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Illinois IGB

Bioeconomy: Startup and Small Companies

Startup and Small Companies Associated with IGB Faculty and Alumni

Ambys Medicine

Ambys, co-founded by Marty Burke (MMG), is pioneering the novel application of cell and gene therapies to reverse liver disease progression and restore liver function for patients with severe liver disease.

Aspiring Universe

Aspiring Universe, founded by Kaiyu Guan (CABBI), generates unprecedented field-scale intelligence for businesses in the broader agricultural industry.

Atom Bioworks

Atom Bioworks, co-founded by Xing Wang (CGD), utilizes nucleic acid engineering to develop custom and advanced disease diagnostic kits, drug delivery platforms, and therapeutic candidates.

Atzeyo Biosensors

Atzeyo Biosensors, co-founded by Brian Cunningham (CGD leader/MMG), is developing Photonic Resonator Absorption Microscopy (PRAM) as the first point-of-care cancer molecular diagnostic platform through rapid, ultrasensitive, and multiplexed detection of microRNA, circulating tumor DNA, and protein biomarkers.


BioNanoCon, founded by Steven Silgar (ACPP), is a technical consulting firm, contract research service provider and seller of recombinant proteins, all centered around the Nanodisc technology.


Earnest Earth

Earnest Earth partners with small farms to produce sustainable fertilizer solutions to a growing world. Gabe Price, co-founder and Chief Science Officer, is a PhD candidate in the lab of Anthony Yannarell (IGOH).


EarthSense, co-founded by Girish Chowdhary (GEGC), develops ultracompact, autonomous, teachable robots for crop breeders, scientists, and growers.


Epivara, founded by Jay Ko (EIRH/MME), is innovating better spay/neuter practices for pets worldwide.


Glucosentient, cofounded by Yi Lu (BSD/CABBI/CGD), has developed a powerful technology that is transforming the blood glucose meter into a device that is capable of quantitatively and conveniently detecting other non-glucose targets.

Iria Pharma

Iria Pharma, co-founded by Jianjin Cheng (RBTE), is dedicated to the translation and commercial development of next generation cancer therapeutics.


Lassogen is dedicated to developing lasso peptides as an entirely new therapeutic modality for treating serious human diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, pain, and inflammation. Doug Mitchell (MMG) is one of the academic co-founders.


LifeFoundry, co-founded by Huimin Zhao (BSD leader/CABBI/MMG), works to enable microorganisms as cell factories to produce value-added chemicals from low-cost renewable feedstocks like corn and sugar cane.


MicroMGx, co-founded by William Metcalf (MMG Leader) offers investors an opportunity to establish a partnership in developing an unprecedented platform for harnessing future pharmaceutical drugs and crop protection products from the natural world.

Modular Bioscience

Modular Bioscience is an early-stage biotechnology company based on a novel artificial restriction enzyme (ARE) platform developed by Huimin Zhao (BSD leader/CABBI/MMG) and his team. Modular Bioscience initial focus will be on synthetic biology, diagnosis of inherited genetic diseases, liquid biopsy, and the detection of infectious disease agents such as COVID-19.


PhotoniCare, co-founded by Stephen Boppart (RBTE), is dedicated to revolutionizing healthcare by providing physicians with better diagnostic tools.

Reliant Immune Diagnostics

Reliant Immune Diagnostics is building a complete consumer-driven health platform that provides testing, diagnosing, and monitoring solutions. Brian Cunningham (CGD leader/MMG) serves as a consultant to Reliant Immune Diagnostics.

ReVive Biotechnology

ReVive Biotechnology focuses on treatment for central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) with potential future applications for additional ocular ischemic conditions. Joseph Irudayaraj (CGD, EIRH, MME) serves as CSO and Co-Founder.


Revolution Medicines

Revolution Medicines, co-founded by Marty Burke (MMG), is a clinical-stage precision oncology company focused on developing novel targeted therapies.

Sfunga Therapeutics

Sfunga Therapeutics, co-founded by Marty Burke (MMG), is a provider of clinical research and development services focused on the treatment of systemic and life-threatening fungal infections.


SugarLogix, co-founded by Yong-Su Jin (BSD/MME/CABBI), a start-up based on human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) with a is to provide better nutrition for formula-fed babies. Sugarlogix develops yeast-based technologies to produce the missing component in infant formula: rare, functional sugars found only naturally in human breast milk.

Sus Clinicals

Sus Clinicals, co-found by Lawrence Schook (RBTE), uses a proprietary model of testing on genetically-modified pigs to accelerate progress toward human trials for the most promising therapies. Sus Clinicals leverages the inherent advantages of a patent-pending large animal testing methodology combined with novel clinical approaches to reduce false positives and model the interactions of multiple diseases.

Systems Onoclogy

Systems Onoclogy translates big-data into breakthrough cancer therapies. Paul Hergenrother (ACPP leader/MMG) is on the scientific advisory board.

Traverse Science

Traverse Science, co-founded by Ryan Dilger (GDNP) and Stephen Fleming, provides project, data, and report management services for preclinical and clinical research with a focus on the gut and brain. Stephen Fleming is also an alumnus of IGB’s Fox Family Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.

Vanquish Oncology Inc

Vanquish Oncology Inc, co-founded by Paul Hergenrother (ACPP leader/MMG) targets unexploited molecular defects in cancer cells to create first-in-class, personalized therapeutics for unmet or underserved cancer markets. Tim Fan (ACPP/CGD) is Vice President of Preclinical Development.