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The gut is the body’s largest sensory organ with a surface area 100 times that of the skin. It contains more nerve cells than the spinal cord, most of the immune system, and 95 percent of the body’s serotonin. Kallyope has assembled a discovery and translation platform to developed therapies to treat metabolic, gastrointestinal, and neurologic cond…
 
Providers hold vast amounts of health data that can be harnessed to gain better insights into diseases, improve outcomes for patients, and help bring about an era of precision medicine. Despite advances in artificial intelligence to capitalize on these stores of data, much of it has remained siloed and out of the reach of researchers and drug devel…
 
There’s been growing interest in exploring the potential of psychedelics to treat neuropsychiatric conditions. Onsero Therapeutics is part of a growing list of companies that are developing therapies that target the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, the receptor to which several of psychedelics bind, and one that has been clinically validated in a number …
 
When people think of the potential for artificial intelligence to impact the biopharmaceutical industry, the focus is usually on drug discovery or in the clinic to help guide decision making with regards to pairing the right drug to the right patient. Yseop is focused on a more mundane use for the technology—the writing of clinical data reports. Th…
 
ProFound Therapeutics has developed platform technology to catalogue and understand previously undetected human proteins and the role they play in health and disease. By focusing on proteins in the process of translation, the company said it has identified tens of thousands of undiscovered proteins that can provide untapped therapeutic targets. We …
 
It was a difficult year for biotechs with drops in the major biotech indices, fewer new drug approvals, and more than 125 companies announcing layoffs. But there were also triumphs to celebrate. We continue our annual tradition of ending the old year and ushering in the new one with Adam Feuerstein, Polk Award Winning journalist and senior biotech …
 
Checkpoint inhibitors are not new, but Immutep is developing therapies that target LAG-3, a checkpoint discovered by its chief scientific officer. The LAG-3 gene codes for a protein that plays a role in the regulation of the immune system and is expressed on T cells. Immutep is seeking to target LAG-3 to both stimulate the immune system to treat ca…
 
The ability to engineer biology is not only revolutionizing how we treat illness, but the way grow food, and produce goods as well. With this ability, though, comes an awareness of how the same technology can be used for nefarious purposes. We spoke to Matt McKnight, general manager of Biosecurity of Ginkgo Bioworks, about our increasing ability to…
 
Cytokines control nearly all aspects of the immune system. As drugs, though, they have limited potential because of inherent drawbacks. Simcha Therapeutics is engineering versions of cytokines to activate various immune cells in the fight against cancer. Simcha’s most advanced program, ST-067, is the first in a new class of interleukin-18 based imm…
 
Arcellx is developing controllable cell therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. It’s platform technology allows it to mark diseased cells within the body for destruction. Its cell therapies then destroy the flagged cells. We spoke to Rami Elghandour, chairman and CEO of Arcellx, about the company’s platform technology, how it…
 
Despite the large human and societal costs of neuropsychiatric disorders, many of these conditions have poor or no treatment options. And there has been a dearth of new mechanisms to treat major neuropsychiatric disorders for decades. PsychoGenics is seeking to change that with its unique approach to drug discovery for these conditions. Rather than…
 
Chronic, cancer-related pain affects between 30 and 50 percent of patients undergoing cancer treatment and more than 70 percent of patients with advanced disease. Linda Carlson, Enbridge research chair in psychosocial oncology at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, is working with digital therapeutics developer Rocket VR Health to…
 
One reason immunotherapies can fail in cancer is that the tumor microenvironment can suppress activation of the immune system. Surface Oncology is using multiple platform technologies to discover new antibody therapies that activate both the innate and adaptive immune systems to improve how people with cancer respond to these medicines. We spoke to…
 
The deepening understanding of the biology of aging is giving rise to a growing list of companies that seek not only to address diseases of aging, but find ways to extend the healthy years of life. LongeVC is a venture capital firm focused on seed and early-stage investment in longevity statups. It’s also built a community of like-minded companies …
 
A subset of patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors respond particularly well to these immunotherapies. These so-called “elite responders” produce antibodies that modulate immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. OncoResponse is working to discover the antibodies these elite responders produce to develop a pipeline of cancer therapies. We sp…
 
Obesity rates in the United States have doubled in the past 20 years and without changes, nearly half of the adult population will be obese by 2030. Though there are many approaches to weight loss—diet and exercise, drugs, surgery—their safety and efficacy varies widely from patient to patient. Phenomix Sciences is using phenotyping to understand t…
 
RNA therapies and vaccines have already shown their power. Nutcracker Therapeutics is taking a nod from the high-tech sector to harness semiconductor-like biochips and microfluidic engineering to create a fully automated platform to increase the speed and scale at which RNA therapies can be discovered, developed, and manufactured. It is developing …
 
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are transforming cancer care, but still have low response rates in most solid tumors. When cancer spreads to the liver, it can render immunotherapies ineffective because of the large number of immune-suppressive macrophages that are present there. Teclison has developed platform technology that chokes off tumors and act…
 
Inspirna is putting RNA biology to work to address difficult to treat cancers that affect large numbers of people, such as colorectal cancer, small cell lung cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer. Its platform technology is being used to discover the underlying drivers of cancer that can be drugged by both small molecules and biologics to address …
 
Kinase inhibitors have become staples in the arsenal to battle cancer. These medicines can disrupt the cell signaling that drives the growth and spread of tumors. There are more than 30 approved kinase inhibitors today, but they often have dose limiting toxicities, in part because they often lack specificity and can have activity against multiple k…
 
Cell and gene therapies offer great promise for treating, preventing, or curing serious health issues like cancer, genetic disorders, immunodeficiencies, and rare diseases. Nevertheless, the complexity and costs of producing and delivering these personalized medicines creates barriers to patients benefiting from their potential. Orgenesis is seekin…
 
Radiopharmaceuticals have long been shown to be effective at killing cancers, but often damage healthy cells because they are so toxic. Convergent Therapeutics has developed platform technology that takes advantage of the power of radiopharmaceuticals, but links them to targeting mechanisms, such as monoclonal antibodies and ligands, to deliver the…
 
Whether it’s capturing the imagination of a venture capitalist, enticing a potential partner, or attracting talent, CEOs need to be able to tell their company’s story effectively. In his new book “Winners Have a Story,” Giuseppe Marzio discusses how CEOs can turn complex science and technology into compelling tales. Marzio, who worked as a scientis…
 
It’s been understood for more than 60 years that cancer cells overproduce sugars on their surface. More recently it’s been discovered that these sugars can help cancer cells evade the immune system. Palleon Pharmaceuticals is developing immunotherapies that work by targeting these cell surface sugars and make them vulnerable to attack. We spoke to …
 
Current treatment of acute myeloid leukemia generally consists of chemotherapy followed by a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to eliminate any remaining cancer cells from the bone marrow. Even though outcomes remain poor with around 40 percent of transplanted patients experiencing cancer relapse, and patients who do relapse having two-year surviv…
 
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