Three Startup Companies Receive Commercialization Awards from Carolina KickStart, NC TraCS

Healthspan Dx LLC, New Paradigm Therapeutics, Inc., and Spyryx LLC have received a total of $94,500 in commercialization awards from Carolina KickStart, a service of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).

Carolina KickStart awards are designated for UNC start-up companies in the life science, biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. The awards are meant to assist companies with technology validation, product and business development.

Healthspan Dx is a spinout company from Norman Sharpless’ lab in Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The company is developing a diagnostic test for determining a patient’s “molecular age” that will improve risk assessment and patient outcomes. Healthspan is led by William Hoos, MS, MBA; Natalia Mitin, PhD; Claudia Black and Norman Sharpless, MD.

New Paradigm Therapeutics is a new spinout company from the School of Medicine. They are developing therapies for treatment of patients with severe osteoporosis. The team is led by Ken Williams, DrPH; David Clemmons, MD and Clifford Rosen, MD.

Spyryx LLC is an early-stage spinout from the School of Medicine and Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Diseases Research and Treatment Center. The company is developing therapies for treatment of cystic fibrosis and COPD. The team is led by John Taylor, MBA, and Robert Tarran, PhD.

KickStart Commercialization Awards promote life-science entrepreneurship on the UNC campus by supporting the commercialization of biomedical innovations. The awards help promote the technical development of a biomedical innovation -- generating preliminary data for an SBIR grant or developing the business case for the innovation. Over the past 4 years, $900,000 in awards has been provided to 25 UNC spinouts, resulting in $15 million of additional outside funding.

About NC TraCS
The NC TraCS Institute is home to the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program at UNC. The CTSA program is led by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

NC TraCS combines the research strengths, resources and opportunities of UNC, its new partner RTI International (RTI) and planning partner North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science discovery to dissemination to patients and communities.

For more information about NC TraCS services and programs, please send an email to our TraCS Central Coordinator at, call 919-966-6022 or 1-866-705-4931.

Media Contact:

  • Michelle Maclay, 919-843-5365

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