Louisiana Life Sciences Business Competition Announces Finalists

The fifth annual BioChallenge, a competition for life sciences startups in Louisiana, has announced the four companies that made it to the final round taking place on November 16 at the Joy Theater.

Companies were eligible if they are developing a technology in the life sciences, such as biotechnology, healthcare, environmental science, advanced materials, or other industries. All the finalists have received no more than $1 million in investments and must have significant operations in the state.

Two of the companies in the final four are from New Orleans and two are from Shreveport in North Louisiana. Details on each of the finalists below:

  1. Carre BioDiagnostics (New Orleans) aims to treat and prevent cardiovascular diseases in chronic kidney disease patients. Carre is initially focused on a simple diagnostic blood test to identify chronic kidney disease patients with coronary artery disease who are at high risk for heart attacks, allowing for earlier treatment, improved outcomes and reduced costs.
  2. Chosen Diagnostics (New Orleans) is working to improve healthcare delivery for patients by personalizing their treatment. The company’s first product is a biomarker test that can diagnose a common and life-threatening gastrointestinal disease in preterm infants, offering more accurate results than current options and allowing earlier intervention in these fragile patients.
  3. Grapheno (Shreveport) develops innovative graphene solutions. The company’s first product is a conductive coating based on graphene which protects sensitive electronics in sectors from telecommunications to medical equipment by absorbing harmful and unnecessary electromagnetic radiation. It is a low-cost alternative that meets or exceeds the protection levels of existing solutions.
  4. Segue Therapeutics (Shreveport) is an early-stage privately owned biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and medical use of repurposed drugs, or the application of approved drugs to new disease indications. Segue aims to treat pancreatic cancer, a devastating disease for which truly effective life-extending treatments are not currently available.

Nearly twenty startups applied to the BioChallenge this year. Each finalists will pitch for eight minutes in front of a panel of judges for a chance to win the $25,000 grand prize. Additionally, the $25,000 New Orleans BioFund prize and the $2,500 Audience Favorite Award are available.

The BioChallenge is part of the Innovation Louisiana conference, the annual life sciences entrepreneurship conference hosted by the New Orleans BioInnovation Center. The events throughout the week are aimed at educating innovators, fostering collaboration, and giving the wider community insights into the groundbreaking research being done across Louisiana both within universities and in startups.