Transforming the Treatment of Cancer, Metaplasia and Inflammatory Diseases

At Tract Bio, we have a breakthrough stem cell discovery platform stemECHO that has enabled identification of druggable targets for potential therapies for inflammation metaplasia and cancer.

The stemECHO™ platform permits cloning of individual stem cells from epithelial tissue in a manner that protects both the genetic and epigenetic characteristics of the original cell. Using this platform we have identified sub-populations of epigenetically distinct stem cells that cause fibrosis and inflammation and are in fact the engine of disease. Tract Bio has generated a robust preclinical and near-clinical pipeline of Drug Candidates targeting these stem cells which we believe will result in effective treatments for some of the largest diseases with otherwise unmet needs.

Prior to the establishment of stemECHO, there was no practical way to isolate stem cells from tissue biopsies and expand them the hundreds of millions of times necessary for analysis or use in drug discovery assays.

In contrast, stemECHO allows us to isolate single stem cells from a biopsy and expand each of these individual stem cells separately hundreds of millions of times while preserving both the genetic and epigenetic characteristics of the original stem cell. With stemECHO, we can produce a population of diseased stem cells which is robust enough for effective drug discovery.

Tract StemECHO Chart

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Scientific Founders

Our Scientific Founders are pioneers in stem cell biology and disease pathogenesis of epithelial tissue. Their research has been widely published in peer reviewed top tier journals such as Cell and Nature.

Dr. Wa Xian, Ph.D.

Dr. Xian is an Associate Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston Stem Cell Center and is a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research.

Dr. Frank McKeon, Ph.D.

Dr. McKeon is a Professor in Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, and is the Director of Somatic Stem Cell Center at UH, as well as a CPRIT Established Investigator in Cancer Research.

Dr. McKeon also serves as the Interim Chief Scientific Officer.

Leadership Team

Richard Russell is a co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer. Rick has more than 20 years of experience leading organizations both in the clinical and commercial stages. He currently serves as Board Chairman for Windgap Medical and on the board of directors of MassBio and the South Shore Health and Hospital Foundation.

Matt Vincent, Ph.D., J.D. is a scientific and business co-founder and provides advice to the company on business development and in-house led scientific efforts. He is co-inventor across the entire patent portfolio of Tract Bio.

Joseph Suarez is a co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, and is experienced in leading strategy, business operations, finance, human resources and information technology.

Robert Izard, J.D. is a co-founder and General Counsel (Former Chair, ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Committee)


We have created a robust development pipeline based on our unique discoveries and expect to have INDs submitted for Barretts Esophagus, Esophageal Cancer and Crohn’s Disease in the next 12-24 months.

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TP-101 Program: Esophageal clinical Trial Strategy begins with Barrett’s which permits us to start with a drug formulation for local submucosal delivery in the esophagus and generate phase I data for Barrett’s esophagus through an adaptive study that can be expanded to include Esophageal Adenocarcinoma. While we work on this proof-of-concept through a tractable local delivery strategy, we will work towards a systemic formulation strategy (TP-102) for solid tumor treatments like breast or ovarian cancers.

TP-201 Program: Our clinical trial strategy in Inflammatory Diseases begins with the development of Crohn’s treatments, and specifically with a topical application of the drug combination TP-201 for perianal disease, which afflicts approximately 25% of Crohn’s patients. To establish proof-of-principle for regulatory filing purposes, we plan to establish a sponsored research agreement with Dr. Andrew Hoffman, Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, to first test these drug combinations topically on dog subjects there. Following TP-201, and with the expectation of using the phase I data from the perianal disease trial, our proposed budget includes working with Dr. Jason Hou (Baylor College of Medicine) on an investigator-led IND for TP-202 in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease, which will be a reformulation of TP-201 for oral delivery and intraluminal release in the terminal ileum.


Cloning of ground-state intestinal stem cells from endoscopic biopsy samples

Nature Protocols, 2020

Cloning and variation of ground state intestinal stem cells

Nature, 2015

Mutational spectrum of Barrett’s stem cells suggests paths to initiation of a precancerous lesion

Nature Communications, 2015

p63+Krt5+ distal airway stem cells are essential for lung regeneration

Nature, 2015

Distal Airway Stem Cells Yield Alveoli In Vitro and during Lung Regeneration following H1N1 Influenza Infection

Cell, 2011

Residual Embryonic Cells as Precursors of a Barrett’s-like Metaplasia

Cell, 2011