October 2017 Newsletter
Congratulations to Siolta Therapeutics on winning the Bugs, Drugs, & Beyond QuickFire Challenge
Siolta Therapeutics (left to right): Ricardo Valladares, Nikole Kimes, Benjamin Fiebiger.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS and the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) launched the second Bugs, Drugs, & Beyond QuickFire Challenge. Taking place in both San Francisco and Cambridge, the Challenge awarded winners with a customized package of support from the JHMI and JLABS, including coaching and $75,000 in funding or entrance to the South San Francisco or Boston JLABS sites, to help advance microbiome-based human health solutions.
New partnership with TetraScience QB3@953 is happy to announce an exciting new partnership with TetraScience, the leading Internet of Things for science company. QB3@953's goal is to be the most efficient and "lean" lab on the planet, and TetraScience's ability to connect existing instruments and lab systems to a single online dashboard, will help us reach this goal. We are also working on new projects to help predict system failures before they occur. TetraScience and QB3@953 are looking forward to building upon our existing relationship and getting companies involved. Stay tuned for upcoming events where you can learn more.
Prellis Biologics is developing technology to build transplantable human organs and tissues. Their aim is to address the organ shortage and provide human tissues to streamline the development of therapeutics. The first transplantable human tissues Prellis Biologics is working to develop are the insulin secreting units of the pancreas, Islets of Langerhans. A renewable, safe source of Islets of Langerhans will provide an option to millions of people living with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM). An islet transplant may allow T1DM patients to become insulin independent thereby avoiding daily injections and finger pricks for monitoring and regulating dangerous blood sugar swings. In addition, our company has developed a printing process to create human Lymph Node Organoids (LNO), capable of immune responses and generation of human antibodies, bypassing the need for antibody development in animals. In our proof-of-concept studies, our scientists created 14 novel class-switched human IgG antibodies that are reactive to the Zika Virus in less than 6 weeks. By engineering human tissues in the laboratory for rapid therapeutics development, our technology will streamline bench-to-bedside research and efficiently address emerging disease outbreaks. Prellis Biologics was co-founded in 2016 by Dr. Melanie Matheu and Dr. Noelle Mullin, two Ph.D.'s with a passion for bringing engineering and biology together to solve unmet medical needs.
Congratulations to SiteOne Therapeutics and Trace Genomics! Please join us as we toast the growth and success of SiteOne Therapeutics and Trace Genomics and wish them well as they move to their own lab spaces. Celebrations will be on October 12, 2017 at 3:30 PM. RSVP
Lunch Seminar: October 19, 12:30 - 1:30 PM Reaction before action: new approaches to biomineralization-associated diseases Daniel Laser, PhD CEO and Co-Founder, Applaud Medical RSVP Applaud Medical is a three-year-old company developing treatments for biomineralization-related diseases. Applaud's products use violent physical effects like cavitation and shock waves to achieve a therapeutic effect, while sparing non-targeted tissue through precise chemical targeting. Applaud's lead product, for low-invasiveness treatment of kidney stones, is currently in clinical trials in Gujarat, India. This seminar will cover technical aspects of combining chemical reactions with mechanical action in both Applaud's products and in a range of other drugs and devices, along with a brief discussion of key commercialization considerations for this uniquely promising product category.
Daniel Laser is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Applaud Medical. Dan also founded Wave 80 Biosciences, a pioneer in detecting HIV during the high-transmission-risk earliest phase of infection, when the immune response is insufficiently advanced for antibody-based methods. He has served as board member or advisor to drug and device companies in fields ranging from autoimmune disease to ophthalmology to cancer. Dan got his start in the medical device field working on haptic feedback for telerobotic surgery systems. Dan holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Semiconductor Research Corporation Graduate Fellow. While at Stanford, he was also a MacArthur Affiliate at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, developing mathematical models for protecting against threats involving weaponized pathogens.
Lunch Seminar: November 1, 12:30 - 1:30 PM MAGNAP: A new approach to Obstructive Sleep Apnea Michael R. Harrison, MD Founder, MAGNAP Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, and Reproductive Sciences, Emeritus University of California, San Francisco RSVP Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can have their airway opened by pulling the hyoid bone and all its attachments to the airway anteriorly. But how? We have developed and are now testing in a first-in-human trial the Magnap System. A titanium encased magnet is implanted on the hyoid in an outpatient procedure. When going to sleep the patient puts on a separate external brace containing a second magnet, the airway is held open and OSA resolved.
Dr. Michael Harrison is Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Emeritus, a position he assumed in 2006 after a long-distinguished academic pediatric surgery career at UCSF beginning in 1978.  He is also the Founding Director of the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center. Dr. Harrison earned his B.A. degree from Yale University and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed pediatric surgery fellowship at the Rikshospitalet in Oslo, Norway, and at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Dr. Harrison joined the Department of Surgery at UCSF in 1978, with joint appointments in pediatrics and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences. There are currently efforts underway to establish a distinguished professorship in his honor. Dr. Harrison is a member of numerous scientific societies, serves on the editorial boards, and has served on several national committees including the Committee on the Status of the Anencephalic as Donor (1994-99). As a member of various medical and surgical professional societies, he has been recognized by his colleagues for his contributions to the field and honored with a number of prestigious awards, including the American College of Surgeons' Jacobson Innovation Award and Sheen Award, the First Professor P.P. Rickman Award of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons, the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement, the Arnold M. Salzberg Mentorship Award of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Michaël Vloten Award of the Congress of the Association of Surgeons of the Netherlands, and induction into the Institute of Medicine.
Office Hours: November 1, 1:30 - 3:00 PM Amgen Ventures and Business Development Team To apply for Office Hours, please contact Linda Eng.
Janis Naeve, Ph.D. joined Amgen in 2005 and is the Managing Director of Amgen Ventures, guiding the fund's investment in biotechnology companies focused on discovering and developing human therapeutics. From 2002 to 2005, Dr. Naeve was director of Corporate Development at X-Ceptor Therapeutics, acquired by Exelixis. Prior to this, she served as director of Business Development at Aurora Biosciences, leading transactions for the ion channel technology business unit and managing collaborations with Pfizer, Merck, Lilly and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Naeve holds a Ph.D. in Pathology from University of Southern California and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology.
Alex Turner, Ph.D. joined Amgen in 2012 and is a Licensing Director, leading search and evaluation of product opportunities for Amgen's Neuroscience, Nephrology, and Bone Health therapeutic areas. Prior to Amgen, Dr. Turner was Senior Director of Business Development at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, leading out-licensing outreach across the company's pipeline and in-licensing search and evaluation of technologies to accelerate drug discovery. Dr. Turner holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.
Becky Pferdehirt, Ph.D. joined Amgen in 2016 and is a Senior Manager of Business Development, focusing on licensing of external technology platforms to support Amgen's R&D. Prior to joining Business Development, Becky was a scientist in Discovery Research at Amgen, focusing on technology development for gene and cell therapies. Dr. Pferdehirt holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from U.C. Berkeley and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Genentech.