Imposter theft is a $1 trillion global problem. Cybersecurity is especially important for banks and employers. Passwords and usernames are easily stolen, leaving biometrics as a secure alternative. However, biometric data is costly, risks privacy and can often be overridden by a password. UniKey Technology integrates biometrics and cryptosecurity to create secure, affordable biometric authentication which can be used across platforms.
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.
Each year millions of people suffer from symptoms of sore throat, laryngitis and cough due to colds and inflammation of the upper aerodigestive tract. Current methods of treatment are suboptimal and rely primarily on throat gargles, sprays, and lozenges, which treat only the mouth and part of the upper throat. They completely miss 50% of the inflamed area. This product is an OTC inhaled liquid mist that is inexpensive, portable, disposable, natural, tastes good, and is more effective because it treats the entire upper aerodigestive tract. The target market would be everyday people with cough, voice and sore throat complaints, as well as singers and voice professionals.
This technology is an antibody-based gene editing method which only requires co-administration of the 3E10 antibody with a donor DNA carrying the edited sequence. 3E10 is a cell-penetrating antibody that binds DNA and transports the donor DNA into cells, where it binds to RAD51 to alter the function of the RAD51 DNA repair pathway to promote gene editing. The antibody/donor DNA combination can be given by IV injection and could be applied to genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease.
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.
Parallel Works is a web-based platform that simplifies and automates the complex workflow of parallel computing. They speed up simulation and analytics campaigns across industries by making parallel computers from hybrid clouds and clusters easier to use. Their platform is built on the Parsl and Swift parallel scripting technologies developed over the last decade by Argonne National Laboratory, and is designed to run simulation and analytics on the world's largest computing resources.
Patients who undergo life-saving cardiac procedures (such as aortic valve replacement) are often exposed to a related harm: stroke, infarction, and brain injury. These strokes are due to the release of emboli, or particulate material such as a plaque, that travel in the blood from the heart to the brain during surgery. In response to a growing body of evidence of this problem, Lifeguard is a neuro-protective device that provides coverage to all three aortic arch takeoffs. Lifeguard is led by Yale Professor of Medicine Dr. Alexandra Lansky and Yale Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Dr. Tarek Fahmy.
PETcoil enables healthcare providers to offer PET/MRI scans with better imaging quality for a fraction of the cost compared to existing solutions. Commercial integrated PET/MRI scanners cost ~$6M + ~$2M for required room renovations, an unaffordable cost for many institutions. PETcoil's patented portable PET insert can be placed into any existing MRI scanner, enabling it to perform simultaneous PET/MRI at 1/8th of the cost compared to integrated systems. A proof-of-concept radiofrequency (RF)-penetrable PET insert has been developed and successfully tested, supported by grants from the NIH, Stanford Bio-X & Biodesign programs, and the Coulter Foundation.
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.
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.
A Natural Nanoparticle Platform for Drug Delivery to the Brain. Drug delivery to the brain is major challenge because of the existence of the blood brain barrier (BBB). Here we present a novel natural nanoparticle platform that can overcome the BBB and enable efficient drug delivery to the brain. We demonstrate a lead product that is readily translated into clinical applications for effective stroke treatment.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious disease cause of death worldwide, including in persons with HIV infection. Drug-resistant TB, an increasingly global epidemic, requires prolonged treatment with toxic, expensive drugs. BCG, the only vaccine currently in use for the prevention of TB, is very effective for the first few years of life but loses efficacy after 10-15 years. The only new vaccine to have shown efficacy in humans in a fully-powered Phase 3 trial is the booster vaccine being developed by investigators at Dartmouth College. DAR-901 is the most advanced and promising candidate in the global portfolio. Pre-clinical studies include a tuberculosis challenge study indicating DAR-901 is superior to the BCG booster vaccine.
Actualize Therapy is leveraging mobile technology to improve life for those with depression and anxiety. This tech-enabled service for depression and anxiety is generating improved patient engagement and care management. Actualize's research-backed mobile tools borrow from an eclectic array of in-person therapy techniques such as CBT and positive psychology. These tools are quick, lightweight, and designed with a patient's individual needs in mind. Actualize's NIH-funded field trial resulted in a 50% reduction for symptoms of anxiety and depression - results equivalent to in-person therapy. Actualize Therapy is actively searching for a CEO to lead business development and fundraising.
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.
Fungal infections can be painful and deadly, and immunocompromised patients (e.g., HIV/AIDS, cancer) have high infection risk. There are no safe and specific treatments to prevent infections in these high-risk patients and infection is largely due to 'good' microbes turning 'bad'. AVnovum is developing novel peptides for preventing fungal infections in these immunocompromised patients. AVnovum is actively seeking development partners and seed funding to pursue pre-clinical testing and IND-enabling studies.
Viruses engage receptors on a host cell to initiate infection. Soluble versions of the receptors act as decoys that bind and block receptor-binding sites on the virus. However, human receptors often bind viruses weakly and in most cases also interact with endogenous factors in the human body as part of their normal physiology. These competitive off-target interactions adversely impact safety and efficacy. There is therefore an affinity and specificity problem that must be solved before soluble receptors can achieve their therapeutic potential. Orthogonal Biologics uses deep mutagenesis to resolve these challenges, engineering receptors that are orthogonal to normal human biology and with affinities that rival monoclonal antibodies. At this time, the company has lead biologic drug candidates for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19) and human cytomegalovirus (the leading non-genetic cause of birth defects), as well as ongoing interests in zoonotic pathogens with pandemic potential and herpesviruses.
My Gene Counsel has created scalable, digital technology that pairs specific genetic test results with accurate, continuously updating information for clinicians and consumers. By helping patients and doctors become aware of the implications of genetic testing results, My Gene Counsel can help improve patients' lives and avoid unnecessary risky medical procedures.
Cancer drug efficacy is limited by dosage restructions based on side effects of cancer drugs on healthy cells. Targeting drugs to tumors specifically can substantially improve the efficacy of existing drugs, and reduce the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment. Cytosolix is using the high acidity characteristic of tumors to preferentially target drugs to these cells. The platform is applicable to 95% of cancers and 90% of those therapies, giving Cytosolix the opportunity to revolutionize drug design in oncology.
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.
Exotanium is a startup created by two professors and one graduated Ph.D. student from the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University. Exotanium is developing a new cloud-native application container platform that improves performance, security, and cost for both public and private clouds. The technology is based on cutting-edge research and is patent-protected. Exotanium recently won a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is actively raising more investments. The company is located in Ithaca, NY.
Rethinking Adoptive Cell Therapy with Novel Bioprocessing Solutions. InteGRAID’s platform is designed to overcome key cell therapy limitations. This is the first device to recapitulate key T cell signals in an ex vivo lymph node structure for T cell activation. InteGRAID provides paracrine delivery of IL-2, avoiding the issue of T cell exhaustion. And InteGRAID's single-use devices reduce Capex/Opex over the entire product life cycle, reducing risk for cross-contamination and labor costs.
A Novel Platform to Develop piRNA-Based Therapeutics for Cancer Treatment. PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) is a novel pathway for nucleic acid based targeted therapy. piRNAs consist of small non-coding RNAs that interact with PIWI proteins. The PIWI/piRNA pathway protects the genome from destabilizing transposon activity by using piRNA to guide PIWI proteins to transposable genome sites, leading to gene specific methylation in somatic cells. piRNAs offer potential advantages because the longer piRNA seed sequences results in higher target specificity, higher tissue specificity, higher efficacy, and lower toxicity over siRNA and miRNA techniques. Short-term focus is currently on treating liver cancer because of the relative ease of drug delivery and lack of effective treatments.
AnelleO is a medical device company that is developing a 3D printed intravaginal ring that can be used as a platform for treating a wide range of women's health conditions. Their first product, AnelleO PRO involves the only single administration of progesterone for infertility. Their technology enables controlled drug-release kinetics with up to 100% drug release, as well as rapid manufacturing and custom sizing. The manufacturing method allows for formulation of biologics and drug combinations not possible with traditional technologies. AnelleO was founded by Rahima Benhabbour, professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy/UNC_NCSU Joint Biomedical Engineering Department, and Post Doctoral Fellow Rima Janusziewicz.
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.
Veramorph is developing a polymer-based pre-formed oral dosage technology as a more effective drug delivery vehicle for poorly soluble small molecule drugs. Our technology is capable of improving oral drug delivery performance of a much broader range of small molecule drugs the existing formulation methods. Our product, disintegrating polymer oral dosages (DPODs), can enable more effective drugs to be brought to clinical trials that will improve success rates and reduce the overall cost of successfully commercializing a drug product. Veramorph is developing an internal pipeline of reformulated products and is also seeking product development partnerships through licensing agreements with pharmaceutical companies.
Many diseases are managed or treated by invasive IVs or frequent injections. We are all familiar with the difficult routines of chemotherapy to treat cancer and insulin injections to manage diabetes. This is particularly true for diseases that impact the eye. All of us will experience some form of age-related vision loss, with some of the leading causes with no cure shown here, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Loss of vision greatly reduces quality of life, and impacts daily activities we take for granted including reading and driving. Most of these diseases require chronic local treatment to prevent permanent blindness, and the only option may include frequent intraocular injections.
Bone-Rad Therapeutics, Inc. is a Delaware corporation whose objective is to develop and market Spine-Rad (TM) Brachytherapy Bone Cement as an innovative, improved, and cost-effective treatment paradigm for the management of cancer tumors in the spine which affect over 230,000 patients per year in the U.S. and a similar number in the E.U. Four patents covering this technology have been issued and exclusively licensed to Bone-Rad Therapeutics. An additional patent is pending. Developed at The University of California Irvine, Spine-Rad Cement delivers internally-targeted radiation therapy directly to the tumor as it simultaneously treats existing or impending vertebral fractures, restoring strength to the bone. Administered in a single procedure, Spine-Rad Cement will eliminate the 10-20 hospital visits typically needed for external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) as well as the significant side effects of EBRT.
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.
Phasis Biotech is a privately held biotechnology company, founded to develop the work of Cliff Brangwynne, a key architect of a new paradigm of intracellular organization through liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which has deep implications for aggregation diseases. Phasis employs a novel set of technologies that use light to control phase separation and protein aggregation. These technologies are adaptable and can be applied to a wide range of systems. The initial focus is on developing these technologies into a platform for screening small molecules for their ability to disrupt aggregated protein phases associated with neurodegenerative diseases. The LLPS process plays a central role in devastating and currently untreatable diseases including Alzheimer’s and ALS.
Patient motion is the biggest obstacle for collecting high quality brain MRIs faster. Sedation is often used in clinical settings to reduce head motion but is not appropriate for children, compromised adults, or research participants. Nous Imaging's first commercial product FIRMM is a medical imaging software suite that provides real-time motion monitoring during MRI scans. Visual feedback is provided to both the scan operator and patient. In addition, FIRMM is able to identify the ideal scan time for each person based on actual motion, which can further reduce total brain MRI scan time and associated costs.
Modulation of MAP Kinase Phosphatases in Targeting Liver Disease. A novel platform for allosteric targeting of MAP kinase phosphatases to achieve nodal regulation of signaling pathways that can be leveraged for therapeutic purposes.
Aruga is a seed stage medical device startup seeking to re-define the vascular graft market. Various forms of artery disease affect over 11 million Americans today, at a total cost to the healthcare system of over $8.2 billion. Aruga’s solution is inspired by biomimicry to solve the biggest challenge in vascular grafts- thrombosis- the same way nature does. Through the generation of dynamic topography Aruga has developed unique vascular reconstruction devices to address significant and unmet clinical needs.
PARP inhibitors are promising targeted therapy for cancers with defective homologous recombination (HR) repair. However, as PARP inhibitor become widely used, there will be an increase in patients with PARP inhibitor resistance. To overcome this problem, we have developed DB4, a small molecule drug that inhibits HR repair. Combining DB4 and the PARP inhibitor olaparib inhibits the progression of resistant ovarian cancer and increases the survival time of tumor-bearing mice. Thus, we request the Blavatnik fund to continue developing DB4 for improving its potency and PK properties in vivo and conducting efficacy studies with patient-derived cancer xenograft models in mice.
Stenting is frequently used in Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) to treat the symptoms of Atherosclerosis. However, this treatment has risks, including restenosis 60% of the time and late thrombosis that result in high re-intervention rates, non-healing ulcers, and higher risk for amputation. NuStent is developing an imageable, magnetic biodegradable intravascular scaffold as a new alternative to classical stents for PAD. In vivo porcine studies demonstrated safety and feasibility for deployment.
Prof. Bob Datta and his team at Harvard Medical School have discovered a new class of odorant receptors - MS4As - that is structurally distinct from previously known receptors. In fact, data suggests that stimulating MS4A-bearing cells can significantly increase food intake in mice by hijacking innate preference mechanisms. The screening platform developed by Bob Datta has the potential to unlock numerous naturally-occurring ligands to create unique additives for food and/or fragrances. The science of the MS4As represents the first truly new opportunity to develop a new class of compounds with the potential to influence human and animal olfactory perception. Sandeep Robert (Bob) Datta is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard and he is an entrepreneurial faculty member who is currently working on a number of start-ups.
Cellulograft is developing an implantable device for cell replacement therapy that protects cells from immune attack. Cellulograft is founded by Prof. Mohamed Zayed, the co-founder and CMO of Caeli Vascular. Dr. Zayed is a rising star in fostering innovation at Washington University in St. Louis, with 8 new medtech inventions over the past 3 years. His disclosures have lead to four patent filings and one license to his startup, Caeli.
Understanding the immune response to disease, injury and therapy can have a substantial impact on healthcare. Cellintec will provide a novel, scalable, economic approach using the DNA methylation status of immune cells to derive quantitative, easily standardized immune cell profiles that can be tracked through time and compared between patients and across clinical sites. This capability will enable healthcare providers to choose a cancer treatment based on the level of a patient’s immune suppression, cohort patients for clinical trials based on their immune status, assess an individual’s responsiveness to treatments (especially immune therapies), capture and characterize an autoimmune or allergic response, and monitor a person’s general immune health.
Currently available drug-eluting stents release drugs such as sirolimus or everolimus, which stop smooth muscle growth to prevent in-stent restenosis. However, they also block endothelial cell growth and create risk of thrombosis and mandate long-term antiplatelet medication. Nevertheless, yearly, 10% of these stents fail due to late thrombosis or stenosis. We discovered a drug combination (Fas ligand and nitric oxide) which inhibits smooth muscle growth more potently than sirolimus or everolimus but does not affect endothelial growth. This project will lead to the development of a next generation DES with a unique biologically selective effect on smooth muscle and endothelium.
A Novel Chemical Approach to Target p53 Mutation in Human Cancer. There is currently no treatment that specifically targets p53 mutation, the most common genetic abnormality associated with cancer. Loss of p53 tumor suppressor function provides cells with a proliferative advantage but renders them susceptible to metabolic stress. We have developed potent and selective inhibitors for PIP4K2A and PIP4K2B that regulate cell metabolism and are essential for the growth of p53-deficient tumor.
Early indication of fluid accumulation to trigger adjustments to medical therapy preventing costly readmissions and avoiding life threatening complications.
A4 is a novel peptide-based antibiotic that effectively kills multi-drug resistant bacteria, with low propensity to elicit drug resistance. Unlike existing antibiotics or other antimicrobial peptides, the A4-AMP is derived from an antimicrobial protein found in human airways.
Hernia repair often utilizes hernia meshes, either synthetic or biological, both of which have major disadvantages. Prometheon is developing an alterative biological hernia mesh composed of genetically engineered extracellular matrix-based biomaterials. These biomaterials have increased integration and wound repair as compared with traditional biomaterials, and stand to improve the recovery of hernia repair patients and reduce the need to follow up surgeries due to complications.
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a pre-cancerous condition of dry, scaly, or crusty patches of skin cause by chronic exposure to the sun and UV rays. About 10% of AK cases lead to Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (CSCC), the second most common form of skin cancer in the US, within 2 years. At the moment, more than 58 million Americans have one or more AKs. Since it is difficult to distinguish between AKs that will and will not progress to CSCC, AKs are routinely treated aggressively to minimize the number of cases that progress to CSCC.
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.
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.
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.
Peritoneal carcinomatosis is a late stage manifestation of colon and ovarian cancer with a poor prognosis. Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy is effective, but current methods lead to toxicity, which is not easily tolerated by patients. We propose a new approach, in which the chemotherapy drug is encapsulated in bioadhesive nanoparticles (BNPs) that can be delivered locally by established IP infusion methods. These BNPs are retained for many days in the IP space, and slowly release chemotherapy drugs, maximizing effectiveness, while minimizing toxicity.
Pattern Therapeutics is a developing a novel TLR (toll-like receptor) antagonist to treat NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) and potentially other indications. NASH is the most common liver disease in the United States, with an estimated prevalence of 4-6% and predicted prevalence growth of 15-50% in the next 15 years. A critical finding is that TLRs mediate the Sterile Inflammation (SI) response and exacerbates metabolic stress. The candidate antagonist - PT-7314 - is a novel compound with excellent Phase 1 safety data, and strong in vitro and in vivo efficacy in mouse models of NASH. Pattern Therapeutics is ready for Phase 2 trails and is looking for an entrepreneur to raise funds to file an IND, manufacture the drug for the clinic, and to lead the trial.
"Cold" tumor cancers, such as breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers, are difficult to treat with immunotherapy due to a lack of infiltration into the tumor by T cells. EvolveImmune has developed a treatment which can be used alone or in combination with other cancer drugs to increase the immune response and T cell infiltration in the tumor tissue.
There is a growing aging population and there is no cure or treatment for Alzheimer's. The only current drugs are palliative. The Synapse Enhancer enhances the integrity of the synapse which improves cognitive function and can delay/halt neurodegeneration. It could be utilized for a many diseases such as, Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's, Huntington's, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Epilepsy, Depression, Neuropathic Pain Disorders, and Addiction.