Six Arizona startups driving biosciences forward in 2024

Arizona-based bioscience companies developing blood tests to diagnose cancer and other diseases more quickly and accurately, AI tools to automate lab work, and an alternative way to treat itchiness in dogs have been selected for the 2024 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.  Four of the six early-stage companies representing the 11th cohort of the program are based in Tucson and two are based in the Phoenix area, including one in Carefree.

Each startup will receive $30,000 in non-dilutive funding via the Arizona Bioindustry Association, the Flinn Foundation’s nonprofit partner. AZBio will also assist in developing a personalized learning plan and offer support services for the participants. Also included in the benefits package is a one-year membership on Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee—which guides Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, the state’s long-term strategic plan—and invitations to gatherings with Arizona bioscience, business, and policy leaders.

“These are entrepreneurs dedicated to improving our health and quality of life, and these transformative technologies, being developed right here in Arizona, can have a positive and lasting impact on patients—plus dogs and their owners,” said Tammy McLeod, Ph.D., Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “The Flinn Foundation is proud to support bioscience innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Arizona and congratulates these six companies.” 

The 2024 Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program participants are:

BioBolt Medical Corporation (Tucson)
Tucson-based BioBolt Medical has developed surgical-stapler technology with the goal of allowing surgeons to perform procedures with greater speed, efficiency, and precision. The patented deployment system is designed to work for all mesh types, enabling surgeons to utilize biologic meshes more often and improve patient outcomes. 

Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care (Carefree)
Dr. Fossum’s Pet Care is a Carefree-based supplement company offering alternate solutions to synthetic medications, specifically for itching, which accounts for more than 50% of veterinary visits. The product is a treatment for itching caused by canine atopic dermatitis with topical and oral administration.   

Dx4Liver, Inc. (Phoenix)
Dx4Liver aims to provide highly accurate diagnostic biomarker tests for liver diseases. The Phoenix-based company offers a MMP7 disease biomarker test for biliary atresia—a significant liver disease in children. Current testing can take days or weeks to receive. This product will require a single blood draw, with results the same day, aiming to simplify and accelerate care while significantly reducing health care costs for children.

Macula Vision Systems (Tucson)
Tucson-based Macula Vision Systems is developing a technology to fully automate clinical laboratory analysis and AI-based interpretation. The technology is being designed to address the critical labor shortages in medical test labs, testing costs, and availability of timely clinical information. 

Metfora (Tucson)
Metfora of Tucson is developing a blood test to differentially diagnose four lung diseases from a single blood draw. The diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and asthma.

Precision Epigenomics (Tucson)
Tucson-based Precision Epigenomics Inc. is developing a blood test to deliver earlier and more accurate cancer diagnoses. The EPISEEKTM multi-cancer detection test detects more than 20 different cancer types from a single blood draw.

The 2024 program received 38 applications from early-stage Arizona companies. Twelve of the startups were invited to pitch before the Selection Committee last month at the Flinn Foundation.  

The Flinn Foundation has selected 66 Arizona bioscience companies since 2014 for the program, which has offered nearly $2 million in funding support.

To learn more about the Flinn Foundation Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program and the selected firms, visit

About the Flinn Foundation

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn that awards grants and operates programs in four areas: the biosciences, the Flinn Scholars, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. The foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The foundation’s focus on health care and medical research stems from the career of Robert Flinn, a cardiologist who headed the departments of cardiology and electrocardiography at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix.


Posted in AZBio News.