OKC bioscience companies developing technologies to save lives, grow business

Published: Friday, August 13, 2021 By: Chamber Staff Source: VeloCity Newsletter

Two Oklahoma City startups are working to improve the lives of people who suffer from various health conditions through technologies they are developing in their Oklahoma City labs.

Progentec is a leader in the development of diagnostic and digital technologies that support the proactive management of autoimmune diseases. Founded by Dr. Mohan Purushothaman and located at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, company researchers have developed a novel blood test called aiSLE DX Flare Risk Index that can identify a patient’s future risk of experiencing what is called a lupus flare.

Flares are periods of high disease activity that can lead to organ damage and hospitalizations for patients. Early detection of flares enables clinicians to take proactive steps to better manage that patient’s care, said Brett Adelman, Progentec’s chief marketing officer.

“Progentec has launched a platform that helps generate the data and insights doctors and patients need to battle autoimmune diseases,” said Adelman, who added that a suite of mobile apps has also been developed to complement the laboratory component to help patients better track and manage their condition.

“Across the country, more and more people are living with autoimmune diseases. Treating them requires understanding the underlying immunological changes and the impact of lifestyle factors. That is why we think our aiSLE MGMT solution, which combines both laboratory and digital technologies to support patients and clinicians, is the key to improving health outcomes,” Adelman said.

Started by University of Oklahoma engineering alums Steve Lindo and Rick Pendergraft, Simergent is developing a more affordable in-home kidney dialysis device that is more mobile and quieter than other leading home dialysis devices. In addition, Simergent’s device is intended to dramatically lower the risk of infections among patients.

“Rick and I decided to start Simergent and build a peritoneal dialysis device that is meant to address some of the issues that the existing devices on the market were not,” Lindo said. Their device, which they call the Archimedes system, is not yet on the market; however, Lindo said the initial launch is close, but first they must finish testing and then file an application with the Food and Drug Administration, which will happen in 2022.

Patients going through kidney dialysis essentially have two treatment options available to them. One is traveling to a dialysis center and having their blood removed and cleansed there – called hemodialysis – which can be costly and time consuming. Another option is to get treatment at home from devices that clean blood inside the body and therefore requires no needles – and no road trips. This treatment

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