Neurodegenerative diseases are a large group of progressive and eventually fatal diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). These diseases – including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), and Huntington’s disease – are taking an increasingly heavy toll on individuals and the society as the human population ages, yet they remain incurable. Evergreen seeks to develop novel therapies for several neurodegenerative diseases based on AAV-mediated gene transduction.
Our ultimate goal is to develop novel small molecule, broad-spectrum therapeutics against viral infections caused by filoviruses, arenaviruses, rhabdoviruses, and others that depend on the PPxY L-domain motif for virus egress and spread of infection. Some of these viruses, including Ebola (EBOV), Marburg (MARV), and Lassa fever (LAFV) viruses, are highly pathogenic and classified as Category A, bioterror pathogens. Importantly, we have identified an analog capable of blocking in vivo activity in a Marburg virus challenged mouse model, providing essential proof of concept for this novel class of anti-viral therapeutics. We predict that the novel class of anti-viral products targeting EBOV, MARV, and LAFV will be used for treatment of infected individuals as well as in prophylactic treatment of soldiers, healthcare workers, or others at high risk. Emergency administration of such an antiviral therapeutic during an outbreak could potentially inhibit virus dissemination in infected individuals.
There are 230 million surgeries performed per year worldwide. Surgical experience is the primary factor dictating outcome of each operation. However, surgical experience is not quantifiable, not accessible as a data source, and not easily distributable between users. This leads to variability in outcomes, complications, inefficiency, and high costs in surgical care delivery. What if an artificial intelligence (AI) platform could be designed that would quantify and learn from surgical experience, then customize and distribute tailored information back to all surgeons in real-time?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.