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Texas Medical Center launches $25 million venture fund to back emerging healthcare tech

Goal is to boost early-stage healthcare technologies and startups that have a link to Houston and the medical center.

Bernie Monegain, Editor, Healthcare IT News

Texas Medical Center has created a $25 million venture fund to support early-stage companies across Houston's healthcare network. TMC has announced investments in five startups for 2017.

The medical center's move is the newest addition to health systems investing in healthcare startups. Among prominent institutions with venture fund arms, include UPMC and the Cleveland Clinic.

[Also: Medistar looks to position new medical tower next to Texas Medical Center]

TMC's venture fund was launched to advance health, education and research. The health system announced its plans earlier this month to more than 600 investors, hospital stakeholders, advisors and members of Houston's innovation community.

"The TMC Venture Fund is a quintessential example of the Texas Medical Center's ongoing commitment to driving collaboration across our medical city and further establishing Texas as the third coast of life sciences in the United States," Texas Medical Center President and CEO Bill McKeon said in announcing the initiative.

The fund will provide funding to healthcare startups that have a link to Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

"We want this fund to give young companies the resources they need to grow the healthcare ecosystem in Houston and, ultimately, advance patient care," Texas Medical Center Chairman O. Holcombe Crosswell noted in a statement.

The TMC Venture Fund Investment Committee selected five companies to fund this year:

• Alleviant Medical is focused on developing a novel minimally-invasive device to treat congestive heart failure.

• Briteseed is commercializing a new class of smart surgical tools that have artificial-vision assistance to help surgeons quickly identify landmarks and safely navigate vital structures.

• CNSDose uses advanced genetic technology to fast-track finding the right antidepressant and dose. Genetically guided prescribing via CNSDose results in a 2.5 times greater likelihood of remission.

• Medable is transforming provides an enterprise platform for "Direct-to-Patient" clinical care and clinical trials.

• Noninvasix is developing a patient monitor to directly, accurately and noninvasively measure brain oxygenation in premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, with the aim of reducing neonatal mortality and morbidity.

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