Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator, WCBA today announced the second cohort of emerging biosciences ventures invited to participate in the annual program.

County Executive George Latimer said: “This is what Westchester County’s economic plan is about - merging great ideas in the private sector with support from County government to cultivate them. These entrepreneurs have proven already to show they have the dedication required and I look forward to watching their future successes.”

Twelve ventures will participate in the six-month-long program that features entrepreneurship education, coaching and mentoring, to develop fundable business plans and expand the Biosciences community in Westchester. Ventures are supported by an experienced entrepreneur coach and receive customized business networking introductions to business professionals to help advance their early stage ventures. 

The 2021 WCBA cohort participants and ventures include: 

  • Antonio Frasca (Columbia): AGEless a modification of medical device biomaterials conferring resistance to glycation & associated degeneration.  
  • Chandra Karunakaran (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)  an ultrasound-based cancer therapy device, which primes patients’ immune systems to identify and kill the primary and metastatic tumor, improving patient outcomes. 
  • Cyril Eleftheriou (Cornell/ Burke Neurological Institute): an artificial dopaminergic neuron for treating light-adaptation deficits in the retinas of patients with dystrophic retinal conditions, including night-blindness.  
  • David Fung (New York R&D Center for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Inc./BioInc@NYMC) a novel microRNA-based therapeutic for tendinopathy uniquely positioned in the market to offer mitigation of disease progression while also providing pain relief.  
  • Eugene Dinescu (SUNY Downstate Medical)  a preclinical-stage vascular therapeutics company with the world’s first peptide to directly treat neointimal disease and atherosclerosis.  
  • Eugene Major (Columbia) a drug delivery platform that hunts down glioblastoma (GBM) tumor cells and delivers anti-tumor drugs.  
  • Irina Tanenbaum (NYU Stern) a light system designed to help rejuvenate brain health and improve mental acuity.  
  • Kistein Monkhouse (Long Island University): a B2C digital health startup helping chronically ill underserved patients document their problems to address mistrust among underrepresented people and healthcare professionals.  
  • Mason Lucich (University of Houston): a personal, portable biomedicine cooler to better protect biomedicines than a refrigerator, whether at home, traveling, or preparing for a natural disaster.  
  • Regina Druz (Cornell): AI and behavioral economics to drive a sustainable lifestyle change to lower costs and improve outcomes in patients with non-communicable chronic diseases (NCD), starting with diabetes. 
  • Victor Bustos (The Rockefeller University) an accessible, accurate and affordable blood test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.  
  • Will Alston (Columbia) a care companion for chronic disease patients which supports symptom monitoring with clinically validated PROs, medication tracking, and patient education. 

WCBA Program Director Mary Howard, said: “We are excited to launch the 2021 cohort and continue to support emerging Westchester bioscience ventures fundraising and implementing life-saving technologies.”

Graduating in June, 2020, WCBA alums have achieved important milestones including Farzenah Ahmadi, Laronix, starting clinical trials for their bionic voice box after closing an angel round matched by the Australian government; Bina Basinath and Jacob Nye, Colon.ai, funded by Health Wildcatters in Dallas; and Parsa Mirhaji Cognome implementing AI analytics software at Montefiore to develop the hospital’s COVID treatment protocol. 

For more information on these ventures and their successes, visit Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator.

The WCBA is supported by Wilson Sonsini, and by Target Health.

Jules Mitchel, MBA, PhD, CEO Target Health, LLC, a dMed Company, stated that "he was very pleased for Target Health to be a Corporate Sponsor of the Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator."

About Target Health and dMed: Target Health LLC, a New York City based dMed Company, is a full-service CRO and Clinical Trials Software company committed, through creative collaboration, to serve the pharmaceutical community with knowledge, experience, technology and connectivity. Target Health’s staff are dedicated to all aspects of Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research, Biostatistics, Data Management, Internet-Based Clinical Trials (EDC, electronic data capture), Software Development, Strategic Planning and Drug and Device Development supporting the pharmaceutical industry.  Target Health LLC was acquired by dMed Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. (“dMed Global”)  in September 2019.  dMed is the leading next generation global clinical development partner uniquely and strongly positioned in China and the US, the world’s two largest markets, and is committed to enable customers to accelerate the delivery of innovative solutions to patients worldwide.

Craig Kenesky, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati said, "Wilson Sonsini is excited to be a part of the life science expansion in Westchester County. Westchester has all the right ingredients: some prominent, local medical institutions, early-stage lab space, capital, a few success stories, government support, and it is a great place to live.  Westchester will have a great synergy with New York City, and is poised to grow up even faster based on the advances in this region over the past ten years. We will really enjoy being a part of this vibrant and promising community. "

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati's legacy closely traces the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley. For nearly six decades, the firm has represented the technology pioneers associated with virtually every milestone innovation. Today, Wilson Sonsini is synonymous with ushering promising, innovative companies through their business life cycle.