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.
Infants can be born with diseases, such as neonatal opioid addiction, but they cannot voice their discomfort directly to their parents or medical practitioners. In 2014, 32,000 babies were born with neonatal opioid addiction. Testing for neonatal opioid withdrawal is very easy through urine or meconium (a baby's first bowel movement.) This technology aims to provide a non-invasive diagnose of this disorder through use of frequency analysis. Furthermore, they also aim to use this device to diagnose other infant developmental disorders.
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.
Low levels of Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) are associated with COPD. These researchers have found an MIF agonist that when administered to mice, decrease the disease progression of COPD. As there is currently no treatment for COPD beyond treating the symptoms, this small molecule treatment shows great promise for changing the treatment outlook for the disease.
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.
Antibiotic suppression of beneficial microbes in the gut, skin, and mucous membranes leads to numerous undesirable side effects, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). Although concurrent probiotic use has shown benefit in preventing infection recurrence and reducing side effects, results are unpredictable, in part because the probiotics are also susceptible to the antibiotic. Armored Probiotics is an inexpensive & temporary coating that helps patients maintain a healthy microbiome during antibiotic treatment. This technology opens up a new market segment for people receiving antibiotic treatment.
Magnets form the core of a wide variety of power electronic devices including motors, inductors and transformers. New magnetic materials are needed to meet the high performance requirements for grid modernization (solid state transformers, PV inductors, sensors); for EVs and aviation (inductors, sensors, motors); and for industrial motor controls (inductors, sensors).
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.
Solid tumors often contain areas of hypoxia or oxygen deficiency. Hypoxia makes tumor cells more aggressive, metastatic and resistant to therapy. Hypoxia is an independent marker of poor patient survival. There are no drugs or effective therapy against hypoxic tumor cells. Hypoxia is the achilles heel' of solid tumors that is common to all solid tumors independent of genetic background. All aggressive late stage tumors are predicted to contain variable fractions of hypoxic tumor cells. Thus, a successful hypoxia-targeting drug has the potential to be used in the treatment of most, if not all, solid tumors. The team has identified a class of antiprotozoandrugs with the ability to kill hypoxic tumor cells - nifurtimox (NFMX) and benznidazole (BZND). NFMX & BZND specifically inhibits clonogenic growth of hypoxic tumor cells with strong selective killing of severely hypoxic tumor cells by inducing lethal damage to the cells' DNA. The team seeks to confirm these findings in vivo and for combination radiotherapy.
1 in 400 Americans carry a breast cancer gene (BRCA) mutation - such a mutation increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer from 12 to ~70% by age 80, and raises the lifetime risk of ovarian cancer from 1.3% to 44% (BRCA1) or 17% (BRCA2). Additionally, men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations are also at increased risk for breast and prostrate cancers, and both men and women with either mutation are at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. BRCA proteins are essential for DNA repair, making BRCA-deficient cells (i.e. those with a BRCA mutation) susceptible to synthetic lethality and providing an opportunity to kill cancers with the mutation. PARP-inhibitors invoke synthetic lethality to kill BRCA-mutated cells via PARP-trapped lesions, however cells can become resistant to this mode of therapy, creating an unmet clinical need for these cancers. Indeed, nearly 300,000 new cases of breast or ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 2019, making the need for an improved synthetic lethality agent urgent.
Currently available immunotherapy agents fail to show responses in large patient populations. CRISPRIO has developed a proprietary genome-wide screening platform for in vivo target identification directly in T cells. CRISPRIO is able to reproduce the identification of established targets (e.g., PD-1, TIM-3), while simultaneously identifying a series of previously undocumented targets. CRISPRIO's screening techniques are directly applicable to wide range of cancer models including glioblastoma (GBM), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).
An implantable, bone-anchored sympathetic nerve stimulator that can be used for treatment of chronic pain, hypertension, asthma, hyperactive bladder, and many other conditions.
Artificial Intelligent Medical Imaging: Safer, Faster, Cheaper Medical Imaging Enabled by AI and Deep Learning. The clinical challenges in radiology frequently highlighted are the large radiation doses, long imaging times, expensive hybrid imaging equipment, and expensive room shielding. AI-MI combined with SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) aims to provide equivalent diagnostic accuracy without CT, at lower doses, at lower cost, and faster - allowing for higher throughput through radiology.
The three members of the endocrine FGF family, FGF19, FGF21 and FGF23 are important circulating hormones that regulate a variety of critical metabolic processes. Endocrine FGFs mediate their cellular processes by binding to and activating FGF-receptors (FGFR) in complex with Klotho proteins. Based on the crystal structure of ligand occupied Beta-Klotho new potent engineered endocrine molecules were developed for treatment of metabolic disease that will benefit from therapeutic stimulation of FGF21 cellular pathway such as pancreatitis, Nash and obesity. Moreover, also potent inhibitors including small molecules will be developed for treatment of bone disorders (XLH) and liver cancer, respectively.
EliV5 is leveraging their discovery of first-in-class inhibitors of Aspergillus fumigatus pantothenate kinase (PanK), which plays a key role in fungal metabolism and survival, to identify novel, selective and potent drugs to treat aspergillosis and other clinically important fungal infections.
This device allows for damage free handling of sensitive devices and surfaces, and for applications that involve quick attach and release of surfaces. The total market opportunity for this company is approximately 36 billion. Conventional techniques to grab surfaces use a vacuum/suction strategy but these suffer an intrinsic limit of adhesion strength—1 atm (approximately 100 kPa) and are bulky. The switchable adhesion device is an electro-osmotic pump that uses individually-controlled oscillating water droplets to easily, carefully and quickly pick and place tiles in parallel.
While surgical intervention via gastric bypass is effective in patients with obesity and type-II diabetes, the surgery is invasive, expensive and not reversible. Additionally, it is usually not prescribed for patients with BMI <40. Therefore, there is a need for a non-surgical alternative which is safer and less expensive but which mimics the effects of gastric bypass surgery. EndObypass achieves this with an implantable metal stent which runs through the stomach. The device mimics the anatomic and physiological changes caused by surgical procedures, resulting in dramatic weight loss and remission of diabetes. Animal studies with the implanted device have demonstrated proof of concept. The EndObypass technology provides a safe and affordable alternative to gastric bypass surgery.
Aging is characterized by an accumulation of glucosepane, a molecule which accumulates in tissues, causing skin aging and body stiffness. Revel is developing enzymes which degrade the crosslinks in glucosepane, effectively restoring the elasticity in tissues and reversing the aging process.
Many of the tools needed to control sensors and devices remotely already exist: the Internet can send commands around the globe, with computers and smartphones issuing the commands. What is missing is a wireless controller cheap enough so that it can be installed anywhere. Milli-Radar is a scalable, radio frequency (RF) antenna architecture that employs low-loss interconnects to achieve large millimeter wave (MMW) arrays for communication and radar applications. While conventional interconnects for MMW arrays suffer from high transmission loss and limited bandwidth, Milli-Radar solves those problems by using low loss interconnects to attain efficient signal distribution. The Milli-Radar team is focused on building the entire perceptual stack for autonomous driving and is in search of a CEO with a background in the automotive industry.
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.
We have developed a computational platform for de novo designing of dual inhibitors that can simultaneously engage their targets and (most importantly) augment protein-protein interactions. Employing this strategy and iterative modifications, we have designed and synthesized a mutant selective inhibitor for ALK2, depicting a proof-of-concept for this platform towards the treatment of FOP and DIPG.
Aging can lead to immunodeficiencies in patients with abnormal thymus function. As a consequence, the body is not able to produce enough new (“naïve”) T cells for the immune system to recognize pathogens and cancer cells or the body is suffering from autoimmune response. Cancer immunotherapy drugs generated $41 Billion globally in 2014, at 50% market share of the overall oncology drugs market . The invention details a new method for producing large quantities of diverse, functional, naïve autologous T cells for infusion into patients. The in vivo generated T cells arise from bone marrow stem cells taken from the patient and become genetically compatible immune cells that are tolerant of the patient and any selected transplant donor.
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.
Revolution Reservoir is a self-powered, rotating catheter system to prevent shunt failure in patients with hydrocephalus. Revolution Reservoir is developed by Dr. Eric Leuthardt, one of the most prolific inventors at Washington University in St. Louis and the world with 628 Issued US patents and thousands of pending applications. He is the co-founder of 4 startup companies and is the director of the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology (CINT), which is sponsored by Stryker Corporation.
Leptospirosis is the Ebola virus of the bacterial world, difficult to diagnose, and for which there is a 20% mortality rate. Leptospirosis is a global health threat, particularly for travelers and for soldiers. The vaccine for human leptospirosis is unsafe and of unknown efficacy, creating a vast domestic and global demand for an effective vaccine that is currently unmet. Current vaccines are bacterin type vaccines and of limited efficacy, duration, and safety, however LeptoX is offering a first-in-class vaccination (first for animals, to be developed for humans) that outcompetes its competitors in all of these categories.
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.
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.
Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) experience a low quality of life. The hallmark clinical feature is reduced blood flow to the legs and arms due to narrowing of the arteries. Currently, there is no therapy that restores blood flow, alleviates symptoms and impacts disease progression. In the US, close to 8 million patients suffer with PAD. Of these, 40-50% are diabetic. CuRAGE is developing CR-3, and anti-RAGE monoclonal antibody, for use in PAD. Activation of RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation endproducts) by specific immunomodulators, such as AGEs, triggers a deleterious inflammatory response and reduces the ability to generate new vessels. In 2 different experimental models of diabetic PAD, CR-3 has demonstrated the ability to restore blood flow to major muscle groups and to stimulate regeneration of blood vessels.
Glioblastoma is a deadly disease and usually is untreatable. The team has identified Lassa-VSV, an oncolytic virus, as safe and capable of destroying glioblastoma, melanoma, and other cancers within the brain by direct oncolytic actions. It stands to transform the glioblastoma treatment landscape and save lives.
Cysteine protease enzymes are widely used in a range of chemical manufacturing applications. A naturally found amino acid selenocysteine increases activity of cysteine protease enzymes when subsituted for cysteine. Sec-U-Lar is utilizing this property to substitute selenocysteine in cysteine protease enzymes, increasing their activity more than 100-fold.
Creating flexible batteries is essential to keep up with the development of flexible electronics. However, current technologies have failed to maintain high energy density in the flexible battery design. FlexFuture has created innovative and ﬂexible rechargeable batteries (FLEX. F series) which reduce design limitations in wearable devices and enable new breakthrough technologies of ﬂexible electronics. With unique structural designs, FLEX. F series have adaptable ﬂexibility and high energy density to enable stable deformability and longer-operation time in ﬂexible electronics, while maintaining cost-eﬀectiveness.
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.
Venohood is a custom cuff attachment to the venous end of an arteriovenous graft that reduces graft failure by lowering rate of thrombosis at the venous anastomosis. Venohood 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.
Loss of brain synapses is highly correlated with symptom progression in Alzheimer’s dementia, but there is currently no treatment to slow or halt synapse loss. Allyx’s prion protein antagonists rescue synapses and memory function by interrupting the deleterious signaling triggered by amyloid without removing plaque itself and are effective at reversing deficits after they develop.
Natural product molecules (and derivatives) are important for the development of modern drugs, as they play a vital role in the pipeline for new therapeutics. For example, >100 FDA-approved drugs are derived from tetracyclic terpenoids, which can be metabolized by the body into steroids. Despite this success, there remain considerable limitations to broad medicinal exploitation of the class due to lingering scientific challenges associated with compound availability. Carbacyclix has developed a concise asymmetric route to forging natural and unnatural (enantiomeric) C19 and C20 tetracyclic terpenoid skeletons suitable to drive medicinal exploration. While efforts have been focused on establishing the chemical science, early investigations reveal that the emerging chemical technology can deliver compositions of matter that are potent and selective agonists of the estrogen receptor beta.
Many disease-causing proteins are difficult to inhibit directly with biologics and small molecules. However, new advances allow for the control of the abundance of proteins using small molecules, providing a path to medicines that selectively control protein stability. Pomerex Therapeutics is building a platform for the systematic discovery of small molecules that control the stability of disease-modifying proteins. They have developed novel compounds that can cause the destruction of otherwise undruggable but crucial protein targets, including those driving the genesis and survival of aggressive cancers. They are seeking funds to expand their platform and develop their lead oncology programs.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly chronic lung disease with median survival of 3 years and with a worse prognosis than lung cancer. 6 million people worldwide are affected - 200,000 in North America are affected with 45,000 dying each year. The progressive decline of lung function characterizing it is interspersed with unpredictable disease flares called acute exacerbations of IPF (AE-IPF) that accelerate lung function loss and increase morbidity and mortality. The annual incidence of AE is up to 20% with a mortality ranging from 35-90%, demonstrating the severity of IPF disease progression and the importance for active disease monitoring (ER visits and hospital stays can amount to >$11,500 per case). Current therapeutics are unable to predict how an individual patient will progress and whether they will respond to available interventions. The market size for biomarker chip detection of PIF is ~$3B, underscoring the need for a more robust treatment for PIF.
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.
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.
Triple Target Gene Therapy’s (TTGT's) molecular engineering of adenoviruses allows for the unique pairing of long term gene expression and targeted gene delivery to achieve gene therapy cures. The long term gene expression is achieved via proprietary technology that incorporates CRISPR/Cas. Additionally, the specific gene delivery targeting is accomplished via capsid modification techniques.
EPO-VG are implantable grafts composed of cells which release a steady dose of erythropoietin (EPO) to patients with end stage renal disease. These grafts reduce the cardiovascular risks associated with single dose EPO injections, improving cost and patient outcomes.
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.
Neuro-ICUs are faced with frequent shortcomings in maintaining brain care. Access requires one large or multiple smaller access points and devices require multiple external interface devices & monitors that frequently face challenges in the synchronization, analysis, and interpretation of data. The NeuroProbe System is a portable multimodal implant (EEG, temperature, oxygen, pressure, blood flow) that offers equal or better sensitivity via a single point of access along with synchronized sensor data via a single output connection. NeuroProbe has completed FDA pre-submission and developed prototype NeuroProbe and NeuroMonitor devices, with a system prototype demonstration ongoing in Summer 2019.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, fibrosing interstitial pneumonia of unknown cause, occurring primarily in older adults. IPF is a fatal disease with median survival at 3-5 years. While there exist several clinical approaches to treating IPF, few therapeutics have been clinically proven to provide significant benefits to patients. Eleven P15 is uniquely positioned for early detection and early intervention of IPF. The pivotal discovery of a common polymorphism in the promoter of MUC5B (rs35705950) has been associated with IPF and pulmonary fibrosis associated with rheumatoid arthritis, and this polymorphism increases the production of mucus.
AIFEN is developing a two stent, fenestrated aorto-iliac endograft system for repairs in atherosclerotic occlusive diseases. AIFEN 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.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness, affecting more than 8 million individuals in the United States alone. Although nutritional supplements are recommended for patients with intermediate risk or advanced AMD, there is still no effective therapy for the 90% of AMD patients with the “dry” or atrophic form. The team at Opti-Peutics used a high-throughput screen to identify novel compounds that protect RPE cells from oxidative damage.
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.
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.
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.
Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacilli (MDRGNB) have emerged as a challenging cause of hospital-acquired infections and present a critical need for innovative antibacterial development. Two new oxopyrazole agents targeting penicillin binding proteins (PBPs) based on a non-beta-lactam core have superior MIC50 values to current billion-dollar last resort antibiotics like Ceftazidime/Avibactam or Meropenem. One shows broad Gr- efficacy while the second oxopyrazole is selective for Acenitobacter baumannii. On target, good in vivo PK, no mammalian toxicity, no off-target liability. Seeking funding for definitive in vivo efficacy studies.