AVX July 2020 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

July 1, 2020

Welcome to July and I hope this email finds you healthy and at peace for the moment. While the 4th of July is right around the corner, here in NYC it sounds like it's been the 4th for the past 4 weeks! That said, some positive news on the horizon, including the short list for The Spinoff Prize program hosted by Nature and sponsored by Merck and progress on COVID diagnostic systems, vaccine candidates, and possible therapies.

In this newsletter, I will highlight a few (digital) events from around the network. No think pieces or podcasts to consume this month, sorry!

Conversation Statistics: We are up to 7004 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 518 more over the last month (8% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 13 potential match negotiations and another 93 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches (and a handful of matches in stealth). We have now actively connected 435 different ventures (out of 1010+ examined) with 1018 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 2500+).

The Spinoff Prize 2020:Nature is shining a spotlight on some of the brightest entrepreneurial ventures via a new competition showcasing start-ups originating in academic labs. And we're excited to share that a number of ventures from our partners have been highlighted - congratulations! They are in alphabetical order:

AltrixBio (Harvard) - Drug for type 2 diabetes and obesity that works by modulating nutrient contact with the bowel mucosa and thereby lowering the glucose response.

Avotres (Columbia) - Cell therapies for type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases, with potential applications in transplantation and certain forms of cancer.

Cybrexa Therapeutics (Yale) - Technology that allows small-molecule anti-cancer agents to penetrate cell membranes only at the low pH characteristic of the tumour microenvironment, thus selectively releasing drug molecules directly within tumour cells while limiting toxicity to healthy tissue.

EpiVario (UPenn) - Drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder by blocking the consolidation of traumatic memories in the brain.

Eracal Therapeutics (Harvard) - Drug to help people control their weight by suppressing their appetite.

Forkhead BioTherapeutics (Columbia) - An oral drug for treating insulin-dependent diabetes by turning certain gut cells into β-like cells that produce insulin in response to blood glucose levels.

Isolere Bio (Duke) -Chromatography-free purification solutions to improve productivity, lower cost and simplify scale-up in the production of therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies and gene therapies.

Kebotix (Harvard) - Artificial-intelligence (AI) system to guide chemistry research, from proposing new molecules with specific properties to designing a robot-assisted laboratory workflow to synthesize these molecules.

Sibel Health (Northwestern) - Networked wireless sensor system to monitor neonatal vital signs (including electrocardiogram data, blood flow volume and skin temperature) in real-time with clinical-grade precision.

Softsonics (UCSD) - Ultrasound wearable device to measure accurately, continuously and non-invasively the blood pressure waveform. The device allows blood pressure to be recorded within deep arteries continuously without the need for clinical staff supervision.

Temprian Therapeutics (Northwestern) - Developing a gene-based treatment for vitiligo.


NYBIO Breakfast with Nancy Thornberry of Kallyope (July 7): Nancy Thornberry joined Kallyope as Chief Executive Officer at the company’s launch in November 2016. Kallyope is developing an industry-leading platform to harness the gut-brain axis. In addition to her role at Kallyope, she serves as a Director at Intarcia Therapeutics.

Leadership in the Age of Black Lives Matter (July 9): ULI New York, in partnership with the Boston, Philadelphia and Washington District Councils, invites you to join our webinar featuring Dr. Kira Hudson Banks. What kind of leadership is called for at this moment? This talk will focus on what previous work on racial equity teaches us about the way forward. Dr. Banks' latest piece in the Harvard Business Review challenges us to ask the question "Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It?"

WIB Diversity and Inclusion Resource Group Application (July 10): WIB Is Forming a National Diversity and Inclusion Resource Group Historically, women have continuously made groundbreaking discoveries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but their successes are often underreported or completely ignored. This holds especially true to women of color and other marginalized groups.Applications are due by Friday, July 10.

New Science First Friday (July 10): Accenture would like to help change up your routine and invite you to participate in our next New Science First Friday hosted by MATTER. MATTER and Accenture leadership will kick off the call highlighting their strong partnership and then move on to a spotlight on Accenture’s thought capital on MedTech, and we wrap up the call with a presentation from a MATTER startup.

Robotics and Automation in Mining (July 14): Advances in robotics present safer, more efficient ways to address mining’s biggest challenges—from the extraction and transportation of materials to the operational processes that control and monitor mining sites. Whether you work in the mining industry, are interested in potential investment opportunities, or you are a company with a compelling technology, you will walk away with an understanding of key challenges in mining and emerging technologies that could be groundbreaking for the industry.

XTC Global Finals (July 15): From around the world, more than 2,400 startups tackling global challenges applied to XTC. Now, we are bringing the top seven category finalists, along with world-class investors and special guests, to determine who will be named the year's top XTC startup. On Wednesday, July 15th, come hear from those finalists and find out who will be the overall winner of XTC 2020.

Building the Future with 5G (July 16): A new future is on the horizon. 5G will unlock step changes in industrial automation, healthcare, energy, transportation, and financial services, to name a few, in ways previously thought unfathomable. The 5G Studio, created by Verizon and Newlab, using Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband network, will build and test applications foundational to the future state of the fourth industrial revolution. The event will cover what's possible with 5G, the Newlab studio model as a collaboration catalyst, and how the 5G Studio will build, vet, and pilot applications that will transform industries, sectors, and the world.

Microbiome and Mental Health (July 24): The brain is affected by bodily changes—including microbiome composition—that influence cognition and behavior.  This 75-minute webinar will explore the interaction between the brain, gut, and microbiome, with a focus on how the microbiome influences developmental, neuropsychiatric, and immune-related disorders, including socioaffective processing disorders such as autism.

Fire and Ice: The Impact of Climate Change on Environmental Ecosystems (July 27): Climate change is having a significant effect on the biological, topological, and geophysical traits of various ecosystems. This 75-minute webinar will explore how climate change has caused massive ecological alterations through impacts on plant physiology and ice sheet melting.

Petri Cohort II Deadline (August 1): Our accelerator program is custom-fit to your startup. When you apply, simply tell us how much capital (up to $250,000) and time you believe you’ll need to work with us to reveal your company to the world at one of our two annual Demo Days. We’ll work closely with you from through that period to provide the right variables to make you successful.

Summer NYC Company Showcase (August 10): Welcome to the 6th Solebury Trout Private Company Showcase featuring presentations, panels, and 1x1s with select private biotechs on Monday, August 10, 2020 now Virtual and hosted together with White & Case and Piper Sandler. The format will include 15 minute company presentations, 1x1’s and panels throughout the day.

SynBioBeta (September 1-3): Join us September 1-3, 2020 to see how synthetic biology is disrupting consumer products, food, agriculture, medicine, chemicals, materials, and more. The SynBioBeta Global Synthetic Biology Conference 2020 unites the leading biological engineers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs who make up this fast-growing industry - all during one impactful event. Come learn the latest technologies, hear the big announcements in the field, make new partnerships, meet investors, and discover new companies.

So long for now! – Hamdi