Aging can lead to immunodeficiencies in patients with abnormal thymus function. As a consequence, the body is not able to produce enough new (“naïve”) T cells for the immune system to recognize pathogens and cancer cells or the body is suffering from autoimmune response. Cancer immunotherapy drugs generated $41 Billion globally in 2014, at 50% market share of the overall oncology drugs market . The invention details a new method for producing large quantities of diverse, functional, naïve autologous T cells for infusion into patients. The in vivo generated T cells arise from bone marrow stem cells taken from the patient and become genetically compatible immune cells that are tolerant of the patient and any selected transplant donor.
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.
Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) experience a low quality of life. The hallmark clinical feature is reduced blood flow to the legs and arms due to narrowing of the arteries. Currently, there is no therapy that restores blood flow, alleviates symptoms and impacts disease progression. In the US, close to 8 million patients suffer with PAD. Of these, 40-50% are diabetic. CuRAGE is developing CR-3, and anti-RAGE monoclonal antibody, for use in PAD. Activation of RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation endproducts) by specific immunomodulators, such as AGEs, triggers a deleterious inflammatory response and reduces the ability to generate new vessels. In 2 different experimental models of diabetic PAD, CR-3 has demonstrated the ability to restore blood flow to major muscle groups and to stimulate regeneration of blood vessels.
People with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ OA) experience pain and limited jaw function. Approximately 10 million Americans are affected by TMJ OA, and current treatments are invasive and have high failure rates. Furthermore, palliative treatments aimed at increasing short-term function don't prevent disease or promote regeneration of tissue. StemGEL, WNT Scientifics' solution to this problem, uses fibrocartilage stem cells to regenerate cartilage. They have a paper in Nature Communications (along with several other publications) detailing the successful results. The market size of TMJ OA patients that can be treated by StemGEL is approximately 2.6 million.
Dr. Kam Leong from Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is developing Cellasphere, a hybrid cell/nanocomposite drug delivery platform that hunts down glioblastoma tumor cells and delivers anti-tumor drugs. Dr. Leong is an internationally renowned leader in the development of nanoscale therapeutics and has pioneered the development of multifunctional nanoscale technologies for delivering drugs, antigens, proteins, siRNA, and DNA to cells. Cellasphere is currently going through the Center for Advancing Innovations, Inc. Brain Race for consideration for a startup.
While surgical intervention via gastric bypass is effective in patients with obesity and type-II diabetes, the surgery is invasive, expensive and not reversible. Additionally, it is usually not prescribed for patients with BMI <40. Therefore, there is a need for a non-surgical alternative which is safer and less expensive but which mimics the effects of gastric bypass surgery. EndObypass achieves this with an implantable metal stent which runs through the stomach. The device mimics the anatomic and physiological changes caused by surgical procedures, resulting in dramatic weight loss and remission of diabetes. Animal studies with the implanted device have demonstrated proof of concept. The EndObypass technology provides a safe and affordable alternative to gastric bypass surgery.
Many disease-causing proteins are difficult to inhibit directly with biologics and small molecules. However, new advances allow for the control of the abundance of proteins using small molecules, providing a path to medicines that selectively control protein stability. Pomerex Therapeutics is building a platform for the systematic discovery of small molecules that control the stability of disease-modifying proteins. They have developed novel compounds that can cause the destruction of otherwise undruggable but crucial protein targets, including those driving the genesis and survival of aggressive cancers. They are seeking funds to expand their platform and develop their lead oncology programs.
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.
Patients with acute and chronic immune disorders have an increased risk of death and a reduced quality of life. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show promise for effectively treating immune disorders, and in clinical trials conducted by others, show few side effects. Immplacate will provide an effective and safe solution, allowing patients to return to a lifestyle closer to before their onset of disease, through the use of its proprietary process of educating mesenchymal stem cells (EMCs).
NoMo Diagnostics is focused on developing the first FDA approved, real-time, physiologically relevant concussion diagnostic to initiate early treatment - thus avoiding life-threatening and long-term consequences associated with unrecognized brain trauma. NoMo's miniaturized brainwave monitoring technology is designed to fit comfortably under the helmet delivering rapid notifications to the sidelines through telemetry.
Cardiac arrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation, put millions of Americans at risk of heart failure or stroke. OptiCardia has a heart visualization system giving the surgeon the ability to assess the effectiveness of Radiofrequency ablation in real time. The technology can result in more effective RF ablation and improve patient outcomes after the procedure.
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.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC), given for 6 months prior to surgery, is widely applied as standard treatment for patients with newly diagnosed operable invasive breast cancer. The goal of NAC is a pathologic complete response (pCR) at surgery, as this response strongly correlates with survival. However, pCR is achieved in only 15-40% of women. Using a Dynamic Optical Tomographic Breast Imaging System (DOTBIS), physicians will be able to determine who will not respond to NACT soon after treatment initiation.
Arrhythmia symptoms range from shortness of breath and fatigue to sudden cardiac arrest or stroke. The disease also greatly decreases the quality of life by limiting physical activity and inducing a significant psychological burden. Catheter ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure that is one of the most effective treatments for arrhythmia. Unfortunately, nearly half of patients who undergo a first multi-hour ablation therapy will find that the procedure did not successfully treat their arrhythmia, will often time lead to new arrhythmias, and will most likely need to be repeated at least once. Visiblate is a software-based imaging technology that monitors and maps lesion formation in real time during catheter ablation surgery, reducing the likelihood of subsequent ablation procedures and reducing costs.
Creating flexible batteries is essential to keep up with the development of flexible electronics. However, current technologies have failed to maintain high energy density in the flexible battery design. FlexFuture has created innovative and ﬂexible rechargeable batteries (FLEX. F series) which reduce design limitations in wearable devices and enable new breakthrough technologies of ﬂexible electronics. With unique structural designs, FLEX. F series have adaptable ﬂexibility and high energy density to enable stable deformability and longer-operation time in ﬂexible electronics, while maintaining cost-eﬀectiveness.
Although electronic pacemakers are the current treatment for symptomatic atrioventricular block or sinoatrial node dysfunction, the maintenance they require and the risk of complications have motivated research on biological alternatives. Rhythm Therapeutics initial product, the biological pacemaker, assists in the depolarization and subsequent action potentials required for a proper heartbeat. It utilizes adeno associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver ion channel genes into heart tissue, resulting in over-expression of these ion channels, and correction of the beating rate of individuals with bradycardia.
Skin-penetrating catheters and lines, essential to medical management, carry downside risk of superinfection by migration of skin flora. The company is currently working on applying this technology to left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Of the 2,700 LVADs implanted in 2015, there were 702 infections. There have been efforts to advance the standard of care and use bonded antibacterials, but these interventions have failed to date. The ultraviolet sterilizer transmits a narrow‐band ultraviolet light to a weave of optical fibers surrounding the driveline. Leakage of ultraviolet light will kill microorganisms attempting to migrate down the driveline, thus preventing infection and minimizing cost and toxicity associated with conventional approaches, including long‐term antibiotics and prosthetic device replacement.
Current therapies for Alzheimer's disease address only symptoms and have limited efficacy. With Alzheimer's disease being a prevalent and growing problem, a more effective treatment is greatly needed. The team is developing drugs based on PDE5 inhibitors which are the first class of AD therapeutics to target synaptic dysfunction, a hallmark of the disease. in pre-clinical studies, the inhibitors rescued memory and synaptic function in mouse models, showing promise as an effective treatment for reversing the neurodegenerative effects of AD.
Approximately 250,000 invasive breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2019. Currently, the most commonly used definitive way to diagnose breast cancer is through a biopsy. Dr. Anastassiou's team has recently discovered attractor metagene markers as strong prognostic features for breast cancer survival and derived the BCAM (Breast Cancer Attractor Metagenes) prognostic model. This biomarker allows for a single universal prognostic assay applicable to all breast cancer subtypes and stages.
With over 2/3 of the US population being overweight, and serious and deadly effects associated with obesity, a treatment which prevents and cures obesity is essential. However, previously tested obesity drugs have been characterized by low tolerability and serious side effects. This treatment uses LCN2, a natural appetite-suppressing hormone to treat obesity without the side effects.
LEGIT uses a new optical concept (a lensguide) developed at Columbia University to improve optical endoscopy. Their goal is the development of a whole microscopy probe (size ~ 0.1-1 mm) that can be inserted in the body, with minimal damage, for high resolution imaging (<1 µm resolution). The LEGIT endoscopic probe can be used for cancer diagnostics (e.g. skin and liver cancer) and in vivo biopsy imaging. The LEGIT lensguide is a higher quality and less expensive replacement for the GRIN lenses with significantly higher flexibility in design and manufacturing.
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.
Dr. Kam Leong from Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering is developing cationic biomaterial Nucleic Acid Scavengers (NAS) to treat inflammation and inflammatory diseases. The technology platform encompasses a diverse portfolio of cationic microparticles, nanoparticles, nanofibers, and membranes, for local and systemic delivery with a broad range of target indications including sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. Dr. Leong is an internationally renowned leader in the development of nanoscale therapeutics and has pioneered the development of multifunctional nanoscale technologies for delivering drugs, antigens, proteins, siRNA, and DNA to cells.
The vast majority, 95%, of drugs developed by companies to treat pancreatic cancer do not end up being approved. Vesselon's strategy for developing cancer therapies is not by finding new drugs, but by increasing the efficacy of existing approved drugs for cancer, starting with pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Joze Bevk is developing an auxiliary catalytic converter comprised of nanostructured composite filaments that reaches the light-off temperature near-instantaneously, greatly reducing engine toxic emissions (primarily CO, hydrocarbons HC and NOx). A simpler version of inexpensive “drop-in” device can be also installed in vehicles already in use, significantly improving the performance of the original exhaust system. Development of this technology began at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, and has continued at Harvard University.