Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a hereditary disease that affects ~50,000 families in the United States and causes the development of hundreds to thousands of adenomas in the rectum and colon. When left untreated, 100% of FAP patients develop colorectal cancer by the age of 45. Although small molecules and monoclonal antibodies targeting mTOR and IL-23 are be tested to treat FAP, these approaches are not specific to polyps and therefore cause a variety of unintended side-effects. Additionally, although genetics studies have identified variants in the APC gene as the causal mutation for FAP, gene therapy technologies need to be optimized to achieve the precision and efficacy necessary to serve as a viable therapeutic option for FAP. This technology is a monoclonal antibody targeting the Annexin A1 (ANXA1) protein complex that may be useful in treating FAP and other cancers related to ANXA1 activity.
Haystack Medical is developing microneedles that allow drug delivery into the inner ear. Over 30M US patients need a way to diagnose and treat inner ear disorders - a number that will only grow as the population ages. To date, we've proven Haystack microneedles to be safe, effective, and minimally invasive in guinea pig and human cadaver studies. Our technology is supported by 20+ peer reviewed papers and multiple granted and pending patents. Our team (Aykut Aksit, PhD, Anil Lalwani, MD; Jeffrey Kysar, PhD) has spent a decade developing this technology at Columbia University combining our experience in otolaryngology and surgery as well as in mechanical engineering and materials science.
Current delivery platforms for RNA and gene editing technologies induce off-target effects and fail to specifically target tissue types. Led by Columbia’s Dr. Fatemeh Momen-Heravi and Dr. Akiva Mintz, the Enviar team has recently developed a novel customizable delivery platform—called SafeExo—based on engineered exosomes. Exosomes naturally carry biomacromolecules including different RNAs (mRNAs, regulatory miRNAs, etc.), DNAs, lipids, and proteins and can deliver their cargoes to the recipient cells, elicit functions, and mediate cellular communications. SafeExo is the first engineered exosome platform capable of eliminating endogenous nucleic acids, which greatly reduces off-target effects. SafeExo is further optimized to enhance RNA stability, CRISPR efficacy, target uptake and specific cell/tissue delivery of large payloads, such as targeted CRISPR/CAS gene editing machinery and RNAi therapeutics. This platform has the potential to treat new diseases and improve current therapies.
WiLO Networks bridges the gap between passive RFIDs and high power Long Range (LoRa)/Sigfox to enable precision agriculture, military surveillance, fire mitigation, smart highways, and other IoT applications. Currently, WiLO Networks focus is to provide solutions for precision agriculture. WiLO Networks is building a novel physical layer communication technology based on low-power integrated circuits (ICs), which can be embedded in sensor nodes and gateways at very low cost. This physical layer technology combined with novel network architecture and protocols, as well as intelligent machine learning techniques promises a 10 year lifetime for sensor nodes powered on millimeter-scale batteries. These ultra-low power sensor networks are the key to precision agriculture, monitoring the health of buildings/bridges, and military surveillance. WiLO's solutions can reduce waste to promote sustainability and carbon neutrality.
Immuno-Modulators of Alzheimer’s Disease (I.M.A.D.) was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw and Dr. Wassim Elyaman from Columbia University’s Department of Neurology. The team is pioneering genetically-driven strategies to treat Alzheimer’s disease by directly targeting susceptibility genes in the CNS innate immune cells, called microglia. Their lead program is a preclinical non-antibody biologic which has been shown to target the CD33 genetic susceptibility signaling pathway in human microglia and clear β-amyloid from the brain of treated mice.
Effective treatment of abdominal and thoracic cancers requires a more targeted and improved penetration of therapeutics in order to reduce off-target side effects and increase efficacy. BioBina has developed a treatment strategy which utilizes existing radiation therapy with an increased specificity and penetration of the therapeutic to the affected tissue. The technology has been developed for ovarian cancer and has the potential to be extended to a multitude of abdominal and thoracic cancers.
The top 5 drugs sold are delivered by injection, 3 are biologics. Due to discoveries in fields like immuno-oncology, more of these high revenue drugs are biologics. Biologic drugs present a big promise, but they are met with a big problem: They are usually macromolecules, a fact that makes their formulations highly viscous and current injection devices require long injection times and larger gauge needles. The net result for patients is pain and discomfort and therefore reduced acceptance and compliance for treatments. AquaDrive (pka Inviscable) is developing a high performance actuator that could drive formulations 7x more viscous than any other technology currently available on the market, reducing the number of injections by half while minimizing device failure due to the robustness of the actuator at the core of the device.
THDG3 represents a novel, patent protected omega-3 diglyceride emulsion developed by Dr. Deckelbaum’s laboratory at Columbia University. Acute injection of THDG3 emulsion following stroke leads to a marked reduction in brain tissue death (up to 90%, demonstrated in 6 rodent models), with associated preservation and recovery of both short and long term neurofunctional outcomes. Due to the high risk profile and short window of administration, less than 8% of stroke patients receive treatment with t-PA, the current standard of treatment for stroke. DeckTherapeutics is currently developing THDG3 emulsion as a drug candidate for standard emergency treatment for stroke, a global unmet need, with phase 2a trials planned in 2021.