Class 07
IndieBio SF

IBSF07 2018

Xiyan Li, PhD, CSO
It's crazy to think that our form of cancer therapy is so effective despite it technically not made of any drugs at all
Cancer cells die without key amino acids
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, nearly a quarter million new cases every year in the US

Metabolism is what keeps us going. But for cancer cells that have abnormally high rates of growth, this is doubly true. The founders at Filtricine has found that cancers require key nutrients that healthy cells do not require.

Filtricine developed a targeted nutrient deprivation (TND) therapy for treating a broad spectrum of cancer. This enables doctors and medical care professionals to exploit metabolic dependencies to stop the spread of cancer without the use of drug substances. The product now a two step cancer therapy, the first step is a meal plan that excludes the key nutrients, which the Filtricine team has shown to slow down drugs in 4 different cancer types. The second step is a dialysis with a formulated fluid that removes the targeted nutrients from the body. They have already completed pre-clinical studies to get FDA approval.

Juan “Yuyo” Llamazares, CEO
Right now, biomanufacturing is “hidden” in big facilities, but with our technology, it can be used by more people at a smaller scale and more people will see the power of biology to manufacture or to solve problems.
Scale down to scale up
One of the other companies currently at IndieBio used our system to significantly increase the productivity of their process over the course of 20 days.

Biology is the best platform for manufacturing cells. It can grow and produce all kinds of biomaterials very effectively. But for humans to be able to tap into this potential, we have to build bioreactors and figure out how to scale them in order to produce the massive amounts of biomaterials we need.

Bioreactors technology is very different when you’re optimizing for one reaction at one liter versus 100,000 liters, but this is where Stämm comes in. They are reinventing the way bioreactors work by developing a modular microfluidic platform that controls all the physical parameters, such as nutrients and dissolved oxygen, in a controlled environment. Unlike traditional bioreactor systems, their microfluidic bioreactor scales by adding more modules to increase the size of the reactor.

David Tze, CEO
It can be a gigaton solution for our oceans, climate, and food production systems. That’s because we’ve intentionally chosen to work with some of the largest resources on the planet in terms of gaseous carbon waste.
Powered by the air we breathe, but shouldn't.
A large cement plant can produce 4 million tons a year of carbon dioxide, potentially to be used by us to produce 2 million tons of protein meal.

As the world’s population continues to balloon, demand for seafood is going with it. Aquaculture is the primary method to meet demand, but relies on feeding billions of small fish to larger fish. A process that is inherently unsustainable and is only getting worse as ocean fish supply dwindles. C.E.O. David Tze started his journey investing in an aquaculture investment management company, when he saw the need for a growing food and protein supply.

NovoNutrients is looking to solve this problem with a radically different approach, growing high-quality bacterial protein from waste carbon dioxide. Their microbes break down industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and reassemble them into low-cost and nutrient-rich aquaculture feed and specialty ingredients, which sequesters the pollution and turns it into high-value proteins.

Shadi Wahba, CEO
When each minute matters, EMBER ensures that a professional from our network is on their way to help as fast as possible.
Telehealth for frontier and emerging markets
We can’t afford to waste time in the multistep process of calling 911 and waiting 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

Cardiac arrest is one of the most time critical conditions that can strike anywhere. For the patient, each minute until the ambulance arrives has a huge impact on survival and future medical complications.

Ember makes telehealth accessible in frontier markets and hard-to-reach regions around the globe. The company’s platform connects medical professionals via a video or a live chat to determine whether a visit to the physician is required, thereby empowering patients with the ease and accessibility of quality remote care while providing physicians with a full suite of virtual clinic tools.

Cody Shiriff MSc, CEO
Serenity's team of expert clinicians, scientists, and advisors have dug deep into the science of myeloid cells, cellular stress, and lupus pathology, and we're excited to bring our new class of therapeutics forward for lupus nephritis and many other severe autoimmune conditions.
Achieving immune tolerance using cellular stress pathways.
There is a ceiling of ~40% in clinical response for current lupus nephritis care.

Serenity is a therapeitucs company focusing on cellular stress pathways. Their premise is that when cells encounter a stressful environment — whether it be a lack of oxygen, increase in temperature, or exposure to a toxin — they express a myriad of stress-induced proteins, like heat shock proteins (HSPs), to maintain the cell’s order. In some instances, cells also secrete and export these signals to communicate with immune cells to avoid cellular destruction and inflammation, and maintain self-antigen tolerance. The benefits of exercise, sauna-use, and fevers, have all pointed towards stress-induced signals that can be used to treat diseases. Loaded with this insight and leveraging recent academic research and tools in stress, genomics, proteomics, and systems immunology Serenity is developing a pipeline of new medicines that will address urgent unmet needs for autoimmune disorders. They call their platform StressTek™ — enabling therapeutic targets from endogenous cellular stress pathways.

Their lead candidate SER-101 is targeting Lupus through this platform. The company will continue to explore the interface of stress and immunology to develop the next generation of StressTek™ therapeutics.Serenity’s lead therapeutic for Lupus, SER-101, is shown to preserve kidney function in a lupus mouse model and was demonstrated as safe in a phase I/IIa clinical trial.

Kishore Nannapaneni, PhD, CEO
If you’re brushing your teeth, then you’re only reducing the biofilm and by the evening it grows back. Same thing with mouthwashes, mint, and gum. They’re not addressing the root cause of oral diseases like tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
Probiotics for oral health
There are over 700 species of bacteria in your mouth, and even the slightest change in dryness can change the balance of those species

Most tools for oral health treat symptoms, rather than the root cause of disease, dysbiosis of the oral biome.

Oralta is solving this by blending highly effective strains of probiotics to restore a healthy equilibrium of beneficial bacteria to outcompete odor and disease causing bacteria. After selling out of their first batches, they are now scaling product to meet consumer and dentist demand. Long term they are building a database of strains based on high through out testing of strains in combinations to treat consumer and clinical oral health conditions.

Subhadeep Das, PhD, CEO
Our company will make cell and gene therapy more accessible, by providing a programmable environment for our own body to become a drug factory.
Hyperlocal full cell reprogramming
According to Deloitte, on a global basis there has been 15% annual growth in cell and gene therapy companies over the last 3 years

Convalesce is a biotech company pioneering local in situ genetic and cellular reprogramming, such as turning glial cells to neurons, or alpha to beta cells to replenish insulin. Reprogramming these cells ex-vivo has compromising limitations and nucleic acid medicines can’t effectively localize in vivo.

Convalesce have developed a platform that enables hyperlocal cell reprogramming through advanced materials harboring genes and/or cells of interest in vivo. We have demonstrated that CNV platform’s ECM can provide robust cell survival (3X) in vivo and enhance targeted differentiation. We were also able to get 2.5X higher expression of a gene-of-interest. Convalesce is leveraging its platform initially to target eye disease, dry age related macular degeneration (AMD) and is raising series seed to complete pre-clinical development by 2022.

Anand Parikh, CEO
We are on a mission to accelerate clinical decision making and improve patient care by bringing point-of-care blood testing to every examination room.
Blood tests without the wait.
Doctors rely on blood tests to make 70 percent of their diagnoses, but have to wait hours, if not days, to do so.

Every day blood panels are one of the simplest tests that are foundational to healthcare, but patients are still waiting days to receive their lab results. This results in multiple unnecessary visits to the doctor, and delayed time to action. Imagine what we can do if we were to get near-instantaneous results on our blood panels.

Chronus Health’s portable device allows for real-time diagnosis at the point-of-care providing lab results in minutes, dramatically improving time to care and patient outcomes. Their initial launch for Complete Blood Count (CBC) and Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) accounts for 50% of all blood tests performed.

The prevalent techniques for doing blood test relies of optics and use of mechanical pumps for fluid preparation–this drives up both the size and cost of the devices.Chronus uses electrical methods for sensing and sample preparation that reduces the device size and cost.

Starting with CBC and metabolic panels, Chronus has already demonstrated on-demand blood tests that meet CLIA standards.

John Slattery, CEO
There is no simple blood test to detect early and intervene when behavioral treatments are most effective.
Diagnostics for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism behavioral diagnosis and treatment is covered by insurance in all 50 states

No blood test exist to confirm autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Wait times for diagnosis range from 3-24 months, and the average age of diagnosis is around 4.5 years, when it’s confirmed by behavioral symptoms. More than 60% of autism health-related costs by be eliminated with earlier diagnosis and treatment, because earlier diagnosis means possible prevention.

BioROSA has developed a biologically-based diagnostic for ASD. This is a one of a kind diagnostic, screening and diagnosisng by using machine learning and targeted metabolic analysis to process biological data into a reliable and accurate diagnosis. BioROSA’s technology is also being used in therapeutic trials to assess pharmacodynamics, patient stratification, and companion diagnostic, providing doctors with the tools they need to help enable earlier detection, diagnosis, and timely treatment. They are currently the highest accuracy solution on the market, at 95% sensitivity and 92% specificity.