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Larta Institute
March 31, 2021

Larta Institute introduces the pilot cohort of startups for the Heal.LA Bioscience Accelerator

Key local organizations come together to offer support to Heal.LA program and initiative


March 31, 2021

(Los Angeles) — Los Angeles-based Larta Institute is pleased and honored to present its Heal.LA initiative, which will serve as a development platform for promising biosciences startups and aspiring entrepreneurs in the region, including in underserved communities. The program will also advocate and support innovative workforce initiatives across the L.A. region.  Gilead Sciences is the founding sponsor of Heal.LA. In the first phase of the Heal.LA initiative – the Heal.LA Bioscience Accelerator, Larta will leverage its nationally acclaimed and award-winning virtual acceleration program.  Heal.LA is currently managing a pilot cohort of 4 companies incubated at the state-of-the-art BioLabs at the Lundquist Institute. Several key organizations and individuals have joined the Steering Committee and Advisory Committee in support of Heal.LA., including Bioscience LA, the Lundquist Institute, BioLabs at the Lundquist Institute, Biocom, and CTIP. These Heal.LA partners will help guide and develop programming and growth for the Heal.LA Accelerator and the initiative.

Larta designed and managed a pre-pilot phase of the Heal.LA program at the Lundquist Institute two years ago. Keith Hoffman, Ph.D., former SVP of Business Development at the Lundquist Institute declared that pre-pilot offering a “resounding success” and that “our companies improved their pitches, understanding of markets and customers and regulatory strategies. These companies, Hoffman says, “made significant advances toward… being designated a ‘fundable company’.  Hoffman will serve on the Advisory Committee for Heal.LA.   

Steering Committee member Gary Olsem, VP of Operations & Client Experience, says that “combining the accelerator program with the BioLabs LA co-working lab allows entrepreneurs to stretch funding further and advance to market faster.”  Also joining the Steering Committee is Bioscience LA CEO Dave Whelan who notes that the organizations that are part of Heal.LA’s Steering Committee have “led the development of Los Angeles” as it “has “rapidly increased its capacity for and expertise in life sciences commercialization” and is looking forward to “bringing programs like Heal.LA to a wider array of stakeholders.”  BioscienceLA also has pioneered the BioFutures Program in LA County. BiocomLA Executive Director Stephanie Hsieh agreed, saying that Biocom is “pleased to be an inaugural partner of Heal.LA to ensure that emerging bioscience companies thrive and expand our lifesaving work in Los Angeles.”  Stephanie is a biotech entrepreneur herself, so she knows “how important Heal.LA will be to early success.”    

The focus on patients and lifesaving innovations in Los Angeles is a major focus of Heal.LA, which seeks also to greatly increase its regional partnerships to expand, support, and amplify regional capacity in commercializing innovations that apply “to the entrepreneurs, communities and ultimately the patients we serve,” as Dr. Juan Espinoza, Executive Director of CTIP, who also serves on the Heal.LA Steering Committee puts it.  Espinoza adds that “it is our responsibility to start breaking down the historical and systemic barriers in our industry, and Heal.LA is one important step in the right direction”.  

The 4 early-stage bioscience companies participating in the 2021 pilot cohort are:  

  • Hawkeye Bio ( Non-invasive cancer detected from breath, blood, or saliva for early detection of lung, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers, 
  • SNJ Pharma ( Novel therapeutic, non-toxic, nanoparticles for targeted delivery and pharmabiotics, 
  • Tender Light Scientific ( Portable devices using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) systems for neonatal care to monitor health status, and, 
  • Triton Bio ( Diagnostic instruments to rapidly determine the antibiotic resistance of bacteria and fungi causing life-threatening infections. 

Heal.LA will launch applications to the next cohort in April 2021.  

More Information about Heal.LA Biosciences Accelerator 

Heal.LA will offer companies and partners a variety of valuable tools and services as part of this innovative program, including: 

  • Up to $50,000 in business and commercialization services at no cost to the startups 
  • Access to Larta’s vast virtual platform of webinars and other tech-to-market tools such as research reports, templates, and other materials tailored to specific areas of growth  
  • Direct 1-on-1 guidance between vetted entrepreneurs and world-class industry experts in Medical Devices, Biotechnology, Digital Health, Diagnostics, Pharmaceuticals, and more 
  • Expert feedback and validation of strategies for market and product fit for both early and later-stage companies 
  • Access to industry partners for potential collaboration and fundraising 
  • Demo Day events featuring industry and investors providing market and investment leads and opportunities through curated private introductions 

For more information, visit

About Larta Institute 

Heal.LA will benefit from Larta’s acclaimed methodology and seventeen-year long track record of success as a commercialization partner to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Larta has served over 1,100 life science companies who have gone on to raise over $1 billion dollars in private funding. 

Founded in Los Angeles in 1993, Larta’s mission is to foster science and technology innovation for a sustainable planet. Its work in accelerating innovative applied research in science & technology has extended from the biosciences to food and agriculture, energy and marine & oceans. With a global network of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, industry leaders, research institutions, government agencies and support organizations, Larta is a go-to partner for market expertise focused on impact throughout the U.S. and in more than 20 countries.   

About Gilead Sciences 

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at  

About BioLabs at the Lundquist 

BioLabs is a membership-based network of shared lab facilities located in the nation’s key biotech innovation clusters, designed exclusively for high-potential, early-stage life science companies. It offers co-working environments that pair premium, fully equipped, and supported lab and space with unparalleled access to capital and industry partners. BioLabs LA serves the South Bay of Los Angeles and partnered with The Lundquist Institute to bring class A space and support for early life science entrepreneurs to the region. Find out more at 

About CTIP 

The West Coast Consortium for Technology & Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP) is an FDA-funded pediatric MedTech accelerator centered at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Our goal is to facilitate the development, production, and distribution of pediatric medical devices by identifying companies working in the space and providing advice, networking, and direct and indirect financial support on the road to commercialization.  

About Biocom LA 

Biocom California is the state’s largest, most experienced leader and advocate for the life science sector, working on behalf of more than 1,400 members and organization partners to drive public policy, lead a world-class network of industry leaders, create access to capital, introduce cutting-edge STEM education programs, and create robust value-driven purchasing programs.  With its mission to “accelerate life sciences”, Biocom California was founded in San Diego in 1995. Recognizing the need to expand and support biotech and the life sciences’ immense potential in the Los Angeles region, Biocom launched BiocomLA in 2016.   

About BioscienceLA 

Founded in 2018, BioscienceLA is the innovation catalyst for life sciences and health innovation in the greater Los Angeles region, accelerating the growth of funding, space, and talent, as well as messaging and awareness-building. The independent not-for-profit organization was seeded by LA County and has backing from Amgen, PhRMA, Richard Lundquist, Richard Merkin, City of Hope, and Cedars-Sinai, among others. For more information: or 

For information about all our supporting organizations visit

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