(Update 9.22 - Closed seed round by Khosla Ventures). Broad-spectrum antiviral therapies do not exist, tragically hindering our ability to respond to viral outbreaks and pandemics. We need new approaches to treat these diseases, as existing therapeutics are very narrow-spectrum and take many years to develop. Carver Biosciences is a startup company developing CRISPR-based therapies for RNA viruses that infect humans. Carver’s approach is a programmable, platform technology that could offer a generalizable solution for treating many viruses, as targeting is dictated by a guide RNA sequence. The underlying technology, CARVER, was developed by founder Cameron Myhrvold during his time as a postdoc at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and was published in Molecular Cell in 2019.
(10.2022 Update -Princeton NuEnergy, Inc. ("PNE"), an emerging growth company primarily engaged in the regeneration of lithium-ion battery ("LIB") material, announced it successfully closed a seed funding round at $7M in Q4 2021. The round was led by Wistron Corporation (TPE: 3231), a Fortune Global 500 member and an industry leader in electronics recycling services. Other investors in the round include Shell Ventures, Greenland Technologies (NASDAQ: GTECH), CleanTech Open, AIBasis Fund, WorldQuant Ventures, and the angel round investors. Princeton NuEnergy ("PNE") is an innovative clean-tech startup company spun out from Princeton University in 2019 focused on the direct recycling of lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles and consumer electronics. Opened its Lithium-Ion Battery (LIB) Direct Recycling 500-ton pilot production line with Wistron GreenTech. )
Viral infections causing hepatitis are major contributors to human morbidity and mortality. Currently, there are no approved directly acting antivirals that cure two of these viruses - hepatitis B (HBV) and E viruses (HEV) – that account for close to 300 million infections world-wide. Our goal is to develop novel small molecule therapeutics that can be readily deployed to combat efficiently these diseases. To achieve this, we capitalize on discoveries and technical advances from our lab that put us in a unique position for targeted high through-put screens. We have already identified a lead molecule that is effective against multiple HEV genotypes, and we have uncovered a minimal set of host factors that are essential for HBV persistence.
(UPDATE 4.22) ArrePath, an anti-infective drug discovery company addressing the global health challenge of drug resistant infections, announced today that it has raised $20 million in seed financing to advance its proprietary, machine learning (ML)-based platform for the discovery of new classes of anti-infectives to overcome antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Insight Partners, and Innospark Ventures co-led the financing, which also included Viva BioInnovator, Arimed Capital, PTX Capital, and Nor’easter Ventures. ArrePath also announced that Dr. Lloyd Payne has been named President and CEO. Dr. Payne, who serves on the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund Scientific Selection Board and the AMR Action Fund Scientific Advisory Board, brings more than 25 years of scientific and business leadership in the discovery and development of anti-infectives. Dr. Zemer Gitai published proof-of-concept for the approach in the journal Cell in June 2020.
(Update 12.21 - Andluca Technologies has been awarded a $1M Phase II SBIR grant from NSF to continue development of their near-ultraviolet (NUV) organic photovoltaic technology. Andluca was selected for $400,000 in follow-on funding from Empire State Development via the Luminate NY accelerator program. The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation, and Technology (CSIT) awarded $75,000 through the Clean Tech Seed Grant Program. Andluca, a Princeton University spin-out, has developed UV-solar-powered smart glass for improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Andluca’s patented technologies can reduce building energy use by up to 40% while significantly enhancing occupant comfort and productivity.
(Update - 4.22: KayoThera closed an $8 million Series A round of financing. The financing was led by Accelerator Life Science Partners (“ALSP”) with participation from BioAdvance and 7G Bioventures. KayoThera will focus its therapeutic development efforts on its lead oncology program to further advance the technology towards a product that will benefit patients with late-stage and metastatic cancers.) Kayothera is leveraging cutting-edge discoveries to develop therapeutics for cancer patients who currently receive terminal diagnoses. Our two pipeline candidates target solid tumors to 1) inhibit tumor survival mechanisms in advanced or chemoresistant disease, 2) deplete immunosuppressive Regulatory T cells to restore anti-tumor immunity. With these first-in-class small molecule therapeutics, we aim to give hope to patients with intractable cancers.
(Update: Seed Round 2019 - new funding round soon) Tendo Technologies, founded in 2017, is a spin-off from the Marcus Hultmark research lab at Princeton developing a novel flow sensing/measurement technology. This unique technology achieves extreme sensitivity (for both gases and liquids) through the nanoscale conductive ribbons that will deflect when placed in flow. The nanoribbons are manufactured with standard semiconductor-based techniques, resulting in high scalability and low unit cost for the sensing chip. As a highly versatile technology (flow measurement is ubiquitous), Tendo envisions that their tech can be applied in many industries for various applications, when equipped with appropriate "wrappers" around it. For example, the Tendo chip plus communication package would be appropriate for IoT applications such as real time air measurement in HVAC ducts; alternatively, more sophisticated housing with control would bring benefits for flow metering and control during industry manufacturing processes.