Research Horizons


Challenging. Frustrating. Rewarding. The Journey of Medical Innovation from Discovery to Market

Experts involved in creating a voice and speech biomarker app that helps detect early signs of mental health risk discuss what it took to launch Clarigent Health

In the end, the long hours, the unexpected twists and turns, and all the arguments and uncertainties can make an important impact on child health.

That’s the takeaway Tracy Glauser, MD, associate director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation and veteran of two commercial start-ups, offers to fellow scientists who make discoveries that might have commercial potential.

“This is the way that you can exponentially increase the impact of your research, which is really exciting,” Glauser says.

On Jan. 31, Glauser joined Mike Venerable, CEO of CincyTech, to discuss the process involved in moving a new idea from discovery to market. The Pediatric Grand Rounds presentation was hosted by Abram Gordon, JD, vice president of Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Ventures.

The panel focused on the story behind Clarigent Health, which was founded in 2018 with investment support led by CincyTech, a public-private seed stage investor. In October 2020, the company launched Clairity, an app that recognizes voice and speech biomarkers to provide clinical decision support to mental health professionals.

The research behind the app reflects a long collaboration between John Pestian, PhD, Glauser, and others at Cincinnati Children’s who have been hunting for years for ways to detect early signs of anxiety, depression and suicide risk. As complex as the scientific effort was, the conversations with potential investors were even more intense than the criticisms that can pepper the NIH peer-review process.

“You need a thick skin,” Glauser notes. “But it’s worth it. You will help millions of people if you get through it and get your product out there in the right way.”

To learn more about the personal motivations involved and what investors are looking for when vetting a new discovery, watch this recording of the presentation.

Research Foundation and Innovation Ventures Honor 16 Inventors

The 2023 Innovation Excellence Awards recognize 16 innovators whose licenses have generated a financial reward to Cincinnati Children’s while improving patient care. Awards were presented Jan. 31, with awardees surrounded by colleagues, managers and loved ones.

  • Kat Castleberry and Richard Lang, PhD, Pediatric Ophthalmology; and James Greenberg, MD, Perinatal Institute.

Based on an exclusive license with BIOS for a spectrally tuned lighting system for stimulating photo receptors of a living being. 

  • Artem Barski, PhD, Andrey Kartashov, MSc, and Michael Kotliar, MS, Division of Allergy and Immunology

Based on an exclusive license with Datirium for all uses of Wardrobe, CWL-Airflow and Biowardrobe/Biowardrobe NG.

  • Maryellen Daston, PhD, Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; Erin Riehle, MSN, and Tina Martin, MEd, with Project SEARCH; and Angie Jackson, RRT, retired simulation education specialist 

Based on an exclusive license with The Attainment Company for CPR Educational Tools for the Learner with Intellectual Disabilities. 

  • Durgesh Tiwari, MPharm, PhD, Division of Neurology 

Based on an exclusive license for an AAV gene therapy to treat Fragile X Syndrome.

  • Abby Hess, APRN, DNP, Division of Anesthesiology

For acquiring an exclusive license with Little Seed, LLC, for creating a breathing-controlled gaming app that helps children relax during the anesthesia induction process.

  • Paritha Arumugam, PhD, Bruce Trapnell, MS, MD, Brenna Carey, PhD, and Takuji Suzuki MD, PhD, Translational Pulmonary Center 

Based on an exclusive license with Altius Therapeutics, for a macrophage transplantation platform initially to treat hPAP.

Patent recognition for Dr. Wong

In addition to these awardees, Sue Poynter, MD, MEd, director of Cincinnati Children’s Pediatric Residency Training Program, accepted recognition for two patents on behalf of her late husband, Hector Wong, MD, one of Cincinnati Children’s most beloved leaders and colleagues.

Wong was a former vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics, multiple patent holder, champion of innovation, and a world class academic physician. His innovations continue to impact patient care, even today.

Click the arrows below to see more photos: