San Antonio biotech firm draws big investor attention in Chicago
OCTOBER 20, 2015
As published in the San Antonio Business Journal
By W. Scott Bailey
San Antonio’s bioscience industry has gained more critical exposure courtesy of bioAffinity Technologies. The Alamo City company was invited to present its novel technology for the detection and diagnosis of early-stage lung cancer at the 2015 Pharmaceutical/Medtech Dealmaking Symposium in Chicago last week, and its presence could open up new funding channels for a number of San Antonio entities.
bioAffinity President and CEO Maria Zannes said her organization was one of eight early-stage companies in the U.S. invited to the Windy City event, sponsored by law firm McDermott, Will & Emery and Deloitte. Roughly 100 bankers, investment firms, strategists and other professionals from across the deal-making spectrum attended the symposium. Each, Zannes said, has an interest in early-stage companies focused on medical technology, drug delivery and pharmaceuticals.
Maria Zannes is president and CEO of San Antonio-based bioAffinity Technologies. Ms. Zannes stands in front of a human cell labeled with CyPath®, the proprietary cancer diagnostic assay that preferentially binds to cancer cells and fluoresces a brilliant red under special light. The cell behind her is magnified to show CyPath® binding to the cell membrane. The amount of CyPath® taken up by a cell can be objectively measured, allowing researchers to differentiate between cancer and non-cancer cells and detect the disease. A non-invasive test for lung cancer, that kills nearly 160,000 each year, will be bioAffinity Technologies’ first product.
Zannes said McDermott, a key player in the medical industry, expressed significant interest in bioAffinity’s CyPath® cancer diagnostic and asked the company to present its technology to the law firm’s investment clients.
The timing of bioAffinity’s presentation could not have been better as the company is seeking to raise $15 million.
“We have begun our Series A round of fundraising, so it was a great opportunity to talk directly with potential investors,” Zannes told me.
The Chicago symposium also provided an opportunity for bioAffinity to showcase its collaborative work with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, which is ramping up efforts to commercialize more of its own research.
“Investors also were interested in the UTSA Commercialization program that is supporting bioAffinity Technologies by offering collaboration with its researchers and use of laboratory space,” Zannes said, adding, “The Chicago event most certainly will help with fundraising by getting key people talking.”