IRIA Pharma is an Illinois- based preclinical stage startup dedicated to developing targeted therapeutics and diagnostic solutions to antibody-untargetable disease. IRIA is translating its proprietary cell labeling and targeting technology, Active Tissue Targeting via Anchored ClicK Chemistry (ATTACK), into cancer treatment as its primary focus to develop first-in-class small molecule- based cancer labeling and targeted therapeutics for ovarian cancer. Treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer remains an unmet medical need due to lack of novel targeted drugs and immunotherapies. IRIA’s proprietary ATTACK technology will provide an effective treatment option to those patients with significantly improved efficacy and minimal side effects.
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.
Rarebase Therapeutics is focused on overcoming cancer chemo-resistance. The scientific merits of Rarebase are based on a series of groundbreaking discoveries made by Andrew Xiao’s lab at Yale School Medicine. They have revealed that the increased presence of a novel, critical base in DNA (N6-methyl adenine) is the major culprit for cancers to acquire resistance. The main goal of Rarebase Therapeutics is to identify chemical inhibitors to block the synthesis of this base, thereby overcoming resistance of cancers to standard therapies.
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.
Our data shows via genetic and pharmacological studies that the Ire1alpha-XBP1 pathway is a novel genetic interactor of Pkd1 and can strongly modulate the progression of ADPKD in murine models by protecting Pkd1 kidney cyst cells from apoptosis without impacting their proliferation. Tilting the balance from low to high apoptosis levels (via inactivation of XBP1 on a Pkd1 KO background) given similar proliferation profiles may thus provide a viable therapeutic option in the context of cystic kidney disease. Given that the target pathway in this case is very well characterized and not needed for kidney development or homeostasis, our data offers a potentially exciting therapeutic option for slowing down ADPKD (and possibly ARPKD) by targeting Ire1alpha-XBP1. Furthermore, we have identified a potent agent that leads to a dramatic decrease in polycystic kidney disease progression in both early and adult mouse models. This agent represents a promising candidate for further pre-clinical/clinical development.
In orthopaedic surgery, procedures commonly include fixation of bone and soft tissues. Currently, surgical manipulation of these bones and soft tissues is accomplished by the application of manual force either directly on tissue or through devices that transmit forces to the tissue including pins, screws, bolts, straps, and clamps. These methods of performing orthopaedic surgery have several disadvantages: Manual force is limited by the strength and endurance of the surgeon and surgical assistants, manual manipulation has limited precision, reliance on manual manipulation exposes the surgeon and surgical assistants to increased radiation exposure when intra-operative fluoroscopy is used to confirm position during manipulation of bone. ARTS is developing the Robotic Surgical Assist Arm (RSAA), a motorized rigid traction system which standardizes and facilitates the correct placement of the bones. Focusing on long bone repair the initial market would be in the area of 100,000 cases annually in America.
VDIs cannot protect sensitive data unless remote users can securely operate the VDI client on their computers. If users’ computers are compromised, hackers can screen capture and view confidential data on VDI servers, and sniffer users’ keystrokes (e.g., passwords), etc. Attackers gain same VDI data access as users despite perfect network and VDI server security. Most existing products are insecure, because they assume commodity OSes (e.g., Windows 10, Mac OS) and applications have no security flaws. Other products violate users’ experiences as they cannot run user-chosen applications locally to process insensitive data. In short, no usable secure VDI client exists to-date. We built *the only usable secure VDI client*. Our on-demand isolation technique protects users’ operations even when OS and users’ locally installed tools are compromised, and maintains users’ experience. Also, our solution eliminates IT admin labor to maintain VDI client security.
Currently there are several solutions under consideration for disinfecting N95 respirators for re-use, with UV-C as the preferred solution because of ease of deployment and widespread applicability. Problematically, present UV-C disinfection solutions are limited by shadowing, which prevents exposure of the masks to the required effective dose of UV irradiation. The inventors utilized UV-C light field modeling and extensive test measurements to develop a proprietary arrangement of lamps for disinfecting. The configuration eliminates shadowing, allowing for full irradiation and disinfecting of the contaminated N95 respirator surface in the shortest amount of time.
Designer biopolymers have numerous biotech applications due to their superior specificity and efficacy. However, their large size and complexity hindered the development of effective engineering methods, leaving developers with suboptimal molecules. This is most prevalent in drug discovery and diagnostics: patients routinely develop strong adverse reactions to biologics (e.g., many SARS-CoV-2 IgG tests have weaker specificity and affinity, leading to dubious results). Optimer is changing the status quo through its hybrid computational and experimental biopolymer engineering platform capable of designing DNA, RNA, and proteins with superior properties - especially target activity and specificity - for a broad range of biotech solutions. Optimer is currently rigorously testing and aggressively pursuing patent protection for its methodology and won a pilot award from Columbia’s Translational Therapeutics (TRx) Lab-to-Market accelerator program.
Our goal is to develop a new cancer drug that is an antibody drug conjugate (ADC). It targets the pi subunit of the Gamma Aminobutyric Acid Receptor (GABRP) that is aberrantly expressed in a broad range of solid tumors. The target was discovered by the Pusztai lab and a provisional patent application has been submitted. We will use the Blavatnik Fund to perform affinity maturation, generate humanized anti-GABRP antibody conjugated to emtansine and assess the anti-tumor activity in vitro and in vivo.
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 vast majority of drugs and biologics fail to enter the brain for treatment of brain cancers and neurological diseases. Our discovery yielded key insights into how the immune system naturally overcomes the blood brain barrier to fight infections. We leverage this insight to enable safe and transient drug access to the CNS using a simple intranasal peptide delivery approach.
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.
An implantable, bone-anchored sympathetic nerve stimulator that can be used for treatment of chronic pain, hypertension, asthma, hyperactive bladder, and many other conditions.
Wolfram Syndrome is an orphan disease that has no treatment. Wolfram Syndrome is caused by mutations in wolframin, a protein that is necessary for normal function in cells, by binding to and preventing cleavage of neuronal calcium sensor 1 (NCS1). Center Pharm's drug candidate targets the cleavage site of NCS1. The drug will stabilize NCS1 levels and maintain normal cell functions to delay disease progression.
Therapeutics for Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders. EnergXTherapeutics is developing a platform of drug products that provides comprehensive treatment solutions that targets the biochemical defects induced by deficiency of enzymes/proteins that participates in the mitochondrial long chain fatty acid oxidation (FAO) pathway reactions. Broad IP claims are issued, with more pending, that puts this team in a strong position to utilize its products platform for treating several FAO diseases.
Based on engineering research conducted at UC Berkeley, H2Only’s patent-pending technology aims to revolutionize the way we produce water for agriculture. In terms of price point and scale, our technology was designed specifically for our customers: California almond farmers.
Numerous clinical trials in amyloidosis have failed as a result of misdirected focus on amyloid states of disease-causing proteins. Pangolin Therapeutics’ (PTx) small-molecule platform, termed Pangomers™, was developed to address this deficiency. The Pangomer™ core structure enables selective targeting of pre-amyloid, toxic oligomers (PAOs). Here, we seek to address Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), an aggressive, orphan-indicated form of Parkinson's for which there are no approved therapeutics. Our pilot efforts have identified and validated a strategy for development of Pangomer™ analogues that neutralize PAOs from MSA. Additional funding will allow execution of this strategy delivering a lead molecule for pre-clinical advancement.
Gateway Bio is developing an innovative “PEG-like” drug conjugation technology that eliminates the antigenicity issues surrounding PEGylation today. Gateway Bio was specifically formed to translate several scientific breakthroughs from the lab of Professor Chilkoti at Duke University into commercially viable products and processes by combining the expertise of the academic scientists closest to these technologies with the business acumen of experienced start-up professionals. The initial core technology of Gateway Bio is based on several key patents on POEGMA conjugates that have been successfully licensed from Duke by Gateway Bio. Our novel method of creating PEG-like conjugates could be applied to generics, existing drugs, newly developed drugs or any of the PEGylated pharmaceuticals currently on the market. There are currently 15 FDA-approved peglyated drugs, with dozens more in clinical trials. Sales of the two most successful pegylated products, Pegasys and Neulasta, exceeded $5 billion in 2011.
FatesEDS is developing a compact, sensitive X-ray differential phase contrast (DPC) imaging system that improves field of view, increases fringe visibility and shortens imaging times. This system surpasses the performance of 3-grating DPC systems used today with a single grating that is combined with a specialized X-ray source and detector. By eliminating the two expensive grating components, the overall size and potential cost of the system is reduced along with enabling a single-step image acquisition with a field-of-view of ~35 degrees and fringe contrast ~25%. FatesEDS is focused on developing a next-generation baggage inspection system to identify hazardous materials, with a potential medical imaging application. FatesEDS is seeking an experienced entrepreneur to help lead the commercialization of this system.
Articulated Wearables to enhance human productivity. 3rd Arm is prototyping a wearable, articulated robotic device that can be attached to a person at the hip or other location to augment human task productivity. This mechanical "third arm" has many uses such as assisting abled users (e.g. holding additional tools to enhance work), helping disabled users (e.g. providing support and lifting objects), and as a haptic interface for interaction with robotics systems and AR/VR experiences. 3rd Arm is incorporating the latest robotic technology with a newly designed 4-state brake mechanism in joints for advanced operations.
GlimmerX has developed a fast, robust point-of-care diagnostic development platform based on glycoconjugate immunochemistry for common infectious diseases, such as leptospirosis, sepsis, UTI and meningitis that is better than current technologies. To establish proof of principle for our platform, we focus on glycans in leptospirosis, which has a large unmet US and global diagnostics need for veterinary and human disease. In a pilot project, Blavatnik funds would be used for PCT fees, and CRO costs for GLP antigen production, monoclonal antibody production and animal experiments to validate our approach, and they would leverage CT Innovations matching funds and SBIR funding.
geCKo Materials provides volume manufacturing for a bio-inspired, energy saving, reusable, multi-purpose, industrial and consumer adhesive. The mechanical adhesive is composed of directional, microscopic inclined features with a tapered geometry. geCKo’s unique IP is in the manufacturing method, introduced by Dr. Capella Kerst in her PhD at Stanford and protected by pending patents. Tested in the lab and in use with customers, a 1 square inch adhesive is capable of supporting 15 lbs of weight in shear with no attachment nor detachment force needed. The geCKo Opposing Force scales with area and can be purchased at any area. Integrating onto your robot grippers is simple, just a peel and stick. We can offer integration assistance and expertise for simple, quick and easy integration.
Sharper Sense is a neuromodulation company spun out of Professor Wang’s Neural Engineering Lab at Columbia University. Sharper Sense is commercializing noninvasive neuromodulation technology that enhances the brain's ability to clearly process sensory information received through the eyes, ears, and skin. This technology has great potential to help individuals suffering from declining sensory processing ability or sensory processing disorders.
Palm Therapeutics is a San Diego based biotechnology startup, and member of JLABS@San Diego, in the early stages of development of an innovative class of drugs known as depalmitoylating molecules (DPALMs). The DPALM strategy was developed in the Devaraj Lab at The University of California San Diego by Dr. Andrew Rudd and Prof. Neal Devaraj. Our technology targets post-translational protein palmitoylation and represents a fundamentally new approach to inhibiting protein function. In preliminary studies, NRas-targeted DPALMs have shown in vitro and in vivo efficacy in NRas-driven melanoma models, and in September 2020, we were awarded a Phase I SBIR from NIH/NCI to pursue this indication.
Moving Therapeutic Proteins Into the Cytosol and Nucleus. Exolva is using CPMPs (cell-permeant miniature proteins) to deliver therapeutic enzymes and gene-editing tools to correct inborn genetic disease. CPMPs are small, folded proteins that contain a specific array of five Arg residues on an ⍺-helix backbone. CPMPs can reach cytosol and nucleus with efficiencies as high as 75%. CPMPs possess many advantages relative to previous, purported ‘cell-penetrating peptides’, including low toxicity, high and tunable stability, enzyme cargo retains enzymatic activity, among other features.
The scientific community is continuously trying to improve their understanding of genetic mechanisms in biological systems and finding biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. With growing accessibility, still, only the minority of investigators in the life and medical sciences has the means to analyze and leverage this enormous treasure of data. Bioada is an integrated, easy to use and interactive genomics data analysis platform for the broader community of life scientists.
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.
Platform technology for sample optimization and pain control in minimally invasive devices for regenerative medicine, blood cancer, bone and soft tissue biopsy. Clinically relevant stem cell doses without culture or genetic manipulation, harvested and isolated at the bedside. Working in stealth mode for 2018.
In cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries, surgical mesh is often implanted in order to support the tissue. However, skin-based mesh comes with complications that could result in more than one surgery. DuraSorb is a mesh which pairs the integration potential of skin-based mesh with a decreased risk of complications.
We treat faces as if they were feet, and that’s absurd. Unlike feet, faces are 3D, yet we still measure them using 2D objects such as paper cutouts in the massive $6b market to fit people with masks. This doesn’t cut it, and the data backs it up: 50% of Americans don’t wear the CPAP masks they’ve been prescribed because of these fit, comfort, and convenience issues. The only reason we’ve tolerated this is that until recently there has been no better way to get good 3d measurements of your face without lots of specialized tools. We solve this problem by making it as easy as taking a selfie to get precise 3D measurements of your face.
Cayuga Biotech is a preclinical therapeutics company developing therapies for bleeding disorders. Our lead candidate is a platelet-like drug that accelerates clotting in the presence of injury. Cayuga has already held its pre-IND meeting with the FDA and received guidance on the GLP trials required for IND approval. The Cayuga team is made up of PhD scientists who developed CAY001 during their PhD research. We have two KOLs who are experts in the field of hemostasis and have overseen clinical trials on anticoagulant reversal drugs. Our regulatory strategy is developed by an advisor who spent 23 years at the FDA in CDER. Our manufacturing advisor has overseen 9 drugs reach clinical trials and 4 drugs receive approval. Our business advisors have overseen 4 successful business exits worth over $1 B. Cayuga has raised over $2 MM from DARPA and the Army. We are raising a round to complete the remaining IND-enabling studies, add experienced drug developers to the team, and prepare for the first in man trial.
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.
We have applied a unique, robust, and comprehensive image-based assay developed in our laboratory to discover small molecule inhibitors of nucleolar function. Results from pilot screens on FDA-approved drugs reveal 83 unique hits that include known and putative antineoplastic agents.
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.
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.
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?
CyloFlux is is unlocking the ability to passively store the "cold” during the winter to cool homes and buildings in the summer. Powering our homes, offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants, and stores consumes a lot of energy. Residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40% of the nation’s total energy demand – greater than that for either industry (32%) or transportation (29%) – and about 75% of all electricity use (and even more of peak power demand). The resulting annual national energy bill for buildings totals over $410 billion. CyloFlux is developing a thermal diode that will unlock improved thermal energy storage technologies for applications in building energy efficiency. CyloFlux's heat pipe-based thermal diode is a dynamically tunable thermal energy transport material that allows rapid, directional transport of thermal energy - offering a potential 60% or grater savings in installation over ground source heat pumps (GSHPs).
Pathogenic fungi are a major public health threat, causing failure of implanted organs and devices, neonatal mortality and much more. Unfortunately, it is difficult to develop specific drugs against these infections because fungal cells are a lot like those in people: we are both eukaryotes that share a similar set of enzymes and pathways. To address this problem, the Pyle lab has specifically targeted the unique RNA metabolism of fungal cells, giving rise to a new generation of nontoxic drugs that are ready for development and implementation. This has received a Blavatnik Award in May 2019.
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.
MODA Pharmaceuticals has developed a highly innovative small molecule-based platform for targeting and removing proteins associated with disease. Unlike other targeted protein technologies, which focus on elimination of intracellular proteins via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, our technology is the first of its kind capable of eliminating extracellular proteins. MODA small molecules are highly versatile and have the ability to address a broad spectrum of diseases and enhance our understanding of the mechanisms behind human health and disease.
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.
Ever since the advent of robot‐assisted surgery in 1985, the value of using robotic systems to assist in surgical procedures in the modern operating theatre has been demonstrated repeatedly. However, most intraocular surgical procedures continue to be performed manually by surgeons. One of the most common procedures is cataract surgery, which is performed approximately 2.5 million times a year in the United States alone. The team has developed a novel robotic system — the IRISS— aimed at remotely operated and fully automated intraocular mechanical manipulations and therapeutic surgery.
Heart failure is a progressive, debilitating, and terminal disease. While many new therapies have come to market, late stage heart failure patients (Class 3 and early stage Class 4) have no therapeutic option and typically undergo extensive surgical intervention. CoRISMA addresses this unmet clinical need with a fully implantable, wireless powered pumping system that is implanted non-surgically via catheter. Extensive testing has been done on CoRISMA demonstrating that it can be a powerful new disruptive device for heart failure patients.
MAEGI is a new class of immunotherapy which activates a customizable group of genes for personalized cancer treatment. It can be used as an off the shelf cancer treatment or a highly customized treatment specific to certain cancer types or patients.
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.
Pharma companies have increasingly relied on innovative biotech startups to bolster their pipeline. The global small-molecule drug discovery market reached $25B in 2019 and is expected to grow to $50B by 2027. Think's business model is to partner with pharma companies to build precisely targeted, readily synthesizable molecules. For a drug target of interest, standard partnership models consist of an upfront fee with long-term development milestones and royalties. Just for the SHP2 (similar class to PTP1B) market, there have been several partnerships with deal values exceeding $500M. Synthetic biology is a growing field that designs microbes to confer capabilities outside their native function. Proof-of-concept has been demonstrated in elusive target, PTP1B, which is implicated in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer. Further development will focus on optimizing the two novel drug scaffolds and expanding the platform to other key protein classes.
LEAH Labs is the first in the world using gene-editing to make a cure for cancer in dogs. We're building the first cure for canine cancer. It's called CAR-T cell therapy, and we know it works. CAR-T cells are FDA-approved and already saving human patients from their deathbeds in clinics today. This advance can only be made affordable for dogs because of our company's expertise in gene-editing technology.
Nanopath has developed a platform for rapid, point-of-care biomarker purification and characterization from a patient sample. Our technology was originally developed at Dartmouth College as part of our PhD research, and is using advances in bioengineering and nanotechnology to reduce noise and improve signal in diagnostic systems. This allows for an integrated system that takes a complex patient sample, isolates key biomarkers, and analyses them without the need for lengthy clinical workflows. We believe that this new diagnostic paradigm has applications to a range of disease indications including bloodstream infections, cancer liquid biopsy, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and wound infections.
Existing brain perfusion systems are focused on preserving immediately harvested organs until transplantation. These systems are not applicable to research and development applications where the organs may not be immediately obtained postmortem. OrganEx has developed an effective method to salvage organs ex-vivo to advance clinical research and transplantation studies.