From lab-grown fish to burger flipping robots, Hulu’s new six-episode docu-series “The Next Thing You Eat” will explore the changes in what we eat. To help advance that discussion, co-founder and CSO Ellen Jorgensen of Aanika Bio (SOSV RebelBio) joins an episode to explain how they use microbes to trace and authenticate products in the supply chain. The show premieres on October 21, but you can see the trailer here (Jorgensen appears at 1:57).
A New York-based startup is about to commercialize the first true innovation in disinfection since Louis Pasteur. The startup, Halomine Inc, was founded by Mingyu Qiao and Ted Eveleth, and their first product, HaloFilm™, extends the lifetime of bleach on surfaces from minutes to weeks. At the start of the pandemic, we at IndieBio were really happy to welcome them to our inaugural IndieBio New York cohort; now that they are on the verge of commercializing, we’re even more pleased to support a company that will have huge impacts on human health.
Disinfection innovation is now going global: Halomine recently announced a strategic alliance with Diversey, a leading global provider of hygiene, infection prevention, and cleaning solutions, who will adopt HaloFilm™ technology for institutional and food and beverage markets.
No doubt, this partnership offers a significant opportunity for both Halomine and Diversey: the global surface disinfectant market size was valued at $4.54B in 2020. But the bigger opportunity is the improved human health this partnership represents: HaloFilm’s efficacy against drug-resistant fungi such as Candida auris means this technology can prevent deadly hospital outbreaks.
HaloFilm™ also extends surface disinfection against bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. When the Halomine team pitched to IndieBio New York, the COVID-19 pandemic was only beginning, and the team saw a benefit for a long-acting antiviral disinfectant (data hadn’t yet shown that surface transmission is relatively minimal). SOSV invested in many companies battling the pandemic, including Halomine, but Halomine’s technology was also a long-term investment with applications in many sectors.
What sectors? Think of food preparation: industrial kitchens and food processing premises can be sources of foodborne illness. Conveyor belts can be coated with biofilms, hard-to-eradicate bacterial growth, where pathogens like Listeria monocytogenes lurk. Technologies that kill pathogens on contact will prohibit biofilm growth, preventing some estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year. Given that the food processing and handling sector is predicted to exceed $4 trillion by 2024, this technology offers both the chance to improve human health and make significant revenues.
Innovating the disinfection process
The process of disinfection hasn’t changed in 150 years. Why should it? Bleach is a very efficient disinfectant. But consider that 15 minutes after cleaning a surface with bleach, the bleach disappears, and a surface can be recolonized by nearby microorganisms. Now ask yourself: how often are surfaces cleaned with disinfectants?
HaloFilm™ is a simple spray that is applied before any bleach-based cleaning solution. This creates a thin-layer film that holds bleach molecules close to the surface, ready to attack any microbes that land in the crevices and valleys that constitute smooth surfaces at a microscopic level. The film is harmless to human touch (“as safe as the water in a swimming pool,” as Eveleth likes to say), and the film can be “recharged” with fresh bleach applications to maintain disinfection.
The New York Story
Most of the Candida auris cases in the United States have occurred in New York, which may be why the solution was New York-based as well. Ted Eveleth, CEO of Halomine, joined the company in 2019 with this antifungal application in mind. Then came COVID19.
Eveleth and co-founder & CTO Mingyu Qiao, Ph.D., met in Ithaca, NY, where Qiao worked on the technology at Cornell University. They licensed the technology and joined the first IndieBio NY program in May 2020 at the beginning of the U.S. COVID19 outbreak. Halomine immediately pivoted to working on coronaviruses, and the IndieBio team celebrated with Halomine when HaloFilm™ was shown to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 using the rigorous CDC rapid surface test for COVID.
The key connection between Halomine and Diversey was made during the IndieBio NY program. Qiao, encouraged by the IndieBio team to make numerous cold calls, reached out via LinkedIn to the CTO at Diversey pitching Halomine’s latest antiviral data—and the rest, as they say, is history.
From Local to Global
Controlling infectious disease is a global problem, of course, which is why this partnership is a boon for human health. Partnering with a worldwide company like Diversey means that Halomine will be able to see their technology applied around the world for many uses. The company has specialties in healthcare, facility management, food & beverage, hospitality, and retail spaces, allowing HaloFilm™ to move quickly into the markets where it is most needed.
We are excited to see this technology accelerated into its needed applications. Congratulations to Halomine and Diversey on your partnership!
Sean O’Sullivan, the founder of the global venture outfit SOSV, has slowly but steadily built up a sizable operation over the years.
SOSV started off as a family office, investing the capital of O’Sullivan after he co-founded two companies, including MapInfo, an outfit that went public in 1994 before Pitney Bowes acquired it years later, in 2007. The seed-stage investing outfit has since raised three more funds, including a $277 million early-stage fund that it closed in 2019 and is actively investing from right now.
Now, to complement those funds, the organization has raised $100 million for what it’s calling a “select fund” that’s meant to help SOSV maintain its pro rata stake in some of its breakaway portfolio companies.
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Explore the “New Biotech” with the IndieBio team and learn how we can re-imagine, re-materialize, and rebuild the world together.
As a traditional natural science, biologists used microscopes to better understand the human body. “A lot of therapeutics have been observations through nature. Like finding a tree bark and turning that into a drug,” CSO and Partner, Jun Axup explained. Yet as we continue to integrate technology into biology, we’re able to redesign and reengineer our very nature.
“Over the last 70 years, we have really perfected the ability to read, write, copy, cut, and paste DNA,” Axup continued. “Pretty much everything we see and use around us has some relation to biology, and can be potentially improved upon using biotechnology.”
Five years ago, in the early days of biohacking, IndieBio started as an experiment out of SOSV Accelerator, to give scientists a chance to become entrepreneurs. “We think that PhDs and other scientists can actually take the science that they’ve been working on and build a company,” Axup said.
In the early stages of IndieBio we invested in food, agriculture, medical devices, biopharma, neurotech, computational bio, industrial bio, and regenerative medicine. “We took the risk that nobody else would take,” Head of Investor Relations, Maya Lockwood said.
In some ways IndieBio is a petri dish, where we spread startups out into the bio-atmosphere. Some will survive and some will not. From watching many startup’s life cycles we’ve learned some important variables. What works in the market, who’s paying for what kind of technology, and what kind of team culture makes a successful company?
We’re now at an inflection point, where the pandemic has rapidly exposed our system’s vulnerabilities in our healthcare and food supply systems. While at the same time the technologies of the “future” don’t seem so far away.
For the last couple of decades humans have engineered digital systems to manipulate biology to scale sustainable solutions, launching the synthetic biology revolution. “We’re seeing a lot of this convergence in the neurotech space,” CTO, Pae Wu said. “New materials and digital systems are being able to interface really well and elegantly with biology, neurons, and muscles.”
Enter 2020, and we’ve experienced the reality of natural disasters and diseases threatening our lives. Through this we have realized, to maintain our human health we must also maintain our planet’s. “The two are hand in hand,” Axup said, “and in some ways, planetary health is more important. If we don’t have a planet, then our individual health doesn’t really matter.”
Here at IndieBio, we kept these lessons in mind when we invested in solutions for food supply, climate change, agriculture, medicine, and diagnostics.
As people continue to spearhead the development of biotechnology, we call out to investors to launch sustainability into the future. “For these companies to move on to the next level and grow, we need the participation of everyone,” Lockwood said. This requires the participation of venture capitalists, corporations, and policy makers.
We are building these world changing technologies by assessing the talent, and fostering an ecosystem that will help these companies through to the end. “As our companies graduate through our program,” Lockwood continued, “we’ve been learning that they are raising a lot of capital and going on to create whole new industries.” Within the next two to three years, many of the companies will raise to series A.
“Our long term vision is to improve human and planetary health by making more industries sustainable,” Lockwood said. The latest solution companies to our portfolio are in cosmetics, construction, fashion, and food industries.
In alliance with SOSV & Mayfield fund, we created the Genesis Consortium, to promote human and planetary health and make it accessible for others to co-invest in a sustainable future. “It’s really important right now that this is a process of collaboration and that we are more inclusive in building ecosystems that gets everyone involved,” Lockwood explained.
Last March we expanded our reach beyond Silicon Valley and opened an office in New York. “When you think of New York, you think of investors, right?” NY Communications Director, Julie Wolf said. Well, while NY pulls in NIH dollars, it’s not so great at pulling in VCs. As of 2016, for every NIH dollar there was only $0.06 in VC. “There’s not a lot of actual biotech startups,” Wolf said. IndieBio wants to change this.
With seven percent of all postdocs moving to New York City, “One of the roles at IndieBio New York is to identify the talent that needs that chance, that opportunity to take their idea and turn it into a company with transformative technology,” Wolf said. “Hopefully we won’t be alone.”
We are entering a new world where we can restore contaminated soil, improve fertility, make new blood supplies, and create abundant supplies of protein. There are solutions to the global challenges, we’re just not pulling our resources together. “We need to recognize that there’s huge potential at our hands,” Lockwood said. “Materials can now be made without extracting more resources from the earth and this is the news we want to focus on.”
This is an opportunity to rematerialize, reimagine, rebuild the world. “We need to stop and listen and reassess how we have been living,” Lockwood said.
For anyone who wants to explore the expansion of biology as a technology, our Managing Director, Po Bronson, along with IndieBio’s founder and Venture Advisor, Arvind Gupta, recently published a roadmap for the curious, “Decoding the World.”
To learn more about IndieBio and the portfolio of companies, watch our Demo Days. They showcase the talent of scientists who are rebuilding the world.
IndieBio – now operating out of both San Francisco and New York – is proud to announce our new batches of startups. This is New York’s first batch, and San Francisco’s tenth. Though we are running the program virtually for now, all of the startups have secured access to lab and hardware space as needed. The challenge has only increased our focus to make sure these startups’ potentials are not compromised. The familiar feel of communal support and trust is bringing us all together. The transformation from scientists to entrepreneurs has begun and will continue.
Introducing IndieBio SF Class 10
A LEAP FORWARD IN MICROBIAL FERMENTATION
Biomanufacturing through fermentation is becoming a huge industry, driving growth in foods, materials, fuels, biochemicals, and pharma. One of its biggest challenges is that when microbial factories are maximized for output, the stress causes genetic drift – these are known as “escape mutations.” The microbes’ yield falls, then collapses. Production has to be restarted, and days are lost. First reported in Nature Chemical Biology, Asimica has a novel way to bring stem-like properties to microbes, so that factory cells are continuously refreshed by younger, unmutated microbes. Asimica is selectively choosing fermentation partners to prove their impact.
DRUG DELIVERY ACROSS TUMOR AND BRAIN BARRIERS
Getting drugs through the tumor barrier and across the blood brain barrier is a well-known, major challenge for medicine. Advanced Microbubbles uses tiny uniform bubbles, which they agitate with ultrasound at the site of a tumor, to open up the barriers so drugs can enter locally. Their bubbles can be delivered alongside the desired drug, or conjugated to many drugs.
RAPID CO2 SEQUESTRATION / CONCRETE
Carbix turns our built urban world into sinks for CO2. Their novel bioreactor takes enriched CO2 from power and cement plants and in just hours converts it into cement and aggregates for the $900 billion construction industry, and home and yard goods for consumers looking to support the environment with their purchasing power. This technology enables sequestered CO2 to go into long term storage and high-value goods rather than being injected underground. Carbix can sell state and federal carbon credits as a result of their impact on industrial emissions.
NEXT-GEN NATURAL COSMETICS
As people age, their skin stops producing natural moisturizers like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. These tighten the skin, prevent age spots, and retain moisture. Synthetic and animal-based versions are the most common additives to cosmetic products. Cybele has an alternative, natural approach. Their products harness the skin biome, causing it to express these same highly-desired moisturizers, in much higher and efficacious quantities. Beyond moisturizers, they can express natural scents, natural insect repellants, and many more.
THE FUTURE OF FERTILITY
Ivy Natal is developing a novel process to create healthy human egg cells from skin cells, giving women the confidence in their ability to choose whether and when to have a child. Many fertility patients cannot have children except through the use of donor eggs. This can be due to surgery, chemotherapy, maternal age, or genetic conditions. Ivy Natal aims to enable these parents to have genetic children for the first time.
RENEWABLE ENERGY / STORAGE
Khepra is building reactors to harness the stored chemical energy of our common waste streams, such as plastics and biomass. Their reactor uses frictive heating, cavitation, and acoustic pressure to break the chemical bonds in waste with zero extraction. This releases renewable chemicals and fuels. Ultimately they aim to create a two-way market for wastes and renewables. They’ll also partner with wind and solar energy providers to turn excess daytime energy – currently curtailed – into revenue.
REAL TIME FOOD & WATER SAFETY
Food and water contamination causes $77 billion in annual economic loss, just in the U.S. Recalls are not only expensive, they inflict real damage to brands’ reputation and scare consumers off entire product sectors. Kraken Sense is bringing real-time testing, with results in two minutes, to automated food and water systems, everywhere from the farms to kitchens. They are making an in-line autonomous device with refillable, single-use cartridges that employ carbon nanotubes magnetized with strain-specific antibodies to measure the concentration of pathogens, not just their presence. The safety of our food system has never been more paramount.
THE DESKTOP PC OF PROTEIN SYNTHESIS
The market size of recombinant proteins today is $119 billion. But it’s expected to reach $400 billion just by 2025. To get there, a better approach to innovation is needed. Today, to produce any sort of custom recombinant protein, it takes weeks. This dramatically slows down scientists’ ability to test, iterate, and improve. Liberum’s affordable, benchtop device will cut that time down to a few hours. Scientists will love the control this gives them over their work. Liberum strongly believes that as custom proteins get as easy as pushing a button, the current $18 billion market for custom proteins will take a larger share of the overall market.
FUTURE OF FERTILITY
In a research study, Microgenesis began working with 40 fertility clinics, treating 287 women who had failed all attempts to get pregnant, including at least four expensive IVF treatments. These patients were beyond hope. With Microgenesis’ method of diagnosis and natural treatment, 75% of the women got pregnant. Microgenesis uses microRNA signatures, on swabs from both the gut and fertility biome, to diagnose dysbiosis and treat patients with neutraceuticals and diet-change. They intend to expand through fertility clinics, as well as cultivate a direct-to-consumer brand for women just beginning the journey.
The state of the art in row crops is to reject agrochemicals and employ soil rhizobacteria that support plant growth – known as “PGPRs.” Reazent does it one better. Reazent loads PGPRs into a natural carrier to treat soil, achieving 5x improvement. By improving the plant’s immune system, the crops can also forego pesticides. Reazent can work with up to 116 PGPR strains. Having started in soybeans and peppers, Reazent is now expanding to many crops, testing through both their own trials this summer and with partners.
APPAREL / NEXT-GEN SUSTAINABILITY & PERFORMANCE
According to the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, silk has by far the worst environmental impact of any fabric. Innovations over the last century have been few and far between. Spintex has invented an entirely new, scalable method of making silk, inspired by how spiders (rather than silkworms) spin silk. It uses 1000x less energy than plastic fiber formation, and cuts silk emission by half. Spintex matches the material properties of premium silks, with no compromise on look and feel. Already working with several major brands, Spintex will also tune their fibers to improve performance, approaching the rarified properties of spider silk.
Introducing IndieBio NY Class 1:
IndieBio NY is grateful for support from the Partnership for New York City and Empire State Development.
USING MICROBES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Industrial activity has produced 100 billion tons of contaminated soil in the United States, endangering both human and environmental health. Less than 0.1% of this soil is decontaminated because current technologies don’t work or are too expensive.
Allied Microbiota’s novel ThermO+ process uses natural processes to destroy toxic organic soil contaminants, including petroleum waste products and chlorinated substances. The process remediates soil in weeks instead of years and is a low-cost method to convert toxic soil to reusable soil.
NANOCAPSULE-ENHANCED FEED SYSTEMS FOR AQUACULTURE
Originally developed for human medicine, nanocapsules are tiny molecular transporters that can deliver nutrients, drugs, or natural products to make dramatic improvements in animal health and sustainability.
On track to outpace capture fisheries by 2030, aquaculture is growing by 15% per year. Yet this growth comes at great cost: many farmed animals die due to overcrowded facilities and disease (in some sub-sectors amounting to 50%), while the environment is polluted with additives and animal waste.
BioFeyn’s solution is transportable, scalable across species, and integrates into existing supply chains to benefit both people and planet.
MAKING SINGLE-CELL SEQUENCING DATA ACCESSIBLE TO RESEARCH BIOLOGISTS
Single-cell sequencing technologies present a huge opportunity for rapid drug target identification, but data analyses currently require too much time and too many resources for widespread adoption by research teams. Researchers spend 30-fold the amount of time on data analytics as in the wet-lab, which limits discovery to 1-2 drug targets per year.
The Biomage single-cell platform increases drug target discovery 30-fold at a fraction of the cost, allowing widespread application of cutting-edge sequencing technologies.
COMBATING UTIs WITH PROBIOTIC PREDATOR BACTERIA
50% of women and 12% of men suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs) during their lifetime. Current UTI treatments present problems that include low efficacy, unwanted side effects, and accelerated development of antibiotic-resistant infections. Brightcure is solving the problem of poor treatment options for patients with recurrent UTIs by harnessing healthy, natural bacterial solutions to reduce the overuse of antibiotics.
SUPERIOR TREATMENTS FOR ALL FORMS OF BLEEDING
Following traumatic injury, the rate of death increases 1% for every 3 minutes a patient continues to bleed. The World Health Organization recognizes that bleeding is a global health threat. Genetic diseases and side effects of prescription drugs (such as anticoagulants) can further predispose individuals to major bleeding events.
Cayuga’s injectable clotting drug targets the site of injury to safely accelerate clot formation and save lives without the risk of thrombosis carried by currently available drugs.
TURNING EVERY SURFACE INTO AN ANTIMICROBIAL SURFACE
Bacteria and viruses move easily surface-to-surface and person-to-person. Surface-associated microorganisms cause one of every three hospital-acquired infections and contribute to COVID-19 transmission.
HaloFilm is a companion product to chlorinated disinfectants that extends the life of chlorine on a surface, providing extended and continuous protection against bacteria and virus transmission, turning every surface into an antimicrobial surface.
ANIMAL-FREE AND SUSTAINABLE CULTURING MEDIA FOR CELLULAR AGRICULTURE AND R&D
Cultivated meat is a sustainable way of producing meat, without the need to kill animals. However, cultivated meat production is very expensive, a product of the animal-based nutrients required for its cultivation: these nutrients currently comprise more than 80% of production costs.
Multus Media is developing tailored, inexpensive nutrients to make cultivated meat completely animal-free and affordable for everyone.
CONVERTING VINYL PLASTICS INTO HIGH-VALUE COMPOUNDS
Humans have generated more than 9 billion tons of plastic, and 79% of this has ended up in landfills. Current methodologies are unable to efficiently recycle some of the most commonly produced plastics.
Scindo is creating a novel biological platform for low-energy, green and economical recycling that turns low-value waste products into high-value compounds, creating a viable alternative to landfills.
SCALING AFFORDABLE MOSQUITO BIRTH CONTROL
Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animal on earth. Mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue, Zika, yellow fever, West Nile fever, and Malaria infect hundreds of millions of people a year. Climate change is causing mosquitoes to spread rapidly, endangering millions more.
SMT Labs is developing an affordable and scalable mosquito birth control to control the mosquito population and mosquito-borne disease.
The large, systemic problems facing humanity have never been clearer, nor has the need for innovative biotech solutions for these problems. The new IndieBio New York program, launching May 2020, doubles the number of companies building solutions to these problems.
Like the flagship San Francisco program, the companies accelerated in IndieBio New York will address both human and planetary health needs. The IndieBio mission to find startups whose technologies address these problems feels more urgent than ever. The new IndieBio program addresses these problems by providing early-stage biotech startups with three major areas of support as they grow their company:
- A dedicated team.
- Research facilities.
- Mentorship and community.
Meet the IndieBio New York Team
The new IndieBio New York team is excited to welcome the inaugural cohort in May.
Partner, Stephen Chambers, Ph.D
Founding Scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and co-Founder of Abpro Therapeutics.
Former CEO of SynbiCITE, the Innovation and Knowledge Center for Synthetic Biology in the United Kingdom.
Co-Founder of Bio-Start, the United Kingdom’s first life sciences accelerator.
“Working with founders of very early-stage companies, where advising and mentoring and relationship building really affect the life or death of a company, is some of the most rewarding work I’ve done. I look forward to helping founders in our teams move the needle and continue to grow.”
Partner, Rodrigo Mallo Leiva
Founder of 4 companies including a successful exit.
Managing Director of RebelBio.
Adjunct Partner, Michael Aberman, M.D., M.B.A.
Former President and CEO at Quentis Therapeutics.
Former Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Strategy at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
Executive in Residence at Columbia Technology Ventures.
“IndieBio is known for its broad portfolio of companies across all life sciences disciplines. I’m excited to work with our IndieBio cohorts to develop the next wave of life-changing technologies.”
Communications Director, Julie Wolf, Ph.D.
Former Science Communications for the American Society for Microbiology.
Instructor at the community biology lab Genspace.
Co-Founder of Brooklyn Bio Inc.
“Every founder is not only an advocate for their company, but an advocate for a better future and an advocate for science. We hope that each founder in our program learns to inspire others within the biotech community and beyond.”
Program Manager, Alex Hall-Daniels
Previous Account Executive at Edelman London.
Former Program Associate at RebelBio.
“Our portfolio companies strive to solve major world problems. Working with companies who make crops more drought-resistant, materials more sustainable, and disease vectors less prevalent helps build a better future for everyone.”
Senior Associate, Sheng Ge
Previous Analyst, Associate, and now Senior Associate at SOSV through nearly a decade with the firm.
“I’ve worked with deep tech companies across SOSV and am excited to apply my expertise to the new IndieBio program.”
IndieBio New York will be run out of Rockefeller University for its first year, occupying the 16th floor of the Weiss Building. The fully outfitted lab provides researchers with wet lab space, conference rooms, and common spaces for community gathering.
Mentorship and Community
The IndieBio New York program gathers founders of seed-stage companies for a 4-month intensive program. The new program applies the same cornerstone tenets of the San Francisco program: mentorship and community.
Mentors play a vital role in guiding early-stage founders. Throughout the program, mentors share their wisdom through talks to the entire group and by holding office hours for more intimate conversations.
“Relationship building is at the heart of entrepreneurship,” says Managing Director and Partner Steve Chambers. “Knowing whom to approach, and when and how, helps build the strong foundation necessary for companies to flourish. Our mentors serve the founders by sharing relationship-building tips and by becoming a part of the founders’ networks themselves.” The mentor network is further broadened by alliances with the Empire State Development and the Partnership Fund for New York City.
Community also grounds the IndieBio program. Working side-by-side for 4 months, founders learn not only from their mentors but also from each other, forming a support network that endures long after the program ends.
The team, facilities, mentorship, and community are important—and so is program adaptability. The COVID-19 pandemic requires nimble decision making to ensure all 4 components are up to IndieBio standards. Both San Francisco and New York IndieBio teams are working hard to navigate this unprecedented event and innovate program content for the founder communities they serve.
IndieBio helps entrepreneurs build ground-breaking biotech companies. We’re excited to share our ninth class of 11 new startups. They have been here for thirty days, working tirelessly to derisk critical pieces of their science and business. The four month program will culminate in a Demo Day on the 6th of February.
AgriSea is creating methane-negative rice farms in the open ocean, with rice varietals that they’re engineering to grow in saltwater and drought-like conditions. It can also be used for bioremediation of fertilizer runoff zones. Rice feeds half the world, and is a $318 billion market. But in many countries, rice farming is in distress from both drought and seawater flooding. AgriSea’s rice can be grown in open water, or in conventional paddies flooded with seawater. https://www.agrisea.co.uk/
Avisa Myko: The molecule melanin is evolution’s answer to radiation. This natural supermaterial has unparalleled capacity to absorb all of the radiation spectrum and convert it into different forms of energy. Research has long shown that if melanin could be made affordable, there would be wide industrial applications for it — to replace SPF factors to block UV radiation in sunscreens, cosmetics, and clothing, to blocking gamma waves during cancer radiation therapy, and protecting workers and astronauts exposed to gamma radiation. It can also be used in energy applications, such as low-cost batteries and hydrogen production. However, production of melanin industrially has been stymied, and melanin has remained more expensive than gold. Until now. The team at Avisa Myko has spent years reducing the cost of melanin production via fungal fermentation, and can now produce it at 500 times lower than existing methods. Avisa is partnering with many corporations to include their melanin in a variety of products and formulations. https://www.avisamyko.com/
BioLumen makes a pill for weight loss and gut health; it’s made of a highly functionalized cellulose matrix to entrap sugars in the stomach so they are digested by your microbiome, not your body. https://biolumen.tech/
Chi Botanic: We may not realize how inefficiently many high-value plant products are grown. Some take years, or decades, to grow. And then the desired ingredients are often a tiny part of the plant. Chi Botanic creates just the end products, in bioreactors, without any of the waste — such as aloe, natural rubber, and citrus oils. Plant cells are poised to be the next big market in fermentation. https://www.chibotanic.com/
Dalton Bioanalytics detects thousands of blood biomarkers in a one-shot assay, using liquid chromatography mass-spectrometry enhanced by chemical normalization. https://daltonbioanalytics.com/
Diadem Biotherapeutics makes shelf-stable, engineered exosomes for the anti-inflammatory market, starting with COPD. Their engineered exosomes have the best aspects of both biologics and cell therapies, without their compromises. https://www.diadembio.com/
Lupa Bio: Destructive inflammation underlies the vast majority of chronic diseases, however, current treatments are too toxic to be used in all but the most severe diseases. Lupa Bio is developing an entirely new therapeutic, derived from an oligosaccharide found in human milk, with the potential to be as effective as current drugs yet safe enough for all patients. http://www.lupabio.com/
MemBio makes blood, using a novel hollow-fiber bioreactor to make universal O- blood, replacing or complementing the current volunteer donor system. For hospitals and blood centers, Membio’s OmniBlood solves the shortages in the supply chain and the difficulty of patient matching. http://www.membio.ca/
Michroma is a desperately needed solution for the food tech revolution. Michroma produces natural thermostable colorants for foods and cosmetics that are free of chemicals and mycotoxins. 70% of the foods we eat are colored with dyes. Many are synthetic chemicals linked to hyperactivity and cancer, or extracted from insects. Shouldn’t food dyes be made from food? https://michroma.co/
Pando Nutrition is solving the problem of antibiotic usage in the livestock industry. Even though growth-promoting antibiotics have been banned by the FDA since 2017, they are still widely used throughout the industry. Pando creates super-probiotics for healthy, productive livestock. https://www.pandonutrition.com/
Primitives: Anything made of plastics today can be replaced by biopolymers. Primitives is a biomaterials company that engineers alternative plastics that can sense the environment and communicate to its users. Some applications include compostable food wrap that can tell you when food is rotting, and biodegradable cosmetics that changes color throughout the day. https://primitives.io/
We’re excited to announce our eighth class at IndieBio. IndieBio invests in revolutionary technologies for human and planetary health, and each of these companies, though small today, has tremendous potential to become a very significant and disruptive company. We selected them from well over 300 who applied from all over the world. Over the next four months, they’ll be going through a rigorous process to commercialize their scientific and technical insights.
Beeline turns your body’s own cells into drug factories to express antibodies, enzymes, or cytokines. Their method is tissue-specific, facilitating the significant need for localization of drug expression. Their first focus is to replace expensive, monoclonal antibody regimens that have to be injected weekly. They’re working to reprogram patient’s T-regulatory cells to suppress inflammation, effectively curing patients for many years. Rheumatoid arthritis is their first indication.
The microbiome is one of the most impactful emerging fields in healthcare, yet fundamentally constrained by a lack of biomarkers to measure treatment efficacy. BiomeSense’s platform is a 30x reduction in the cost of doing longitudinal microbiome collection and analysis research, unlocking this exploding market.
Their single-chip, on-toilet design will prep and assay the microbiome strains and upload the data to their cloud. BiomeSense is quickly signing pilot partners to use their device in clinical trials, as well as securing LOIs with partners who desire access to their unique, centralized data. Their platform is well-positioned for CDER Biomarker Qualification for patient monitoring as microbiome therapeutics get approved.
Caspr is a diagnostics company that uses CRISPR for rapid detection of antimicrobial resistance.
The World Health Organization considers antimicrobial resistance the number one global health threat. It affects everybody — not just the 700,000 people a year today who die from antimicrobial resistance — but anyone who will develop an infection in the future. Today, when a patient has an infection, it takes three days to determine which bacterial strains are proliferating. Physicians are desperate to know, faster, if a patient has the resistant superbug KPC, or bacteria with the resistant-gene NDM-1. Caspr Bio is making an affordable, point-of-care device that can make this diagnosis in two hours. They use CRISPR to identify the DNA of the most dangerous infectious strains. They will be extending this platform to upgrade many diagnostics with CRISPR.
Gavilan Biodesign is an in silico computational design company that redesigns drugs for pharma companies, so cancers cannot develop resistance to the drug.
Cancer cells mutate rapidly. Though targeted therapeutics kill most cancer cells, the mutated ones effectively escape, then proliferate. The cancer comes back. Currently, pharma companies design drugs to target a specific, likely mutation. But then a new mutation makes the cancer resistant to that drug, too. Gavilan is a unique computational drug design company with capabilities new to this field. Their physics-based engine models all possible mutations around a binding site to predict which set of mutations will successfully emerge. Then they redesign a drug to remain effective, not just against one or two mutations, but against all possible future mutations. They can search through 100 trillion molecular structures a day, arriving at superior drug compound structures in a matter of hours. Their goal is to work with many pharma partners to create a new class of targeted therapies that dramatically extend progression-free survival.
Guided Clarity has developed a new class of compounds to target and clear cells of dysfunctional mitochondria, improving cellular energy production. Their compounds are synthesized from naturally-occurring ingredients in food, so they are both safe and affordable as a medical food. In their first clinical study on healthy volunteers, the data showed an increase in insulin sensitivity, a reduction in inflammation marker NLR, and improved physical function. Guided Clarity is focused on healthy aging, improving mitochondrial function both in the brain and on the periphery.
11Biomics has developed a very effective, non-pesticide plant treatment that solves a huge problem for the fast-growing cannabis industry — powdery mildew disease. Powdery mildew disease can spike in a cannabis grow operation overnight, ruining a harvest worth millions. Existing antifungal treatments are ineffective or damage the plant. 11Biomics heals plants in a manner of hours by rebalancing the plant’s phytobiome, using natural hyper-antagonists to fungal diseases. Their platform of seven plant therapeutics allows 11Biomics to tune their therapy to different regions of the country, as well as treat other crops commonly affected by powdery mildew — hops, grapes, and tomatoes.
Blue Planet Ecosystem
Blue Planet develops modular systems that turn sunlight into fish — at an industrial scale.
A Blue Planet Ecosystem is a closed-loop stack of six shipping-containers; the system continuously self-optimizes as algae grows on the sunlight, zooplankton grows on the algae, and high-value commercial fish grows on the zooplankton. Thermal energy management and marine life conversion efficiency is handled by their software. In locations where land is cheap and sunlight is plentiful, dozens or hundreds of stacks can be deployed by customers. These will be countries, infrastructure investors, foodservice operators, farmers, and land-developers with temporarily-unused properties. Though fish is the output, the economics are very distinct from aquaculture because it’s a zero input system, creating a new asset type for agri-franchisers.
Plastics pollution is an exploding issue for CPG brands as the environmental impacts of products designed to be used for minutes but last for lifetimes is seen. Rather than attempt to change mass-market consumer behavior, industry is challenged to think green while maintaining convenience.
To solve this, Decomer Technology has developed a new sustainable packaging material that is edible and rapidly dissolves in liquids. It has widespread uses across the food industry, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and detergents. Their material is odorless, tasteless, and hypoallergenic, though flavors and micronutrients can be added. It can be tuned to dissolve in cold water, or hot water, or both. It’s very low cost and scalable for high volume manufacturing uses. They are partnering with CPGs for testing.
Around the world, biomass is inefficiently converted to biogas or syngas, then to useable electricity. A more efficient approach is to convert liquid biomass and food waste straight to hydrogen for fuel cells. The founders of ElectroActive developed this bioconversion technology at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Their modular power cubes will be used in any quantity to provide renewable power anywhere food waste or biomass is prevalent. Electro-Active is a scalable solution that serves many industrial supply chains, especially in municipalities that have banned food waste from landfills.
New Culture is making cheese without the cow. Combining dairy proteins, expressed by microflora, with plant lipids and sugars, their method arrives at curds that are then advanced into the traditional cheesemaking process, be that stirred, kneaded, stretched or aged. New Culture’s cheese has the signature textural properties and qualities that we’re all familiar with in dairy cheese. By removing the cow from the cheesemaking process, New Culture’s cheese is more sustainable, ethical, and better for the world.
Tinctorium is making the greenest bluejeans for the planet, using biofermentation in their indigo dye process. Across the $100 billion jeans market today, the vast majority of blue denim relies on chemical synthesis and chemical reduction, which significantly harms both the environment and the health of denim workers. Even naturally-grown, plant indigo is reduced with corrosive chemicals. Tinctorium is unique among denim producers, as their system is both scalable and free of chemical synthesis and reduction.
Check out our events for opportunities to meet the founders and learn about the future of biotech, and mark your calendar for Demo Day on June 25th!
IndieBio is the world’s leading life sciences accelerator, having funded 105 biotech startups since starting in March 2015. Companies from all over the world apply to be part of a 4 month acceleration program which includes $250,000 funding, dedicated mentorship, and 24/7 access to a co-working space and bio-safety level 1 & 2 labs. During the program, teams are focused on turning science into product, closing customers, and raising follow-on investment.
Apply here to be in our next class!
At IndieBio, we are on a mission to turn scientists into entrepreneurs to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Biology as a technology has now come to the point where we are able to design the world around us with unprecedented speed and precision to improve planetary and human health.
This renaissance is being fueled by converging megatrends of machine learning, CRISPR, genomics, and cellular agriculture and a wave of forward-thinking scientists leaving the halls of academia to build startups.
We have made many improvements to the IndieBio program in the past several months, including the addition of a leadership track with tailored mentors and sessions to help scientists become leaders.
We’ve also introduced an Adjunct Partner board, composed of subject-matter experts across the life sciences. The first six members are:
- Alexander (Sasha) Kamb, PhD: Sasha has decades of experience leading R&D teams in biopharma. He’s currently the CSO of A2 Biotherapeutics, and previously was Senior VP of R&D at Amgen.
- Darrin Crisitello, MBA: Darrin brings years of sales experience from across healthcare. He has scaled multiple large sales teams, with his most recent being Color Genomics and Natera.
- David Eagleman, PhD: David is a renowned neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author. He’s the CEO of NeoSensory, an adjunct professor at Stanford University, writer and presenter of PBS’s The Brain, and advisor to several companies and non-profits.
- Leonardo Teixeira, PhD: Leo embodies the scientist to entrepreneur story of many IndieBio founders. He co-founded GeneWeave coming out of his PhD at Cornell, which was later acquired by Roche.
- Shehnaaz Suliman, MD, MPhil, MBA: Shehnaaz brings a wealth of experience at the intersections of medicine and biopharma. She has a deep expertise in strategy and corporate development, and was also a practicing physician.
- Tim Lu, MD, PhD: Tim is a pioneer in synthetic biology, weaving together a background in medicine, biomedical engineering, and computer science. He’s an assistant professor at MIT and serial entrepreneur, with his latest venture being Senti Biosciences.
Today we’re excited to announce our seventh class at IndieBio. Founders have converged on San Francisco for the next four months to productize their insights through a design driven process. Startups span the future of food, consumer biology, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
BioROSA enables early detection and improvements in the pediatric diagnostic process for autism by providing clinicians validated blood tests to improve diagnostic certainty.
Chronus Health is building a handheld diagnostic device that reduces turnaround times at clinics from days to minutes. Their initial launch for CBC and CMP tests account for 50% of all blood tests performed.
Clinicai is building a smart toilet monitor for non-invasive early detection of gastrointestinal cancers and diseases.
Convalesce is creating stem cell therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, starting with Parkinson’s. With a proprietary biomaterial they create a brainlike micro-environment suited for stem cell differentiation.
Filtricine is developing a drug-free nutrient deprivation therapy to exploit metabolic dependencies to kill cancer cells.
Oralta designs tailored probiotics for oral health. Their probiotics balance communities of microbes to treat bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
New Age Meats is making clean meat with an automated data-driven platform.
NovoNutrients makes food from CO2. Their microbes break down industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and reassemble them into low-cost and nutrient-rich aquaculture feed and specialty ingredients.
Ember is a distributed platform to bring emergency medicine out of the hospital. By connecting patients in need to health professionals in the community, they speed up response times and improve outcomes.
Quartolio is a knowledge management platform that accelerates research by connecting the dots across scientific articles, clinical trials, and patents with the power of NLP.
Serenity Bioworks is developing an immune tolerance platform for biologics. Their first product will unlock redosable gene therapy for Hemophilia.
Stämm is reinventing the infrastructure of bio-manufacturing with a new approach to fermentation. Their miniaturized bioreactors accelerate condition optimization, lower cost, and allow for modular scaling.
Check out our events for opportunities to meet the founders and learn about the future of biotech, and mark your calendar for Demo Day on November 6th!
IndieBio is the world’s leading life sciences accelerator, having funded 94 biotech startups since starting in March 2015. Companies from all over the world apply to be part of a 4 month acceleration program which includes $250,000 funding, dedicated mentorship, and 24/7 access to a co-working space and bio-safety level 1 & 2 labs. During the program, teams are focused on turning science into product, closing customers, and raising follow-on investment.
Apply here to be in our next class!
Today we’re extremely excited to announce the fourteen startups joining IndieBio Class Six in downtown San Francisco.
At IndieBio, we are on a mission to solve the world’s biggest and toughest problems by using biology as a technology. We are giving scientists the resources they need to drive innovations across food, biopharma and healthcare, agtech, regenerative medicine, neurotech, biomaterials and beyond.
When we first introduced the first class in 2015, we made a bet that scientists are more creative, driven and entrepreneurial than most VCs give them credit for. IndieBio was built on the belief that with the right environment and structure, scientists can make the shift to entrepreneur and build transformational companies. Three years later, we are amazed at the results: we’ve had the privilege of working with 81 of of the most exciting founders in the world and playing a role in their growth – including Memphis Meats (cultured meat), Koniku (biological neurochips), SyntheX Therapeutics (targeted therapeutics), Catalog (biological data archiving), Ava Winery (engineered wine) and Qidni Labs (implantable artificial kidneys). We are proud to have created a repeatable design-driven process to enable scientists productize their discovery.
Class Six is comprised of therapeutics, cell therapies, food & agriculture and diagnostics for cancer and neurological disease hailing from all over the world. More than ever, the IndieBio teams are on the cutting edge of science and solving massive problems in the world today.
Delivering AI-powered decision support software designed to monitor and reduce antibiotic resistance.
Developing smart and strong bees for crop pollination. With their technologies, farmers can increase crop yields up to 90%, target specific crops for pollination, and substantially reduce bee population decline.
Leading the next generation of multiplexed in situ single-cell RNA analysis tools for research and diagnostic applications.
Pioneering access to high quality fat grafts, fat-derived stem cells and cell therapies. Their device enables doctors, clinics and hospitals to provide safe and cost-effective non-surgical treatments for patients.
Creating ‘wood’ without the tree. Their formable, natural fiber and resin replicates the performance, look, feel and re-usability of premium wood from scalable, carbon negative materials.
MezoMax enables faster bone fracture healing, improved osteoporosis treatment, and stronger bones in elderly patients with their novel calcium gluconate stereoisomer, which regulates calcium and mineral metabolism.
Developing long acting non-opioid chronic pain medications. Its novel delivery system eliminates addiction potential and side effects that are seen across all opioids.
Nivien Therapeutics is developing the first small molecule drugs to enhance both chemo and immunotherapies. Their compounds overcome multiple resistance mechanisms across 15 cancers to increase efficacy and decrease toxicity of treatments.
Nuro enables instant communication and computing for millions of incapacitated patients in post-surgeries and ICUs, nursing homes and rehabilitation by using brain signals.
Onconetics Pharmaceuticals develops gene therapies which target tumor cells with specific gene expression profiles. The effector arm of the therapy involves a genetic switch which activates an apoptotic inducer to kill the cancer cell and spares healthy tissue.
sRNAlytics has developed a novel bioinformatics platform to identify error-free, small RNA biomarkers. Their Proof-of-Concept work in Huntington’s Disease validated eight biomarkers that are 100% accurate for classifying early vs. late stage disease, and disease progression.
Sun Genomics is a microbiome health company focused on curing dysbiosis through personalized probiotics. Their platform enables the highest resolution profiling of customer gut makeup, empowering them to make and track changes over time.
Terramino Foods is reimagining seafood, using fungi and algae to make healthy, affordable, and toxin-free products.
Vetherapy creates novel stem cell therapies for cats, dogs, and horses. Their most innovative product speeds up wound healing and treats autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
IndieBio is incredibly excited to announce our fifth class of life science companies. Founders have come to San Francisco from all over the world, including Chile, South Africa, Canada, and across the USA.
These teams are tackling problems in a host of industries such as gene therapy, regenerative medicine, the future of food, and Health IT.
BioAesthetics is regenerating the nipple-areolar complex for the 200,000+ women whom undergo mastectomies every year.
DNALite Therapeutics is developing gene therapy treatments for the gastrointestinal tract. The first lead candidate is for colon cancer, which is the second deadliest cancer in the U.S.
Finless Foods is producing real fish meat in vitro to feed 8B+ people in 2020. Their fish is free from the mercury, plastic, and hormones that come with all aquaculture and factory fish.
Health Linkages is the Data Provenance Company. Health Linkages uses a combination of blockchain and big data to enable healthcare and life science institutions to trust, protect and share their data.
QuantumCyte is enabling a deeper understanding of the immune system and cancer biology by enabling next-gen single cell analysis. Their technology has unprecedented ability to analyze large numbers of cells at industry leading resolution.
Pheronym is creating an all natural highly effective insect control for agriculture. By leveraging pheromone spray they double nematode’s effectiveness as an organic insecticide to rival chemicals, without any of the negative health or environmental impact.
Prellis is creating living tissues and organs for pharmaceutical testing and organ transplant. Prellis instantaneously prints high resolution tissue scaffolds that grow into functioning human organs.
Proteorex is discovering small-molecule drugs to treat diseases with the greatest unmet medical need. Their platform can rapidly and cost-effectively unlock previously undruggable targets and has produced multiple partnered compounds.
Stelvio is focused on delivering precision medicine diagnostics and novel therapeutics for glioblastoma. The resistance of high-grade glioma to conventional cytotoxic drugs has prompted our development of a novel approach to therapy, including differentiating glioma stem cells to less tumorigenic cell fates.
Sugarlogix is creating sugars with functional benefits for healthier foods. Their functional sugars enhance the immune system, promote gut health, and reduce inflammation without compromising taste.
NotCo is combining AI with food-science to craft cutting-edge plant-based foods that deliver unprecedented experiences: Greek Yogurt, Milk, Cheese, Mayo all tasting like the real thing (and even better).
UBA cleans industrial wastewater from coal, gold, and platinum mines with an organic bioremediation system. Their first system is operating on a large coal mine in South Africa.
IndieBio is the world’s largest life sciences accelerator, having funded 67 biotech startups since starting in March 2015. Companies from all over the world apply to be part of a 4 month acceleration program which includes $250,000 funding, dedicated mentorship, and 24/7 access to a co-working space and bio-safety level 1 & 2 labs. During the program, teams are focused on turning science into product, closing customers, and raising follow-on investment.
With a focus on biology as a technology, IndieBio companies solve problems in a huge range of industries such as the future of food, biopharma and healthcare, agtech, regenerative medicine, neurotech, biomaterials, and more. Notable alum include Memphis Meats, Koniku, SyntheX Therapeutics, Catalog, Ava Winery, and Qidni Labs.
Apply here to be in our next class!
IndieBio is excited to announce our newest class of thirteen biotech startups. These companies are bringing innovation to a host of industries, from classical biotech spaces like drug development and medical devices all the way to veterinary, information storage, and utilities markets.
While these companies will be based in downtown San Francisco for the next four months, all their technologies will have global impact.
A2A Pharmaceuticals designs computationally pre-optimized small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
Animal Microbiome helps the monitoring and treatment of chronic health conditions in animals by providing a novel microbiome testing service.
BioInspira has developed a virus-based sensor network which will enable detection of airborne chemicals remotely and in real time, creating the next generation of infrastructure for industry.
Catalog is harnessing DNA to store the world’s information.
DxRx is a scalable digital health medical practice treating early stage alcohol addiction through telemedicine and behavior modification.
GEA Enzymes creates designer proteins by finding and manipulating specific enzyme activity. They make enzymes for the food industry that reduce saturated fat levels while maintaining consistent aroma, taste, and feel.
Mendel Health automates matching cancer patients to clinical trials through personal medical history and genetic analysis.
NeuroQore is commercializing an innovative new repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) therapy system for treatment of depression and a range of other psychiatric and neurological disorders. rTMS is an emerging therapeutic brain stimulation technique that does not require anesthesia.
Pure Cultures develops and manufactures novel prebiotics and probiotics to support the health of animals and reduce antibiotics in our food chain.
Ravata Solutions is transforming transgenic model development through automation with an aim of increasing pre-clinical medical discovery and innovation by 10–100x.
Scaled Biolabs is accelerating biologic, gene, and cell therapies using smart microfluidic chips. Thousands of cell experiments can be parallelized and automated on their lab-on-a-chip system, increasing throughput, precision, economy, and insight that can lead to dramatic innovations in organogenesis, fermentation condition optimization and therapeutic production.
Venomyx is bringing antivenom into the 21st century with the world’s first toxin-specific snake antivenom. Their solution will make antivenom treatment safe, effective, and affordable for the millions of snakebite victims per year around the world that are currently underserved.
ViaeX creates biological nanofiltration systems for water and air which are 400% more efficient than current solutions and enable selective pollutant and bacteria targeting. These systems are biodegradable, low cost, and rapidly scalable to enable fast deployment in cities around the world facing serious pollution issues.
Today, we stand on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution which fuses the physical, digital and biological spheres of technology that will fundamentally alter the way we all treat our health, eat sustainable and live better. This revolution which is being built by hundreds of startups around the world will have a biological base.
IndieBio is pleased to announce the latest 15 IndieBio companies based here in San Francisco. Based in SF, they all have a global vision, hailing from all corners of the globe to change humanity through a blend of technology and biology. In alphabetic order:
Amaryllis empowers researchers by accelerating important discoveries in genomics. Our technology halves the time and reduces the cost of RNA sequencing by 8-fold to empower the cutting edge cancer diagnostics, pharmaceutical development, and food security innovations.
Natural and petroleum free products are the fastest growing category in cosmetics, worth over $23B globally. Ardra is engineering technologies to produce completely petroleum-free, high purity, and sustainable biochemicals for the cosmetics market, as well as for pharmaceuticals and foods.
Food poisoning is a serious global concern today with over 1 in 6 people getting food poisoning resulting in over 128,000 hospitalizations in just the US every year. AstRoNA Biotechnologies is engineering a simple to use detector that can be deployed on-site at every phase of food production from field to table. Our technology can screen all food types in under an hour versus today’s 48 hour standard food safety process.
BioNascent is determined to close the gap between the health outcomes of breastfed and formula fed infants. To do so, we manufacture the world’s first humanized infant formula aimed at delivering a perfect balance of essential amino acids and carbohydrates.
Twenty five percent of the world’s arable land is currently unusable due salt groundwater contamination and more arid environments. Endura Bio is engineering salt and drought tolerant plants to be more salt and drought tolerant to increase yields from marginal lands globally, unlocking the potential to feed the world.
DNA sequencing is driving the new genomic revolution but it’s currently bottlenecked with high compute costs and inaccuracies. Genome Surveillance is revolutionizing DNA sequencing to make it ten times faster and more accurate through reducing the heavy computational load and dropping it to a fraction of the cost of current technologies.
Today we only understand what ~0.5% of the genetic variants in patient genomes mean and it impedes our ability to diagnose and treat genetics diseases and risk factors. At Jungla, we have developed a software platform that can accurately model the impacts of mutations and accelerate diagnostic development by 5x by harnessing advanced statistical algorithms that were developed at the leading Stanford bioinformatics lab.
Knox Medical Diagnostics is bringing hospital level asthma management technology to families at home with the first tool to revolutionize decades old practices. Like a blood sugar monitor for diabetes, this tool provides predictive insights to parents of asthmatics that will prevent asthma attacks, enable proactive medication management, and give patients and parents peace of mind.
Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and other global pandemics ravish countries as a result of a lack of rapidly deployable field based diagnostics. mFluidX has created a DNA diagnostic test the size of a stick of gum that can be deployed and provide results in 30 minutes. All with a self-powered disposable chip that costs 1000x less than current bulky benchtop based lab diagnostics.
MiraculeX is creating the next generation of the best tasting and healthy sweeteners in the world using plant proteins under one calorie per serving. We get rid of the sugar and terrible aftertaste of your everyday sweeteners.
MycoWorks is building a world with fewer plastics, no toxins, and zero waste by harnessing the power of Mushrooms. We grow natural alternatives to plastic foams, textiles, and leather, for use in aerospace, automobiles, apparel, and architectural interiors.
Safety testing for cosmetics today relies on inaccurate and inhumane animal testing. OneSkin is developing a human 3D skin tissue model to do toxicity tests that are more accurate, reliable, and completely animal free that can provide a deeper understanding of human skin.
Over one million people globally die of untreated kidney failure each year. In addition, dialysis technology has stagnated over the last fifty years with virtually no progress. Qidni Labs is building an implantable artificial kidney for 10% of patients with kidney disease, many of which get kidney failure. Our device is estimated to last the equivalent amount of time as a transplanted kidney without needing maintenance or cleaning.
SyntheX is expanding drug design into the ‘undruggable’ space for the treatment of cancer and rare diseases. We implement an innovative platform for the accelerated discovery of new classes of therapeutics that target the Achilles’ heel of cancer cells in a highly specific and selective manner.
Willow Cup is optimizing plant-based proteins to create healthy animal-free options for premium indulgences, starting with specialty tea and coffee. We are hacking the infinite properties of plant proteins to replace traditional dairy for a more sustainable future.
Biology is Technology.
IndieBio and Stanford Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) competition are excited to announce a new partnership to offer a fall 2016 cohort spot to the best biotech proposal!
Read the full story on Medium.
SOSV, the Cork, Ireland-based venture capital firm, is launching a biotech accelerator in November called IndieBio…
Read More on BioSpace
There is a major funding gap for very early stage bio-entrepreneurs. Backed by SOSventures, a $200million dollar VC fund, IndieBio is the world’s first accelerator dedicated to early stage biology startups.
We’re offering a total package of $100k, including $50k in cash, IndieBio, a dedicated biolab in San Francisco, brings together the world’s leading scientists and entrepreneurs to revolutionize the way biotech is done. Startups receive free access for one year and a tailored program that helps scientists become experienced bio-entrepreneurs. The 100-day program culminates in a demo day where the teams present to VCs and press the science and business of the company.
IndieBio is excited to announce its first batch in San Francisco kicking off on February 28.
Indie Bio SF: Session I—Spring 2015 (SI)
Eliminating the $750 million illegal rhino horn poaching trade by growing rhino horns made from rhino DNA and 3D printed keratin.
Enabling a thousand fold increase multipotent stem cell production over the industry standard, enabling a stable supply chain for regenerative medicine and basic research.
Creating a ten dollar real time blood diagnostics “lab on a chip” that can test for up to 50 diseases with one drop of blood, enabling field based, portable diagnostics anywhere in the world.
Enabling a 10-fold increase in yield for human bio-therapeutic antibodies used in the current $45B bio-therapeutics market.
Producing ex-vivo egg whites that eliminate the current inefficient and inhumane paradigm of the egg battery farm industry, supplying the growing egg white market with a humane and less expensive alternative.
Integrating machine learning and computer vision for lab robots that will enable next generation scalable automation tools to triple the output of the $23B R&D industry.
A bioengineered probiotics therapeutics platform that enables the creation of “enzyme factories” in patients’ gut microbiome to treat diseases from protein deficiencies and result in treatments that are 100x less expensive than current therapies.
Bioengineereed textiles that eliminate the need for harvesting cotton, enabling fully customizable fabrics for the multi-billion dollar fashion and industrial textiles industries.
Bringing a cloud-based science platform to education, makers, and non-scientists.
Open source bioreactors for every home, lab, and school.
Developing a first-in-class rare genomic variation database to give clear functional implications for human genome sequencing results.
We are a collaborative team of engineers, designers, mentors, problem solvers, inventors, technology pioneers, entrepreneurs, and founders of global organizations. We are dedicated to our entrepreneurs and their vision of bettering the world.
For more information, please visit www.sosventures.com
IndieBio is short for Independent Biology, a new way for scientists, entrepreneurs, and tinkerers to shape their own destiny and make something that matters. At IndieBio, we provide seed funding and intensive mentorship to drive this transition in only three months and launch our graduate companies into the world of biotechnology to make their fortune.
For more information, please visit www.indie.bio
We received an incredible number of great applications from across the world (more information to come in the next couple of weeks) but we have also just started sending out our rejection emails as well for the first application cycle and for some of you reading this, we’ll have attached a link to this post to discuss some of the reasons why your team submission might not have been successful in this application cycle.
What if you didn’t get into the first Indie.Bio class?
Rejection is part of the process of building any company, from the day your idea is born, you have to nurture it through the objections of friends, family, co-founders, potential customers and investors. For many of you this isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning of your journey and for some of you not successful in this cycle, we encourage you to apply with new ideas and projects as well as refined projects that you’d previously applied with, we’ll be opening up applications for fall 2015 in SF and Cork applications are open now for the Summer.
So what are we typically looking for in our applications?
1. Team: Strong, dedicated team with at least two full time co-founders (or at least willing to go full time upon funding).
2. Strong science: based on your own experiments, alpha/beta products or current literature, is your science likely to work?
3. Coming to San Francisco: Is your team willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay area for the 100 day program (at least)?
4. 100 Days: Will you be able to develop a product or service within the 100 days of the program? How will you show investors during and after demo day that you’re ready for the next round of investment to scale your company?
5. Vision & Market potential: What’s the grand vision for your company? How will your technology meaningfully help humanity? Is this more than a small service or product and does your company have the potential to build a $100m-$1BLN+ biotech business in 5-10 years if you’re successful?
Some of the applications we received were VERY interesting scientifically but needed just a little more work to show that the science might actually work, in those cases we’d highly recommend joining your local biohacker space or local lab and continuing your work and applying for the next cycle.
Just remember as Carl Sagan once wrote “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
With the recent announcement of the launch of Indie Bio (our new idea stage biotech accelerator launching in downtown San Francisco this Jan and in Cork in the summer) and the addition of the Berkeley Biolabs team, we thought it was time to send out a request for startups, not just any startups, idea stage biotech startups, for those who want to build biotechnology from the ground up, with access to funding, a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) molecular biology lab and world class list of scientific and business mentors.
We’ve pulled together a wishlist of SynBio and classical biotech idea areas we’d love to have application in but we aren’t limiting, as novel applications of biology are limited only by your imagination.
Our first class of 10 funded startups, starts at the end of Jan 2015 and we’d really love for any and all innovators to apply!
So who should apply? Anyone, if you have an idea that you’ve been dying to develop in biotech, synthetic biology or any new or unusual form of programming life, send in a short application (it should only take you 30 mins) and please feel free to send in multiple applications for multiple ideas.
Whether you’re an undergrad, PhD student, PostDoc, Professor, Industry Professional or just a citizen scientist who’s passionate about biology, we’d love to hear from you and we’d welcome an application or multiple for your idea stage biotech startup.
So with that, let’s start with the idea gasoline (hopefully biodiesel of course!) Here are a few ideas we’d like to invite to send in an application but there are ALOT more!
Request for Startups:
Replacing any animal or plant enzymes, protein, expensive flavorings or processes that can be made for a fraction of the cost in other cellular systems (or other plants). Think Vegan Cheese, In vitro meats and Eggs! GMO’s welcomed!
Utilizing biological processes to solve industrial challenges and production, everything from industrial enzymes through to accelerating production of raw materials and proteins (Novozymes is a good example)
Utilizing plants, fungi and bacteria to clean up environmental contamination, including water filtration, land decontamination, Carbon capture and radioactive cleanup
Use of plants, fungi or bacteria that can be used to extract metals from the environment in a non destructive and efficient manner
Diagnostics, therapeutic development platforms and therapeutics (ideally in orphan diseases)
True melding of human biology and machines, think grinders and not quantified self.
Novel biomaterials made with phage, viruses, bacteria, fungi, animal cells or plants. From wearable biomaterials to construction biomaterials
Storage and generation of biological power based systems
Novel computational systems built with biology, i.e. biomolecular logic is just the start
Detecting substances in the environment with bacterial sensors
Novel applications of biology to make life possible/easier for space travel and long term survival off world
Any product or service, made with novel biology that can be sold direct to consumer, glowing plants, Civet Coffee and color changing flowers are only the start!
From human tissue replacement, 3D Bioprinting to building human organs and beyond
Think about artificial wombs and beyond!
Neurocognitive Tech (NeuroTech)
Any technology that helps us visualize and understand the brain and its neuronal outputs and action that understanding.
The migratory Robin sees the the earth’s magnetic field through quantum biology, some enzymes work on quantum principles and chloroplasts improve sun harness efficiency through quantum effects. We’d love to fund product ideas in this space.
And remember, don’t forget to APPLY with your idea stage biotech. We are funding innovation!