New Fort Worth pharmaceutical firm, ZS Pharma, is finalist for national award

Posted Monday, Mar. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Fort Worth

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Fort Worth's ZS Pharma, which is developing a drug for patients with kidney and liver disease, has been named one of two finalists for the National Business Incubation Association's 2013 Outstanding Incubator Client award in the technology category.

The company is an acceleration client of TECH Fort Worth, a business incubator. The winner will be announced April 9 at NBIA's 27th International Conference on Business Incubation in Boston.

"This is huge recognition for ZS Pharma and for TECH Fort Worth, as the competition for this award is on an international playing field of all clients of technology incubators," said Darlene Ryan, executive director of TECH Fort Worth. "The criteria include not only the success of the client, but also the role that the incubator played in helping it get there."

ZS Pharma is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing proprietary oral sorbent technology that selectively removes life-threatening toxins in patients suffering from kidney and liver disease.

The company was founded in 2008 and entered the TECH Fort Worth incubation program in 2009, when it received $2 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. In October, the company said it sold $46 million in shares to new investors.

ZS Pharma conducts some of its work at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

Hospital chief honored

Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, will receive the Circle of Excellence Award this month from the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber's Women Business Issues program will present the award at its 19th annual black tie gala on March 29, at Colonial Country Club.

The Circle of Excellence program works to improve conditions for women living in Tarrant County and focuses on educational opportunities and encouraging women to earn college degrees in business.

Biggins, a Fort Worth native, is a longtime healthcare veteran. She joined Texas Health Resources Fort Worth in 1997 as vice president of operations, overseeing emergency, trauma and restorative services. She has also held executive and clinical positions with Columbia/HCA Plaza Medical Center, John Peter Smith Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

She is a graduate of John Peter Smith School of Nursing, and holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington and a master's degree from Texas Woman's University. She is an adjunct professor at UTA, a member of numerous professional organizations and on the board of several civic groups.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

sabaker@star-telegram.com

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

jfuquay@star-telegram.com

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

barry@star-telegram.com

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