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.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is often treated with the placement of unidirectional sheaths into the arteries of patients. These surgeries often require multiple insertion sites, increasing the risk associated with the surgery. This technology is a bidirectional sheath which reduces the number of insertion sites by half, reducing the complications and cost of PAD treatment.
Cache is a MIT startup from Prof. Mark Bathe’s lab is seeking an entrepreneur to help lead the next phase of customer discovery/hypothesis validation. Their technology enables massive and low-energy storage, up to millennium timescales, and random access of nucleic acid samples from broad sources including ecological, forensic, or archival DNA data storage. They are seeking a passionate, adventurous, and creative entrepreneur to join their early-stage venture to help launch this technology into the 21st-century biotechnology space. Their immediate aim is to recruit an entrepreneur who will be excited to mature their business plan using market discovery and research on product-market fit. They are ready to test the market’s appetite for this technology, developing partnerships along the way.
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.
Getting immediate medical attention is critical after a patient has experienced a stroke. However, stroke symptoms are often not identified by the patient or family members until it is too late to administer treatment. There is currently no wearable-linked mobile app which specifically detects a stroke incident. AlvaHealth is pairing wearable devices with machine learning to detect a stroke incident immediately based on the activity in both arms of the patient. Early detection of stroke can improve the outlook for patient recovery.
Stanford researchers have developed an architecture and control scheme for the coordination of distributed energy resources (DER), such as solar and storage, to minimize operation cost, enhance network reliability, and provide DER aggregation. The availability of electric load and generation data in electric grids varies both spatially and temporally due to: the random nature of loads and renewable generation; distributed locations of the loads and DER; and communication delays. Stanford researchers have found that control schemes that utilize local information (within the firmware of the storage unit, or in a home automation appliance) and delayed information to a global controller (e.g., collected from smart meter readings) perform near the ideal, but unimplementable, theoretical limit of performance.
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.
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.
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.
Hypnos is developing an in-ear, wearable EEG and ECG that is non-obstructive, discreet, and attractive to any user who wears earphones and would like to concurrently have real-time brain activity monitoring and feedback of measured variables to improve their cognitive performance and overall well-being. Audience choice winner for the Rothberg Catalyzer Prize at Yale.
Ear infections are the number on cause of doctors visits worldwide, affecting 700 million people each year. Chronic ear infections are often treated with the insertion of a tympanostomy tube into the ear drum. While these help to drain fluid, they often come with complications which can result in follow up surgeries and hearing loss. The PionEar tympanostomy tube technology addresses the most common complications by changing the geometry and materials of the tube to enhance fluid transport and reduce the chances of biofilm formation.
Tendo Technologies, founded in 2017, is a spin-off from the Marcus Hultmark research lab at Princeton developing a novel flow sensing/measurement technology. This unique technology achieves extreme sensitivity (for both gases and liquids) through the nanoscale conductive ribbons that will deflect when placed in flow. The nanoribbons are manufactured with standard semiconductor-based techniques, resulting in high scalability and low unit cost for the sensing chip. As a highly versatile technology (flow measurement is ubiquitous), Tendo envisions that their tech can be applied in many industries for various applications, when equipped with appropriate "wrappers" around it. For example, the Tendo chip plus communication package would be appropriate for IoT applications such as real time air measurement in HVAC ducts; alternatively, more sophisticated housing with control would bring benefits for flow metering and control during industry manufacturing processes.
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.
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.
The Accurate Cell Injection System (ACIS), a new technology for high throughput cell injections. In the world of IVF and cell injection in general, visual input is unreliable. ACIS can provide reliable and real-time confirmation of cell penetration & viability independent of visualization by detecting cell membrane electrical resistance. ACIS is easily integrated into any cell injection system.
LEGIT uses a new optical concept (a lensguide) developed at Columbia University to improve optical endoscopy. Their goal is the development of a whole microscopy probe (size ~ 0.1-1 mm) that can be inserted in the body, with minimal damage, for high resolution imaging (<1 µm resolution). The LEGIT endoscopic probe can be used for cancer diagnostics (e.g. skin and liver cancer) and in vivo biopsy imaging. The LEGIT lensguide is a higher quality and less expensive replacement for the GRIN lenses with significantly higher flexibility in design and manufacturing.
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.
Despite it being a rare disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a costly and deadly condition of the pulmonary artery. Verso therapeutics is pursuing an HDAC inhibitor as a treatment for PAH which restores normal pulmonary vasculature unlike existing treatments which fail to address the abnormal architecture.
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.
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.
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are implantable devices that prevent clots from embolizing from the legs to the lungs. Even though the FDA recommends retrieval of the filter when the risk of VTE or bleeding has resolved, IVC filter removal is technically challenging and sometimes impossible because of tilt and scarring. The team has developed and patented a device that can safely retrieve filters in any configuration.
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.
Our technology combines novelty in bioabsorbable stent technology and regenerative medicine. Our team has unrivaled experience in both technologies and have taken the project funded by the European commission to an advanced stage in development. Our initial therapeutic target will be peripheral vascular disease where there is no comparative technology in use or development. Beyond this, there is potential widespread application of the device and concept to the heart, brain, liver and cancer treatments where the combined technology can provide a unique state of the art therapeutic system.
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. With additional techniques done before collection and transfer, the T cells could also be made to recognize specific targets, altered to resist viruses (e.g. HIV resistance) or directed to become regulatory T cells that may ameliorate autoimmune disease and prevent/treat rejection of transplanted tissues. This technique could address problems such as T-cell exhaustion from cancer patients and the limitations of Ex-vivo expansion of the T-cells.
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.
Gold mining has been a historically low innovation industry. The industry standard is to use a cyanide process to isolate gold, which is expensive and potentially dangerous. Cycladex has created a method to isolate gold in an inexpensive, environmentally-friendly way.
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.
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.
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.
Coated sutures are designed for improved mechanical resilience to prevent failure of surgical repair. Unlike conventional sutures, which concentrate stress at the point of attachment, these sutures use an adhesive coating and soft adhesive zone to distribute stress along the length of the suture and reinstate load transfer across the tendon‐to‐bone repair.
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.
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.
Adjuvant therapeutics are therapies given after the initial or primary treatment of a disease or condition, for example, therapeutics given after a surgery to maximize its effectiveness. Pharma companies make diagnostics for the metastatic setting, to enrich the population that will benefit from the drug. However, the big prize for Pharma is the adjuvant setting, which sees at least double and up to 10 times more patients than the metastatic setting. Despite this, pharma companies rarely make diagnostics for the adjuvant setting. For example, in the immunotherapy space, 1 in 5 lose thyroid function and 1 in 100 die from the drug used to treat the condition during the course of treatment.
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.
Vimentin and Keratin Targeted Therapies for Treating Dermatologic Cancers. The Bunick lab discovered a new mechanism governing proper intermediate filament assembly. We believe topical application of peptide therapeutics can disrupt this mechanism in skin cancer cells, leading to an effective first-in-class anti-cancer therapy.
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.
New biomarker for novel CD8 T cell subset that drives systemic sclerosis immunopathology, including monoclonal antibodies anti-human C10orf128 and new targets for small molecule inhibitor therapy. Monoclonal antibodies recognized 5-10% of circulating T cells. Humanized version of them are likely therapeutic agent for systemic sclerosis after humanization. Also so likely have a monoclonal antibody specific for mouse homolog of C10orf128 to enable an animal preclinical model for T cell depletion studies. There is no effective treatment for systemic sclerosis; 50,000 individuals have Ssc; fatal disease. Potential applications include pulmonary fibrosis, asthma with scarring among others.
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.
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.
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.
Novel Therapeutics that Stop Glioblastoma and Other Aggressive Cancers. Sidera's team brings together world-class experts and recognized pioneers in clinical oncology and synthetic biology to discover new targets and small molecules for aggressive cancers. Sidera has identified potent compounds that reduce tumor volume and extend lifespan in rodent models of aggressive human brain cancer. Their innovative platform technologies have spawned partnerships with big pharma to broaden their portfolio and bring them closer to improving patient outcomes.
About half of treated cancer patients receive platinum-based drugs (eg. cisplatin, carboplatin) alone or in co-administration with other anticancer agents. Despite their efficacy, their use is limited by toxic side effects and inherent or acquired resistance to platinum-based drugs by tumor cells. To address this challenge, a Cornell team lead by Prof. Justin Wilson have developed rhenium-based chemotherapeutics for treatment of platinum-resistant cancers.
Pearl Bio is an early-stage venture pioneering design and production of next-generation therapeutics and biomaterials for medical applications and beyond. Biology is constrained to the 20 natural amino acids, limiting the ability to site-specifically modify therapeutic proteins to improve half-life, tissue targeting, or assembly. In contrast, chemical synthesis of therapeutics enables access to greater functional diversity, but template-directed synthesis is challenging. Pearl Bio unites the precision of biology with the unlimited diversity of chemistry in a transformative platform that produces therapeutics and biomaterials with tunable properties for applications in oncology, immunology, and rare disease.
With combined expertise in MEMS, microfluidics and surface chemistry, Mekonos has created a proprietary cell-engineering platform based on scalable silicon technology for their partners engaged in drug discovery and development. Mekonos aims to sidestep biological genetic engineering processes entirely by using silicon nano-needles to deliver therapeutic payloads directly into the cell in a purely physical, mechanical form factor - with the goals of greatly lowering the cost and time of development, avoiding manufacturing bottlenecks, and perhaps enabling personalized doses to be produced in a hospital setting.
DNA damage can be detrimental to cells as it can lead to mutagenesis, genotoxicity and tumorigenesis. One of the most frequent forms of DNA damage is 8-oxoguanine (8-OG), which is repaired by OGG1. Bioactive inhibitors of OGG1 and the GO pathway can be useful tools to investigate the connections of this enzyme activity to disease. Yoma Biosciences has developed potent, selective, small-molecule inhibitors of OGG1 and other enzyme targets in the GO pathway. These inhibitors provide useful tools to study the biological roles of OGG1 and also have therapeutic potential for cancer and inflammation. With multiple enzyme targets in the pathway (OGG-1, MTH1, MutYH, …) - currently un-drugged, Yoma has multiple chances for 1st in class candidate discovery.
Key nutrient deficiencies are more common than one may think and can lead to major health problems. However, determining vitamin levels can be costly, time-consuming, and confusing. VitaScan enables fast, accurate, and low-cost testing of an individual's vitamins and micronutrients. With VitaScan's portable system, the consumer can avoid hospital blood work and get the scan done at a physician's office, clinic, or even at home.
Folic acid supplements are used for preventing severe birth defects by maintaining the DNA integrity in the developing embryo. This technology describes two downstream metabolites of folic acid, one of which is an effective replacement for folic acid as a prenatal supplement, more directly impacting nucleotide synthesis. The other is a oral therapy for cancer, which has demonstrated prevention of tumor development in mouse models.
ARMMs (ARrestin domain-containing protein 1-Mediated Microvesicles) are naturally secreted through an active, protein-mediated process that selectively controls the ARMMs’ cargo and budding mechanism. This system can be easily manipulated to deliver Cas9 and an associated guide RNA for gene therapy or to deliver other therapeutic modalities such as proteins or siRNAs. Additionally, ARRMs are relatively uniform in size, have a low risk of immunogenicity, protect their cargo from degradation, and are predicted to avoid the endosomal pathway for greater efficacy and potency.
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.
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.