Transplanted tissues release donor organ-specific exosomes into the bloodstream which can be detected. The tracking of these exosomes allows the monitoring physician to detect early signs of transplant rejection, allowing early treatment and rejection prevention.
Little is known about how engineered CAR-T cells move through the body and proliferate after they are first removed, altered, expanded in number and, finally, returned to a patient's body. Vellum Biosciences has developed a way to genetically tag CAR T cells that enables them to be imaged via positron emission tomography (PET) scan in combination with a radiotracer specific to that tag.
Osteoporosis affects 50 million Americans and over 200M people worldwide. 50% of hip fracture sufferers lose ability to walk and 20% of suffers dye from it. Over 2M fractures and 300,000 hip fractures occur annually in the U.S. resulting in $20 billion and $12B in annual healthcare expenses, respectively. Currently, greater than 50% of the individuals with osteoporosis are not detected by bone density testing, the standard-of-care diagnostic test. This technology is a high-resolution MRI & CT analysis tool evaluating 3D bone structure and allowing for accurate assessment of (i) bone strength and health, (ii) osteoporosis development risk, and (iii) hip fracture risk. This imaging-based early diagnostic and prognostic for osteoporosis and hip fracture risk has data from over 1000 patients.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by uncontrolled tremors and issues with movement and balance. It affects 1-2% of people over 65, costing the US over $35 billion a year. Current treatments for PD, such as L-DOPA and deep brain stimulation (DBS), only treat the motor symptoms but are not able to fix the underlying cause of the deficits: loss of the nigrostriatal pathway. To address this gap in clinical care, the first “tissue engineered nigrostriatal pathway” was developed outside the body and precisely microinjected as a unit to “wire in” and physically replace the missing pathway, “reversing the clock” on the neurodegenerative progression of PD. Preliminary results in animal models show success recreating the pathway which delivers the dopamine signals that are lost in PD patients. Full pitch deck available upon request.
Myasthenia Gravis (MG) causes weakness and rapid fatigue of muscles under voluntary control and is caused by an antibody-mediated autoimmune response. Current treatment options include acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (with modest efficacy at improving neurotransmission). The prevalence in the U.S. is estimated at 20 cases per 100,000 people. The vaccine utilizes cytoplasmic domains of human AChR subunits and incomplete Freund’s adjuvant.
A majority of individuals with lupus display elevated expression of type-1 interferon (IFN) inducible genes in circulating immune cells and peripheral tissues, which correlates with disease severity. BRISC deficiency in mice reduces activation of immune cells and ameliorates lupus. The team has reported the structural basis of BRISC activation and developed the first high throughput screen for small molecule BRISC inhibitors. They have obtained several potent and specific lead BRISC inhibitors and are optimizing them using medicinal chemistry and rational drug design approaches. This novel class of therapeutics present potential utility in treatment of lupus as well as other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions driven by elevated cytokine responses.
On-Demand Sustainable Hydrogen Energy. Hydrogen fuel cell technology can provide clean electricity - silently - with only water and heat as byproducts. However, 3 big hydrogen challenges remain: production, storage, and infrastructure. Hydropore is working to transform the current hydrogen production/storage paradigm through on-site hydrogen generation using only aluminum and water. Hydropore uses is proprietary research and technology to create nanoporous aluminum as a safe and efficient means of generating hydrogen for clean energy production.
SNTF Diagnostics is a diagnostic for predicting brain damage and long-term dysfunction after a concussion. Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a common neurological injury, affecting over 1.5 million people in the US annually, as well as thousands of military personnel. Currently, there are no proven therapies for mitigating brain damage and improving the long-term outcome of mTBI. Dr. Siman discovered that the blood level of SNTF peptide identifies mTBI patients that are likely to have white matter structural damage and persistent brain dysfunction.
Inflammatory diseases are often treated with immunomodulatory drugs which can result in severe side effects due to their systemic administration. This technology is a vitamin D analog which can be administered topically, therefore reducing systemic side effects. The drug works by triggering release of a regulatory cytokine from the skin and decreasing T cell activation which is involved in many inflammatory disorders.
Musculoskeletal injuries, such as cartilage damage and ligament or meniscal tears, lead to debilitating joint pain and the need for surgical intervention to provide relief and restore function. Mechano Therapeutics is developing a tunable drug delivery platform that responds to mechanical forces within the human body to deliver therapeutics. Their mechanically-activated microcapsules (MAMCs) can be programmed to release biofactors ‘on-demand’ in order to optimize and accelerate the repair and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues.