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NIH Opens $1M Maternal Health Diagnostics Challenge

Pregnant woman

(Sergio Santos, nursingschoolsnearme.com, Flickr)

7 Dec. 2021. National Institutes of Health began a competition for low-cost diagnostic technologies to improve maternal health, particularly in low-resource regions. The challenge as a total prize purse of $1 million, with registrations due by 1 Apr. 2022, and submissions accepted from 5 Jan. to 22 Apr. 2022.

NIH says improving maternal health worldwide is one of its strategic research objectives. Rates of maternal death related to pregnancy, says NIH, remain unacceptably high. According to data from the U.N., 211 maternal deaths from pregnancy complications or childbirth per 100,000 live births occurred in 2017. One of the U.N.’s sustainable development goals is to reduce that rate to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

About half of those deaths are caused by postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia — a form of high blood pressure and liver or kidney damage — and bacterial infections, with 94 percent of those deaths occurring in low- or middle-income countries. And the U.S. experiences about 700 maternal deaths each year, particularly among Black and Hispanic women.

Diagnosing early signs of pregnancy complications is difficult in many parts of the world, says NIH, due to a lack of low-cost tests for diagnosing these conditions at the point of care. In addition, maternal diagnostics are often not integrated or linked to electronic health records, requiring extra human intervention to add-in results of maternal health tests.

NIH says developing inexpensive diagnostics for postpartum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, and bacterial infections readily available at the point of care can detect these conditions and help prevent many of these maternal deaths. To help make those tests a reality, the agency opened its NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge, or NTAC, for Maternal Health. Participants are encouraged to design solutions with molecular, cellular, or metabolic sensing and diagnostic technologies for rapid medical decision-making and improve patient outcomes, leading to fewer complications and maternal deaths.

Proposals evaluated on multiple criteria

Submissions are expected to address at least two of the following four maternal health complications:

Placental disruptions

Hemorrhaging issues, such as anemia

Hypertensive disease, such as pre-eclampsia

Infections, such as sepsis

Participants are expected to provide detailed designs for their technologies addressing at least two of the four maternal health complications, along with initial feasibility data, as well as a plan for translating and developing the technology for use in low-resource settings, including integration with digital health records systems. NIH says technologies will be evaluated on technical, clinical, analytic, cost, usability, and impact criteria.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the NIH division managing the NTAC for Maternal Health challenge, says it wants to apply lessons learned so far in responding to Covid-19 to improving maternal health. “In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic,” says NIBIB director Bruce Tromberg in an NIH statement, “the bioengineering community demonstrated the speed with which novel point-of-care diagnostics can be deployed. The field is now poised to deliver solutions in many other areas of need, and maternal health is an especially urgent target.”

The challenge competition has a total prize purse of $1 million, with three top prizes of $500,000, $300,000, and $150,000. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a partner in the NTAC for Maternal Health challenge, and plans to review the top submissions for opportunities to offer further developmental support. Proposals are accepted from 5 Jan. to 22 Apr. 2022, with registration required by 1 Apr. 2022. Judging begins in May, with winners announced in July 2022.

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Trial Shows Nasal Spray Relieves Migraine Pain

Nasal spray

(Wikimedia Commons)

6 Dec. 2021. Clinical trial results show a nasal spray treatment for acute migraine helps more users achieve relief from pain within two hours, and faster in some cases. Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co. in New Haven, Connecticut reported summary data from the trial today on its web site, but the findings are not yet peer reviewed.

Migraine is a common neurological syndrome causing severe headaches along with nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. In some cases, migraines are preceded by warning episodes called aura including flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling in arms and legs. According to Migraine Research Foundation, some 1 billion people worldwide, including 39 million in the U.S., experience migraines. The disorder affects nearly one in four U.S. households, with three times as many women experiencing migraines than men, as well as 10 percent of children.

Biohaven Pharma is a developer of therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders, with the oral drug rimegepant, marketed as Nurtec ODT, already approved by Food and Drug Administration to prevent and treat migraine. The company says zavegepant is its next-generation migraine drug formulated as a nasal spray. Zavegepant is in a class of therapies known as calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP receptor antagonists. CGRP peptides are released from neurons during migraine episodes, which activate pain sensors in the brain, contributing to the development and maintenance of persistent pain. CGRP receptor antagonists block pain signals in this pathway, as well as reduce inflammation and dilation of blood vessels that magnify pain signals during migraine episodes.

The company says zavegepant is a highly soluble formulation taken when experiencing the first onset of migraine symptoms. The drug is packaged in individual pre-measured doses, with the dose sent into the nose then absorbed through the olfactory sensory nerves into the brain.

Pain relief for some participants within 15 minutes

The late-stage clinical trial enrolled 1,405 adult participants at 94 locations in the U.S. with a one-year history of migraines. Participants were randomly assigned to receive zavegepant or a placebo nasal spray as 10 milligram doses to use when first experiencing a migraine. The main outcome measure in the trial is a self-assessment of pain experienced within two hours after taking the drug, on a four-point scale from 0 for no pain to 3 for severe. Participants were also asked to indicate the presence or absence of other most bothersome non-pain symptoms including nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Science & Enterprise reported on the beginning of the trial in April 2019.

Biohaven Pharma says more participants receiving zavegepant experience pain relief within two hours (24%) than placebo recipients (15%), a large enough difference for statistical reliability. Likewise, four in 10 zavegepant recipients (40%) say they are free of their most bothersome non-pain symptoms, compared to three in 10 placebo recipients (31%), also a statistically reliable difference. Of the trial participants reporting pain relief, 16 percent of zavegepant recipients say they’re pain free in 15 minutes, with another 30 percent within a half hour.

The company says more zavegepant than placebo participants report returning to normal functioning with 30 minutes, but does not give percentages. Biohaven Pharma says the most common adverse effect reported by more zavegepant than placebo participants is abnormal taste, 21 to 5 percent respectively, with most adverse effects rated as mild.

“The impressive efficacy, safety, and tolerability profile shown in this trial,” says Biohaven Pharma CEO Vlad Coric in a company statement, “highlights the potential of zavegepant to usher in a new era of non-oral CGRP targeting migraine therapies that may transcend the traditional boundaries of older legacy intranasal migraine approaches.” The company expects to file a new drug application with FDA in the first quarter of 2022.

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Infographic – Huge Quantum Computing Growth Forecast

Chart: quantum computing

Click on image for full-size view (Statista)

4 Dec. 2021. Quantum computing is expected to make major gains in this decade, with the global market size for this technology accelerating in that time. The business research company Statista made these market calculations, and on Thursday displayed its annual projections through 2030 in chart form.

Quantum technology handles information in terms of probabilities, which describes infinite information components called quantum bits, or qubits, between values of 1 and 0. Conventional digital technologies, on the other hand, assign values of 1 or 0 to bits as the basis for nearly all of today’s systems. Quantum technology is based on quantum mechanics, a branch of physics for describing the behavior of matter and energy at atomic and sub-atomic levels. This behavior varies widely from deterministic forms of physics, allowing for matter and energy to exist in multiple simultaneous states and interact while interconnected.

Translated into information technologies, quantum properties open up opportunities to tackle difficult and complex challenges with simultaneous operations that would break most digital systems. Many of those challenges are complex scientific issues, such as discovering new drugs or addressing climate change. This increased power and sophistication can also focus on encryption, making quantum technology both a threat and a defense against hostile actors. In April, Science & Enterprise reported on the launch of Duality in Chicago, the first incubator program in the U.S. for start-up enterprises developing quantum technologies.

Statista includes estimates for the quantum computing market in this year’s Digital Economy Compass, a paid report. The company calculates the worldwide market in 2020 for quantum computing at $260 million, growing steadily through the decade, reaching more than $9 billion by 2030. Statista’s projections translate into a compound annual growth rate of 43 percent over that period.

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AI-Aided Fall Prevention System Gains $30M in New Funds

Old person with walker

(PXHere, https://pxhere.com/en/photo/867917)

3 Dec. 2021. A developer of a system using artificial intelligence to process video for preventing falls by older people is raising $30 million in its second venture round. The company, SafelyYou Inc. in San Francisco, is also receiving $10 million to install the fall-prevention system in long-term health care facilities owned by one of its new investors.

The SafelyYou system seeks to monitor residents in danger of falling, such as those at long-term care facilities serving older people in frail condition or individuals with dementia. Cameras are installed in rooms of participating residents that consent to monitor their movements. In the event a resident falls, says the company, facility staff are alerted in seconds. And the video is saved for staff to determine the cause of the resident’s fall, and take action if a systemic problem is revealed.

SafelyYou says its system collects and analyzes videos of falls, with videos and data on more than 20,000 falls to train its machine learning algorithms, in collaboration with nurses, occupational therapists, and other experts. The company says its analytics, from more than 1,500 videos each month, can produce reports noting similar falling incidents and environmental conditions to enable long-term care facilities to correct any problems, and institute measures that head-off risk factors contributing to resident falls. In addition, SafelyYou provides a framework for facilities to hold regular meetings called Fall Huddles, for care teams to discuss its record with resident falls and recommend corrective actions that may be needed.

Based on doctoral research in computer science

In November, SafelyYou released a report of its systems in use at 25 Belmont Village memory care facilities in the U.S. (registration required). The results, says the company, show over two years, 4 percent of emergency room visits by residents of those facilities with the SafelyYou system were caused by falls. For that population nationwide, according to data from National Center for Health Statistics, 12 percent of emergency room visits by people age 70 to 79, are due to falls, with that number rising to 17 percent for age 80 to 89, and 25 percent for age 90 and over.

SafelyYou is a six year-old company founded and led by George Netscher, based on his doctoral research in computer science at University of California in Berkeley. The new $30 million funding, the company’s second venture financing round, is led by Omega Healthcare Investors, a real estate investment trust in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Taking part in the round are SCAN Group, whose holdings include a Medicare Advantage plan, and current investors Eclipse Ventures, Foundation Capital, Founders Fund, and DCVC. In September, the company raised $19.5 million in its first venture round.

Omega Healthcare Investors’ portfolio is mainly long-term senior care centers, and it’s spending another $10 million to install the SafelyYou system in 944 of its facilities.

For Netscher, SafelyYou is a personal as well as business mission, since his mother, grandmother, and aunt had Alzheimer’s disease. “This is personal,” says Netscher in a company statement released through Cision. “Every fall that can be prevented means another son, daughter, sibling, friend or relative won’t experience the suffering I witnessed. Seeing our technology being rapidly adopted by care centers across the country means we are helping prevent head injuries, hip fractures, and the associated stress, grief, and cost to caregivers and affected families.”

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Oxford, GSK Partner on New Tech for Neuro Diseases

Brain circuits illustration

(HypnoArt, Pixabay)

2 Dec. 2021. GlaxoSmithKline is funding a joint research center at University of Oxford to advance precision medical technologies, beginning with neurological disorders. GSK, a global drug maker based in London, is providing £30 million ($US 40 million) to begin the Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine in the university’s medical school.

Oxford and GSK say the institute plans to build on advances is genomics and computational biology to improve success rates in treating patients, by discovering new therapies better matched to an individual’s genetic make-up. In addition, the institute expects to apply breakthroughs in machine learning and other types of artificial intelligence to gain new insights into pathology, particularly for measuring changes in a person’s body chemistry, down to fine cellular and protein levels.

The institute plans to establish five fellowships for early- and mid-career researchers from the university and GSK, who will serve as principal investigators to begin and lead new labs. The research groups are expected to study the use of genetics, proteomics, and advanced medical analytics to better understand how diseases are expressed in individuals. The research teams plan to focus initially on neurological diseases affected by mechanisms in the immune system including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, and frontotemporal dementia, as well as pain.

Rich resources for sophisticated analytics

GSK is showing more interest in therapies that exploit connections between the immune and nervous systems. In July, Science & Enterprise reported on a licensing and collaboration deal between GSK and California biotechnology company Alector Inc. valued at $2.2 billion. The agreement gives GSK access to two of Alector’s synthetic antibodies for treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

GSK is expected to offer the institute researchers with expertise in genetics and artificial intelligence, drawing on the company’s A.I. center in London. The company says its recent partnerships with the biomedical database UK Biobank and consumer genetics company 23andMe, and access to other genetic databases offer rich resources for sophisticated analytics that identify more precise targets for therapies. In addition, these more precise targeting methods make it possible to recruit participants in clinical trials more likely to respond to therapy candidates.

Oxford says it plans to involve colleagues from its Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics and Big Data Institute in the joint research center. “The institute,” says the university’s vice-chancellor Louise Richardson in a statement, “will create a unique partnership with staff from the university’s medical school and GSK working side-by-side to research and develop treatments for some of the most difficult to treat diseases.”

U.K.’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson notes in the statement, “We saw first-hand during the pandemic how the ingenuity and pioneering spirit of U.K. scientists and the R&D sector saved thousands of lives, with the rapid development and delivery of medicines and vaccines around the world. I am delighted to see that GSK and the University of Oxford are today taking further steps to deepen our understanding of some of the most complex diseases, such as Parkinson’s.”

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$180M Venture Fund Backing Age-Related Disease Start-Ups

Hands of older person

(Steve Buissinne, Pixabay)

1 Dec. 2021. A new venture capital fund aims to finance research entrepreneurs addressing root causes of age-related diseases with therapies and early diagnostics. Apollo Health Ventures, a five year-old enterprise based in Boston and Berlin, says this is its second investment fund, which raised $180 million (€157.5 million) from new and current investors.

Apollo Health backs start-ups designing new treatments and diagnostics for underlying causes and conditions likely to progress into damaging disorders later in life. Examples are companies addressing overall cellular health and wellness as a way to protect against conditions with prevent chronic inflammation later on, and maintaining a healthy immune system to help prevent complications from infectious diseases such as Covid-19. But Apollo Health also supports start-ups developing technologies that can be applied to longevity science, such as gene editing and machine learning for precision diagnostics.

The company aims to spin-off start-ups from academic research labs with new breakthrough discoveries applicable to human longevity. Apollo Health then incubates new enterprises to identify and protect their intellectual property, build expertise through collaborations with experts, and establish proof-of-concept for their discoveries to help attract future investors. Start-ups can then devise and execute an R&D strategy, build its leadership team, create a functioning organization, and plan for clinical trials of its treatments or diagnostics.

Ten biotech companies funded so far

“The health care sector,” says Apollo Health Ventures co-founder and partner Nils Regge in a company statement, “is experiencing a paradigm shift from treating age-related diseases long after first symptoms have developed to targeting the root causes at earlier stages in the disease pathology.” Regge adds Apollo Health follows a “systematic approach in catalyzing and building transformational companies with breakthrough technologies in an exciting therapeutic landscape with tremendous upside potential.”

From its first fund, Apollo Health is supporting eight biotechnology companies in the U.S., U.K., and Europe, and two other companies still operating in stealth mode. Businesses backed by Apollo Health include Aeovian Pharmaceuticals in San Francisco, addressing the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1, or mTORC1 pathway, where abnormal signals are implicated in age-related genetic mutations and rare diseases. Aeovian Pharma is developing treatments for disorders from mTORC1 signals that it says are safer than current therapies. The company is spun-off from the Buck Institute in Novato, California that specializes in research on age-related diseases.

Another recipient of Apollo Health funding is Cleara Biotech in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Cleara Biotech develops therapies that eliminate senescent cells responsible for cancer, particularly late-stage cancers that resist therapy. Senescent cells stop multiplying, but are not eliminated from the body, thus accumulating over time and tainting healthy cells. Senescent cell accumulations are linked to a range of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis, as well as cytokine-induced inflammation from Covid-19 infections. Peter de Keizer, who studies senescent cell processes at University Medical Center Utrecht, co-founded Clear Biotech in 2018, and serves as its CEO.

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Patent Awarded for Opioid Risk System with Geographic Data

Networked earth

(geralt, Pixabay)

30 Nov. 2021. A company analyzing public health data by geography and social factors received a patent for its system identifying likely opioid addiction hot spots. HSR.health in Rockville, Maryland received patent number 11,177,040 titled “Risk identification and response” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on 16 November.

HSR.health is a three year-old enterprise developing analytical models calculating health risks with data compiled from a variety of open or public sources offering detailed geographic identifiers as well as social, economic, and environmental variables. The company says its data are highly granular, down to individual neighborhoods, to offer detailed analytics serving point-of-care needs of health care providers, governments, and specific industries affected by health factors, such as commercial airlines.

HSR.health says its lead product, called GeoHealth Platform, is built on a multiple-cloud architecture, secured with blockchain, and available over the web, including mobile devices. The platform, says the company, offers sophisticated data analytics with artificial intelligence and visualization tools to support individual queries. GeoHealth data can also be downloaded and analyzed locally, rather than through the cloud. The company says its service offers several indices as part of a standard package for health and hospitalization risks that include Covid-19, quarterly Medicare costs, social analytics related to health, health inequities down to local levels, and drivers of poor health outcomes or high costs.

Correlate opioid addiction risks with social factors

The patent covers a system for compiling and analyzing a variety of structured and unstructured geographical, social, and health data to identify risk factors for opioid addiction and overdoses. The system calculates opioid addiction risk scores,  down to individual localities that can be summarized on a dashboard and displayed on a map. The data can also correlate opioid addiction risks with individual social factors and integrate into other databases, including electronic health records and emergency response systems. In addition, the system can discriminate between abuse of legally prescribed medications and illegal substances, as well as correlate sources supplying opioid drugs with high-risk communities.

“This patent,” says Ajay Gupta, CEO of HSR.health in a company statement released through Cision, “solidifies our approach to identifying the at-risk population for early intervention and necessary care or counseling, so they do not fall victim to an overdose, addiction, or contribute to diversion.” Gupta and co-founder Ram Peruvemba, the company’s chief medical officer, are listed as inventors on the patent.

HSR.health says the patented technology can be extended to other high-risk health conditions, such as complications from type 2 diabetes, highlighting social factors contributing to diabetes, to help find persons likely to develop the condition. Early identification can help make lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of diabetes, and the costs to themselves and their families.

The company says it filed six other patents applying the company’s technology for identifying more health risks and outcomes. Those patents include systems for risks of adverse maternal or infant health complications, spread of infectious diseases, severe complications and mortality from disease, spread of diseases in enclosed spaces or communities, and need for medical devices and testing to respond to disease outbreaks including pandemics.

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Covid-19 Antibody Cocktail Trial Request Filed

Human B-cell

Human B-cell (NIAID, Flickr)

29 Nov. 2021. A discoverer of synthetic antibodies is asking Food and Drug Administration for clearance to begin a clinical trial of a Covid-19 antibody cocktail therapy. Immunome Inc. in Exton, Pennsylvania filed an investigational new drug application with FDA for its experimental three-antibody combination code-named IMM-BCP-01 to treat patients with SARS-Cov-2 infections.

Immunome discovers and develops synthetic antibody therapies to treat cancer and infectious diseases derived from blood samples donated by patients with those conditions. From the blood samples, the company focuses on B-cells, white blood cells in the immune system that produce antibodies in response to invading pathogens. Immunome pairs its captured B-cells with corresponding antigens in an hybridoma technology first designed for cancer immunotherapies, by screening the antibodies against its library of disease-related antigens. That screening process looks for antibodies from memory B cells, those providing for long-term adaptive immunity, with high affinity for their antigen targets.

The result, says Immunome, is highly targeted monoclonal antibodies designed to produce immune responses to treat cancer or infectious diseases. The company says its IMM-BCP-01 therapy for Covid-19 infections is a cocktail of three antibodies each addressing separate regions of the protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 viral spikes. Immunome says the antibody targets include areas of the spike-surface protein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 or ACE2 receptors in cells, and other spike protein chemistry components.

Test against a placebo and with increasing doses

Immunome says in preclinical studies, IMM-BCP-01 reduces viral loads in lungs of hamsters, and neutralizes all variants of concern at the time, including the Delta variant. The company says its preclinical work on IMM-BCP-01 is funded by a contract from the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense in the U.S. Department of Defense.

“With the continued emergence of new variants, such as Omicron,” says Purnanand Sarma, president and CEO of Immunome, in a company statement, “and resurgence in SARS-CoV-2 cases despite high vaccination rates, we believe therapeutic treatment options for Covid-19 are essential. We further believe that a carefully designed cocktail, based on direct human immune response against SARS-CoV-2, could provide a novel and powerful approach to combat this virus.”

Pending acceptance of the company’s investigation new drug application or IND, Immunome plans a clinical trial of IMM-BCP-01 with Covid-19 infected patients, testing the treatment against a placebo and with increasing doses. An investigational new drug application officially seeks permission from FDA to ship new drug candidates across state lines to clinical trial sites, in effect requesting permission for a clinical trial.

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Infographic – 1 in 6 Americans Using Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency use in U.S.

Click on image for full-size view (Pew Research Center)

27 Nov. 2021. We report occasionally on new applications of blockchain in science and health, but the leading use of blockchain remains digital currencies, often called cryptocurrencies. A recent survey by Pew Research Center indicates cryptocurrencies are gaining more traction among individuals in the U.S., particularly younger people.

The Pew data show 16 percent, or nearly one in six adults in the U.S. are already investing, trading, or using cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ether. On a broader question, one in four Americans (24%) say they’ve heard a lot of about cryptocurrencies, while another six in 10 (62%) have heard a little about the subject. Those investing, trading, or using cryptocurrencies tend to be men (22%) more than women (10%), and younger — 31 percent of those age 18 to 29. In fact, about half (49%) of men age 18 to 29 say they use cryptocurrencies in some way.

Blockchain is a system for capturing data about transactions in a network, but with the data distributed among many various nodes in a network. Data about a transaction are broken up into blocks, with each block connected in a chain. Each block is also time-stamped and encrypted with an algorithm giving it a unique identifier or fingerprint, also linked mathematically to the previous block in the chain. This linking of uniquely identified and encrypted blocks in the chain ensures the integrity of the data, as well as protects the data from hacking. Cryptocurrencies use this decentralized platform to transmit digital financial tokens in secure transactions.

Pew Research Center surveyed 10,371 adults in the U.S. from 13 to 19 Sept. 2021, by landline and cellular telephone taking part in its American Trends Panel. The data are weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and other categories. The findings have a confidence interval, sometimes called margin-of-error, or 1.6 percent.

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Plant-Based Protein Biotech Raises $3M in Seed Funds

Vertical farm in Finland

Vertical farm in Finland (ifarm.fi, Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IFarm.fi_Vertical_farm_Finland.jpg)

26 Nov. 2021. A biotechnology start-up producing proteins with more sustainable and less costly plant-based processes is raising $3 million in its seed funding round. Tiamat Sciences in Durham, North Carolina and Brussels, Belgium is a two year-old enterprise that says its technology can replace many of today’s methods for making synthetic proteins using conventional bioreactors and animals.

Tiamat Sciences is developing protein reagents with a process it calls plant molecular farming. That process, says the company, uses computational methods and biotechnology for protein design, with vertical farming where crops are grown in stacked layers, often indoors under controlled conditions. The company is developing its synthetic plant-based proteins for use in cultivated and alternative meats, regenerative medicine, and new vaccines.

“Plants are a great system to work with,” says Tiamat Sciences founder and CEO France-Emmanuelle Adil in a company statement released through Cision. “They grow fast, are small water and energy consumers, and they are compostable. The technology offers flexibility with production for a diversified product portfolio.”

Produce proteins faster and at one-tenth the cost

Tiamat says it can produce growth factors for cultured meat, cytokines for cell and gene therapies, and enzymes for synthesizing messenger RNA, used in today’s Covid-19 vaccines and other treatments. The company says its plant-based process can produce synthetic proteins faster than current processes, and based on work in its labs, at about one-tenth the cost. When scaled up to industrial production by 2025, says Tiamat, the savings are expected to go much higher. The company says its processes meet industry quality standards, including Generally Recognized as Safe and Good Management Practices, required by regulators.

While Tiamat Sciences is developing its own synthetic protein products, the company is also seeking partnerships with other biotech businesses. Tiamat provides its proteins as subscriptions, and offers licensing and facility set-up services for partners to produce proteins with Tiamat processes on their own. The company plans to build a pilot production plant in Research Triangle Park in Durham, North Carolina.

Tiamat Sciences is raising $3 million in seed funds led by technology investor True Ventures in San Francisco with participation from Social Impact Capital and Cantos. “We follow best-in-class founders into the future,” says True Ventures co-founder Phil Black, “as they invent the missing pieces of their industries.” Black adds Tiamat Sciences’ “innovations in cellular agriculture and biotechnology will advance multiple industries and even the work of other companies in our portfolio.”

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