STARTUPS AND INNOVATIONS – Orange County Business Journal


Thrivelab Co.a San Clemente telehealth provider for hormone replacement therapy, closed a $4 million funding round led by a diagnostics company Discover the laboratoriesCEO Joshua Host told the Business Journal.

The funding will enable Thrivelab to expand its services nationwide; the company’s offerings are currently available in 30 states. The money also allows Thrivelab to reduce its current turnaround time by 28% and support the company’s next phase of machine learning for diagnostics, Host said.

Thrivelab claims that its services reduce the cost of hormone replacement therapy by 70% and reduce treatment time by 65%. The company plans to increase its number of patients from 1,000 per month to 5,000 per month over the next half year.

Host founded Thrivelab in 2020 after bioidentical hormone replacement therapy helped him recover from brain damage he suffered from a biking accident about seven years ago. The host is also CEO of the Laguna Beach Hotel Company Antistation and San Clemente real estate company Mariachi Cover Band LLC. He previously co-founded mixed-use project developer Irvine Urban Village Development Corporation LLC. The host served as the managing director of a mortgage company My loan hostwhich was sold in 2006, according to Host’s LinkedIn.

Amplifica Holdings Group Inc.a San Diego biopharmaceutical company with OPC links, recently closed an $11.8 million Series A preferred equity financing facilitated by SternAegis Ventures.

The funding will allow the company to advance the development of its hair loss treatment for men and women.

“Investor participation in this funding round exceeded our Series A target, underscoring the unmet need in the market for a solution to the hair loss challenge, as well as the excitement around the company’s new approach. Amplifica and first-in-class therapies to solve this problem,” CEO and Chairman Frank Fazio said in a statement.

Amplifica’s technology aims to use signaling molecules that stimulate dormant stem cells in the hair follicle, causing hair to regrow, company officials said. The company plans to launch its first clinical program next year.

Amplifica was co-founded by UCI biology professor Maksim Plikus, whose research indicated that a molecule called SCUBE3 can stimulate new hair growth.

Fazio, CEO of the company, is also managing director of the consulting organization AMC Group. He previously held various iterations of the Senior Vice President, Corporate Development role at dietary supplement and food ingredient company ChromaDex Corp. (Nasdaq: CDXC), which has OC links, as well as Irvine skincare manufacturing company ZO Skin Health Inc. Sunna Medical.


LaWow LLCa Laguna Niguel legal software company, unveiled its public-facing trial search engine, the first of its kind, according to the company.

The platform is meant to be a resource for journalists, researchers, employees, stock investors and others curious about legal action, company officials said.

“We believe public information should be public, but if the government charges access fees, is it really public?” Anderson ZoCEO of lawWow, said in a statement. “I’ve seen a lot of breaking news referring to lawsuits, but I’ve always struggled to find the actual document. To me, it felt like a big ‘information gap’ on the internet… so we decided to solve it.

“This public service is long overdue… an unbiased source of news and news based solely on facts is more essential than ever,” Zou added.

The company, founded this year, recently completed a $2.2 million financing round led by Dant Ventures LLCwhich belongs to the holding company Actuarial management company.according to company officials.

The company is currently expanding its team of developers, officials at the Wow said.

His team currently has 18 employees who add around 5,000 cases a day, co-founder of the Wow Jonathan Wallentinewho is the CEO of Actuarial Management, told the Business Journal.

The search engine currently has approximately more than 30,000 cases.

“We are trying to democratize the justice system,” he said.

Zou previously served as Vice President, Corporate Development at Actuarial Management. He was a researcher at Colombia School of Law.


Agile Occupational Medicine PCa Costa Mesa-based clinic company specializing in providing care to injured workers, entered Northern California with the acquisition of Occupational Medicine Emergyville.

The agreement adds four clinics in Emeryville, Sacramento, Redding and Santa Cruz to Agile’s portfolio. Agile now has six clinics following the acquisition.

“These clinics fill a need in underserved communities, especially in Redding and Santa Cruz, where employers need better access to quality care,” said Agile’s Founder and CEO. Greg Moore said in a statement.

Agile is focused on forming partnerships with local businesses to ensure the medical needs of local employees are taken care of, the company said. It provides Department of Transportation physical exams, drug screenings and treatment for workplace injuries.

In May, the company raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by Angeles Equity Partners. He aims to grow his portfolio to at least 30 clinics over the next two years, communications director Ken Thompson told the Business Journal.

Moore, who founded Agile last year, previously ran a rapidly growing network of professional clinics Akéso Occupational Health. Most of Agile’s C-suite members come from Irvine-based Akeso, Thomspon said. Moore also served as CEO of medical network tools provider Irvine Port health systemswhich was acquired by One Call Medical Inc. in 2012.


NKGen Biotech Inc.a Santa Ana biotech company developing natural cell therapies to boost the immune system, has received Investigative New Drug clearance from the FDA to begin a Phase 1 study of its cell therapy for cancer patients with resistant diseases current standards of care.

The study will assess the safety and tolerability of NKGen cell therapy, SNK02, which is cryopreserved and derived from blood, according to company officials. NKGen expects the study to begin in the first quarter of next year.

“This clearance for SNK02 is an important milestone in our quest to deliver life-changing therapies to cancer patients and will be our second NK cell therapy clinical program focused on solid tumors, after our autologous product SNK01 enters. into Phase 2 studies next year,” NKGen Vice President Paul Song said in a statement.

NKGen Biotech has raised $11 million in funding to date. The company, a subsidiary of a Korean biotechnology company NK Max Co.was founded in 2019 by Sang Woo Park. Park also founded NKMax, which is marketed overseas and valued at $226 million, three years ago. He previously worked as a financial analyst at Wealth Management Samsung Securities Co.