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Cancer, antibiotic-resistant infections, immune disorders, microbiome disorders, and aging are looming health treats to everyone. How can we use biotech and computation to outsmart these diseases? Come hear from five startups that are working on the next generation of therapeutics and diagnostics.
Light snacks and drinks served.
Helen Chen, CEO of Guided Clarity (gclarity.com)
Guided Clarity has developed a new class of compounds to target and clear cells of dysfunctional mitochondria, improving cellular energy production. Their compounds are synthesized from naturally-occurring ingredients in food, so they are both safe and affordable as a medical food. In their first clinical study on healthy volunteers, the data showed an increase in insulin sensitivity, a reduction in inflammation marker NLR, and improved physical function. Guided Clarity is focused on healthy aging, improving mitochondrial function both in the brain and on the periphery.
Michael Wyman, CEO of Beeline Therapeutics (beelinetherapeutics.com)
Beeline turns your body’s own cells into drug factories to express antibodies, enzymes, or cytokines. Their method facilitates localized drug expression. They replace expensive therapeutic protein regimens that have to be injected weekly or monthly. They’re working to reprogram a patient’s immune cells to suppress inflammation and autoimmune disease, effectively curing patients for many years.
Kevin Honaker, CEO of BiomeSense (biomesenseinc.com)
The microbiome is one of the most impactful emerging fields in healthcare, yet fundamentally constrained by a lack of biomarkers to measure treatment efficacy. BiomeSense’s platform is a 30x reduction in the cost of doing longitudinal microbiome collection and analysis research, unlocking this exploding market.
Their single-chip, on-toilet design will prep and assay the microbiome strains and upload the data to their cloud. BiomeSense is quickly signing pilot partners to use their device in clinical trials, as well as securing LOIs with partners who desire access to their unique, centralized data.
Franco Goytia, CEO of Caspr Bio (http://caspr.bio)
Caspr is a diagnostics company that uses CRISPR for rapid detection of antimicrobial resistance.
Today, when a patient has an infection, it takes three days to determine which bacterial strains are proliferating. Physicians are desperate to know, faster, if a patient has the resistant superbug KPC, or bacteria with the resistant-gene NDM-1. Caspr Bio is making an affordable, point-of-care device that can make this diagnosis in two hours. They use CRISPR to identify the DNA of the most dangerous infectious strains. They will be extending this platform to upgrade many diagnostics with CRISPR.
Marcel Frenkel, Co-founder of Gavilan Biodesign (gavilanbio.com)
Gavilan Biodesign is an in silico computational design company that redesigns drugs for pharma companies, so cancers cannot develop resistance to the drug.
Cancer cells mutate rapidly and comes back after most therapeutic treatments. Currently, pharma companies design drugs to target a specific, likely mutation. But then a new mutation makes the cancer resistant to that drug, too. Gavilan is a unique computational drug design company with capabilities new to this field. Their physics-based engine models all possible mutations around a binding site to predict which set of mutations will successfully emerge. Then they redesign a drug to remain effective, not just against one or two mutations, but against all possible future mutations. They can search through 100 trillion molecular structures a day, arriving at superior drug compound structures in a matter of hours. Their goal is to work with many pharma partners to create a new class of targeted therapies that dramatically extend progression-free survival.