b'Aspero Medical PROGRAMS(Boulder)Buoyed by two separate $250,000 AdvancedCollinsInnosphereVenturesFundandFUEL SUCCESSIndustries Early-Stage Capital and RetentionRockies Venture Club supported continued Grants awarded by OEDIT, Aspero Medicaldevelopment. Rentschler, who is still a pro-(Aspero) is developing innovative solutionsfessor at CU, believes Aspero is positioned to in the field of gastroenterology.receive an NIH Phase II grant by years end,Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program Co-Founder & CEO Mark Rentschler, Ph.D.,which would include a clinical study.Advanced Industries Tax Credit Program M.E., arrived at the University of ColoradoThe OEDIT grants have been a huge cata-Boulder in 2008 with a Ph.D. in biomed- lyst, says Rentschler, who received a patent ical engineering and a desire to improvein August 2021 for the nubby protrusions on screening technology for gastroenterologiststhe balloon.The Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program is a critical source of and their patients. He was working on a drive- Rentschler spied another opportunity tonon-dilutive funding for Colorado early-stage life sciences companies and able robotic capsule to be placed inside thehelp clinicians with colonoscopies usingorganizations. It demonstrates a significant return on investment, delivering GI tract and faced a challenge of generatinga similar balloon overtube. That resultedvalue back to the state through company creation and high-paying jobs. traction. He was developing treadlike featuresin an advanced intraoperative C-Tube, for on softer materials to engage with tissue towhich Aspero received its second Advanced alleviate this. Mark Rentschler, Ph.D., M.E. Industries Accelerator Grant in 2022. This is aThe programs success metrics for life sciences alone include:Co-Founder & CEO In2017,RentschlermetwithStevengame-changer for more efficient and effective Aspero MedicalEdmundowicz, M.D., who would becomecolonoscopies. Asperos Co-Founder and Chief MedicalBy attaching the balloon overtube mid-pro- 28039 Officer. Intrigued with this idea, the highlycedure, you dont have to take the scope out, regarded gastroenterologist and CU Schoolsays Rentschler, who landed a Phase II, $1 of Medicine Professor suggested placingLife Sciences-Related Grants New Life Sciences Companiesmillion National Science Foundation grant this traction on balloons used in balloonto support this project. It allows screenings endoscopy to diagnose small bowel disease.and enables more advanced surgical-type The current balloons are smooth, round,procedures in the colon, so a patient wont$479M539 and prone to slippage. The ineffective bal- have to be referred for an invasive colorectal loons result in an estimated $100 million insurgery.increased annual costs for health care pro- The most recent state grant will propelin Follow-On Capital Jobs Createdviders and patients.Aspero on the path to begin the FDA approval This idea held such promise, Aspero spunprocess, ideally in 2023.out of CU Boulder in 2018 and landed its first OEDIT award in 2019. An initial grant We work with investors in other states, and through the National Institutes of Healthlooking at the landscape, we definitely seeOur Policy + Advocacy team works closely with OEDIT to highlight the (NIH) and homegrown equity from FortColorado asuniquely positioned to helpimportance of the Advanced Industries Accelerator programs to our life young tech start-ups, says Rentschler. sciences community. CBSA successfully led the expansion and reauthorization We work with investors in other states,of the Advanced Industries Tax Credit this legislative session in partnership and looking at the landscape, wewith OEDIT and Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).definitely see Colorado as uniquely positioned to help young tech start-ups.MARK RENTSCHLER, CO-FOUNDER & CEO, ASPERO MEDICAL*Asterisk indicates data collected during program cycle 2016-2022.24 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 2022-2023 2022-2023 BIOSCIENCECOLORADO 25'