School: University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Business Administration
Team members: Gokul Kumar, Darius Kaullius, Thomas Triantafillou
Concept: Acute Coronary Syndrome, an umbrella term for chronic heart-muscle injuries that put victims at risk for heart attacks, plagues 2.6 million Americans each year. BioRegenix, a startup formed by a group of medical students and MBAs at the University of Chicago at Illinois, offers a novel therapy to repair damaged heart tissue.
BioRegenix's CardioGen product combines a physical "scaffold" for stem-cell growth with a hormone that induces muscle expansion. BioRegenix's founders predict that this combination will stimulate stem cells already in the body to regenerate damaged tissue, thus repairing heart function.
BioRegenix faces steep odds. The team itself acknowledges that only 8% of pre-clinical pharmaceuticals succeed. But if it works, CardioGen could tap a massive market: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
Timeline: BioRegenix plans to continue its research work through the next two years, then begin the FDA approval process with Phase I clinical testing in 2010. - Mina Kimes
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