Texas Governor Rick Perry‘s office has announced that he will leverage the state’s Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in order to fund an innovative biotech company working in tandem with Texas A&M University to develop non-surgical lumbar disc herniation technology. Minimus Spine Inc., an Austin-based biotech firm, will receive $1.75 million in funding to help finish development of the technology and ultimately commercialize the product.
The company’s non-surgical approach to treating lunar disc herniation is a novel one, utilizing ozone injection technology called the TrioJection syringe cartridge, which it believes will improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of spinal care by offering a non-invasive treatment alternative for spinal disorders related to herniated discs.
“We are pleased to have the state of Texas as an investor in our company and vision,” Minimus Spine founder and CEO David Hooper Ph.D said. “This funding will enable us to build upon the successes we have had this year, support our first clinical work in Europe and pave the way for future growth. Austin has a strong entrepreneurial culture and is home to a number of successful spine companies. There is a great deal of local talent. We look forward to growing the business in Austin, but most importantly, improving the lives of patients with our innovative approach to ozone as a therapeutic modality.”
Along with CPRIT, the $200 million TETF is another biotech-related funding initiative championed by Governor Perry, which was originally passed by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor’s request, and reauthorized in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. According to a recent press release, the TETF consists of, “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. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $202 million in funds to 142 early stage companies, and over $220 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities. Additionally, since the inception of the TETF, more than $1.6 billion in additional investment from other non-state sources has followed on to the TETF investment, more than quadrupling the amount invested by the TETF. ”
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Governor Perry, himself a sufferer from chronic back pain, commented directly on the new funding announcement, stating: “Texas continues to foster an environment that encourages world class companies and researchers to develop technologies that have a profound impact on people’s lives around the world,” and adding, “Minimus Spine’s innovative medical application technology has the potential to provide a new treatment option for spinal disorders, and further strengthens the culture of innovation we’ve fostered in the Lone Star State.”