the profitability of the aquaculture industry through technological solutions that increase the health and quality of fish farm populations. The Aqualutions team understands the value in developing long-term relationships and providing quality service to our customers. The company’s goal is to help the aquaculture industry continuously and accurately monitor fish populations and gather information to make the most pertinent, effective and timely decisions.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.- Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. is a biotechnology company that specializes in the development of cellular therapies for the treatment of rare and common diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. The company applies stem cell-based technologies and other proprietary methods in the area of regenerative medicine to bring patient-specific therapies from the lab to the bedside.
XenoPort, Inc. - XenoPort, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a portfolio of internally discovered product candidates that utilize the body’s natural nutrient transport mechanisms to improve the therapeutic benefits of existing drugs. XenoPort is developing its lead product candidate in partnership with Astellas Pharma Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline.
ViaCirq - Since 1992, ViaCirq has pioneered the development of ThermoChem(TM) technology in the support of safe hyperthermia therapies. The company is dedicated to advancing the state of the art in disease treatment through hyperthermia technology, and to the development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality, high-value products and services.