Rosalind Franklin University (RFU) recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Helix 51 biomedical incubator, the only one of its kind in Lake County, Illinois. The milestone coincides with the addition of four exciting new startup companies to the incubator’s roster.

“The growth of Helix 51 over the past five years has fostered a vibrant hub for innovative healthcare solutions on our campus,” said Dr. Ronald Kaplan, RFU’s executive vice president for research. “These novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches have the potential to benefit patients worldwide. Additionally, Helix 51 serves as a valuable springboard,launching companies into our Innovation and Research Park.”

Helix 51 provides a comprehensive environment for early-stage startups with 6,500 square feet of wet and dry labs, a state-of-the-art clean room, office space, and shared conference facilities. The incubator boasts essential equipment like biological safety cabinets, chemical fume hoods, and refrigeration units.

But the support goes beyond physical resources. Companies also gain access to a one-of-a-kind Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program and internship opportunities with students from RFU’s College of Pharmacy, Northwestern’s Masters of Biotechnology program, and Kent School of Law’s JD program – all at no additional cost.

The new wave of companies joining Helix 51 reflects the incubator’s commitment to fostering diverse and impactful ventures:

  • MountView Therapeutics, a spinout from Northwestern University and Lurie Children’s Hospital based on the technology of Dr. YouYang Zhao, professor of pediatrics, medicine and pharmacology. The company is developing next generation transformative technologies for gene and drug delivery targeting vascular endothelium to treat human diseases. Dr. Zhao published results in August 2023in Science Translational Medicine on a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
  • Remote Vital Monitoring Inc., spun out of the University of Illinois-Chicago, Cook County Hospital and New York University and is based on the work of Dr. James Stone, a neurosurgeon, and colleagues. Their technology will play an important role in monitoring the ongoing development and recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury, which can affect as many as 50 million people annually, costing the global economy $400 billion each year.
  • MRI Coil Guru, a company that specializes in the maintenance and repair of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments based on the expertise of GE Healthcare-trained service engineer Chavis Thomas.
  • Gencell Biotech, a Mexican company headquartered in Guadalajara, working on new therapeutic approaches to diabetic foot ulcer and wound care, as well as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

To learn more about Rosalind Franklin University, visit

This article was originally published on iBIO NewsBrief. Gain a head start on your day with iBIO NewsBrief. Subscribe to receive top industry headlines delivered straight to your inbox.