When you talk about trends in tech there are two mentions that you cannot leave out: impact and health technology. Philadelphia has blossomed into a burgeoning hub for startups in health technology. With pillars in the industry like Siemens Healthcare, Independence Blue Cross, and Teva Pharmaceuticals headquartered in the city, Philly has been dubbed the Silicon Valley of health tech innovation. Paralleling that growth, we’ve seen a huge increase, in both investments towards and demand for, impact-focused enterprises. Combined the two and what do you have?—an apt example of businesses doing the right thing at the right time.

Here are a few of the companies we have invested in that are making an impact in the regional health space:

  1. WHO: Advent Therapeutics

WHERE: Lumberville, PA

WHAT: Advent Therapeutics was formed by senior industry executives with extensive expertise and proven track records in Neonatal/Pediatric and similar Orphan Drug “niche” markets. Advent Therapeutics addresses serious unmet medical needs facing underserved patient populations by taking novel advantage of targeted already commercially-available or late-stage therapeutic opportunities – A Platform Approach to serving the most fragile patients.

  1. WHO: Cagent Vascular

WHERE: Wayne, PA

WHAT: Cagent Vascular is a medical device company developing minimally invasive technologies to treat cardiovascular disease.

  1. WHO: Essential Medical Inc.

WHERE: Malvern, PA

WHAT: Essential Medical, Inc., is a privately held company focused on transforming the large bore vascular closure market by delivering products that meet the unmet need for closure without complications. The company has developed two products, MANTA and X-Seal.

  1. WHO: Instadiagnostics

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: Instadiagnostics Inc., is developing a rapid, quantitative, point-of-care (POC) diagnostic platform with the aim of bringing centralized laboratory testing to the patient’s bedside. This platform will allow for early diagnosis, and/or treatment monitoring of patients at the POC (primary care centers, community clinics, emergency departments, etc.) without requiring additional trips to have blood drawn, lengthy wait times for results, or having to wait for diagnosis/follow up testing. Our diagnostic platform aims to improve patient care/satisfaction, reduce the number of medical visits, and eventually reduce overall medical costs.

  1. WHO: Jenrin Discovery

WHERE: Wilmington, DE

WHAT: Jenrin Discovery is developing potential therapeutics for chronic diseases including NAFLD/NASH, diabetes, and obesity. Its focus is proprietary small molecule drugs designed to selectively target peripheral receptors.

  1. WHO: Keriton

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: Every year around 500,000 infants are admitted to one of the 1,100+ Neonatal ICUs (NICUs) across US. While mother’s breast milk is important for all newborns, it is vital for the survival of these fragile patients. However, despite its critical role, the current state of breast milk management in NICUs is extremely manual, labor-intensive and error prone. Keriton is working with Penn Medicine to develop a new gold-standard for breast milk management. With end-to-end process automation and validation, Keriton’s HIPAA-compliant SaaS suite significantly lowers the nurses’ time spent on breast milk management, reduces errors and automatically generates an audit trail for the process. The Keriton suite also aims to improve expression of breast milk in lactating NICU mothers by enhancing their pumping experience, which has been empirically linked to improved clinical outcomes.

  1. WHO: Mitochon Pharmaceuticals

WHERE: Rador, PA

WHAT: Mitochon Pharmaceuticals is a start-up biotech company, formed in 2014, that focuses on developing drugs that target the mitochondria for a host of serious diseases with significant unmet medical needs. The company’s development programs are primarily focused on neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases including: Huntington’s, Batten Disease, Stroke, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson Disease and severe burns, and secondarily on metabolic disorders due to over-nutrition (diabetes, obesity and NASH). On-going research has linked these diseases to various malfunctions of the mitochondria. By correcting them, Mitochon aims at opening the way for a broad range of disease modifying therapies.

  1. WHO: PhotoSonix Medical

WHERE: Fort Washington, PA

WHAT: PhotoSonix Medical is developing a treatment for dermal diseases generated by bacterial biofilm, such as acne. Biofilms, which make treatment extremely difficult, shield bacteria from attack by both drugs and the immune system, often inducing a chronic inflammatory response. Photosonix’s product, CLENS™, will cut through biofilm by combining both ultrasound and violet light to kill underlying biofilm bacteria.

  1. WHO: Tridiuum

WHERE: Wayne, PA

WHAT: Tridiuum (formerly Polaris Health Directions) is the industry leader in Digital Behavioral Clinical Intervention, with a dynamic offering that brings patient insights to the point of care in order to systematically measure, manage and reduce state of health risk at the patient and population level.

By taking nearly two decades of evidence-based science out of the lab and into clinical practice, Tridiuum is centrally focused on addressing behavioral health related risk to drive better decisions, greater efficiency, and improved health care outcomes. Recognizing the nexus between psychosocial and physical health, Tridiuum delivers a digital clinical intervention that is powering better care.

  1. WHO: PolyCore Therapeutics 

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: PolyCore Therapeutics LLC is a drug development company spinout from Drexel University focused on development of products for CNS disorders. The initial product in development, PCT-3010, is a biased signaling D3 agonist, a breakthrough once-a-day oral therapy for Parkinson’s disease that improves motor symptoms without development of drug tolerance or dyskinesia. The product will be utilized as monotherapy or as an adjunct to L-dopa to prolong the efficacy time of L-dopa and reduce L-dopa induced dyskinesia. This is a six billion per year market opportunity in the US.

  1. WHO: SonoSolve

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: SonoSolve is a revolutionary new device that aims to eliminate catheter-associated complications, using non-invasive sound waves to clear obstructions and biofilms within catheters. SonoSolve is the BUZZ in Blockages!

  1. WHO: Towerview Health

WHERE: Philadelphia, PA

WHAT: TowerView Health’s mission is to ensure that patients never miss a dose of critical medication. To combat this, the company has developed a smart pill box and accompanying pre-filled medication trays that fit into the pill box like a k-cup fits into a Keurig. The pill box senses the presence or absence of medication and automatically reminds patients via text message or phone reminder when they’ve forgotten a dose. Additionally, the data generated from the pill box will be accessible to clinical staff, allowing them to efficiently monitor their entire patient population and coordinate outreach.