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Look Into the Future With These Biotech Startups

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August 5, 2021

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Biotech startups may just be changing the world as we know it. 

 

From new medical devices and robotics elongating lifespans to the advances in genetic research, scientific innovations continue to break through barriers.

What does the future look like, and what impact will biotech startups have in the coming years? There are three ways that we can predict biotech startups will likely influence in the future:

  • The health and life span of humanity 
  • The impact of climate change.
  • Everything from agricultural needs to cancer treatments and more. 

Below is an outline of several biotech startups and how they are changing the world. 

Auris Health

Auris Health is a biotech company developing surgical robots that help surgeons manage some of the most complex operations. 

While surgeries have become more minimally invasive in recent decades, surgeons continue to have trouble ensuring precision and protecting healthy tissue when performing complex operations. With Auris Health technology, surgeons can improve consistency and precision across their patient base. 

The Monarch Platform from Auris Health consists of robotics, endoscope design, micro-instrumentation, and data analysis to boost patient care in the surgical realm.

Dr. Frederic Moll - a physician and entrepreneur dedicated to improving patient outcomes - founded Auris Health in 2007. He pioneered the field of surgical robotics when he began his first robotics business in 1995. 

In 2019, Ethicon, a part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, acquired Auris Health. After this, Dr. Moll remained a key figure in pushing this startup to achieve great things and improve imprecise treatments across surgical teams. 

Some of the biggest successes that Auris Health has garnered include surgeries for cancer cases. The robotics platforms have made a major impact on stopping disease progression with minimally invasive surgeries that remove cancerous tissue. 

With the technology from Auris health, surgeons can now perform operations via a display screen while the surgical robots conduct the procedure in the operating room. With its Johnson & Johnson acquisition, Auris Health is sure to bring more technological advancements to improve patient health outcomes in the coming years. 

Cerevel

The biopharmaceutical startup Cerevel focuses on developing novel treatments in the field of neuroscience. 

With neurocognitive diseases impacting millions of people every year, Cerevel is determined to find medicines and therapies to improve patients’ health and elongate their lifespan. 

This company’s scientists combine their knowledge of biology and the brain’s circuitry with pharmacology to discover new medicines for treating neurocognitive decline. The type of cognitive diseases that Cerevel aims to treat include Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and epilepsy, among others. 

Their leadership team and expert neuroscience drug developers are changing the future of patients with neurocognitive diseases through drug discovery and development. 

CEO Tony Coles, M.D., founded Cerevel toward the end of 2018. The company has partnered with Pfizer and Bain Capital to scale its projects. Pfizer has provided a keystone Equity position and invested in Cerevel for the last several years. 

This biotech company conducts preclinical and clinical-stage studies on neurocognitive diseases, and through collaborations, they are continually developing new research programs. 

Some of the progress Cerevel scientists have made includes developing:

  • Tavapadon for treating early-stage and late-stage Parkinson's disease

  • CVL-871 to treat dementia-based apathy
  • Darigabat as a therapeutic agent for treating epilepsy and anxiety
  • CVL-231 as a way to treat psychosis
  • CVL-936 as a dopamine antagonist to treat substance use disorder 

In the realm of neuroscience, Cerevel has already made a name for itself, and is definitely one to watch. 

Joyn Bio

When it comes to halting the negative impacts of climate change, biotech companies like Joyn Bio are leading the way. 

Joyn Bio is developing bacteria that can remove nitrogen from the atmosphere and provide it directly to plants, such as corn or wheat. 

This process cuts down on the need to develop, move, and use nitrogen fertilizers, decreasing overall greenhouse gas emissions. 

The company aims to solve many of the challenges of the food supply chain and the agricultural industry, in addition to reducing the impact of climate change by using microbes and synthetic biology. 

Jason Kelly founded Joyn Bio in September 2017 via partnership with Leaps by Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks. The company is based in Boston, Massachusetts and has three investors with $200 million in funding. 

Since its founding, Joyn Bio has been advancing synthetic biology and microbes to provide essential agricultural solutions for farmers nationwide. Scientists at Joyn Bio have engineered microbes to create a more sustainable future for the agricultural industry. 

Biotech companies like Joyn Bio are making waves in reducing the impact of climate change worldwide. 

Maze Therapeutics

Maze Therapeutics focuses on using genetic research - specifically the deciphering of genetic modifiers - to develop superior therapies for a wide range of critical diseases.

The scientific team applies genomics, data science, and the building blocks of genetics to determine how to better treat patients with rare severe diseases and familiar diseases, including rare cases of cancer. Combining both technological discoveries and drug development, these experts produce precision medicine to improve treatments and patient health outcomes.

Maze Therapeutics was first launched on February 28, 2019, and the founders include:

  • Mark Daly, Ph.D., from the Broad Institute 
  • Stephen Elledge, Ph.D., from the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Aaron D. Gitler, Ph.D., from Stanford University
  • Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., from Verve Therapeutics, the Broad Institute, and Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Jonathan S. Weissman, Ph.D., from the Whitehead Institute 

One of Maze’s most significant achievements is the COMPASS platform, which combines data science tools, genomics technology, and genetic information to build connections between specific genes and their risk of diseases. 

The COMPASS platform can map out the rate of disease progression as well as the age at which a person is most likely to become diagnosed with a medical condition. 

The future of genetics research rests with biotech companies like Maze Therapeutics. 

Ginkgo Bioworks

Ginkgo Bioworks harnesses the power of cellular biology and bacteria to develop new processes and modify microbes. Or, as they put it, to “build the back-end of the bioeconomy.”

This biotech company has partnered with multiple businesses to develop microbes for a variety of uses, including working with Bayer to make microbes for the agricultural industry and with Joyn Bio to change the way cereal crops utilize nitrogen from the air. 

Another project this company has developed is the re-creation of smells from long-extinct plants. To accomplish this, Ginkgo Bioworks worked with Harvard University to source samples of tissues from extinct plants. Experts on this project presented their findings and fragrances at a conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tom Knight, Austin Che, Barry Canton, Reshma Shetty, and Jason Kelly founded Ginkgo Bioworks in 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. Tom Knight leads the company with these expert MIT scientists to grow the company within the biotech sphere.

Some of the most impressive developments from Ginkgo Bioworks include its work on nucleic acid vaccines, production of microbes and amino acids using gut microbiology research, and the fermentation of meat, dairy, and plant-based proteins. This company’s work is essential in advancing biotechnology as a whole.

Conclusion

Biotech companies are continually researching and advancing the fields of genetics and cellular biology as well as robotics and pharmacology, and have the potential to have a significant impact on improving the health and life span of patients - and the planet.  

The five biotech startups mentioned here are likely to show new milestones and significant developments over the coming decades. So far, these companies have impacted Parkinson’s disease research, reduced the impact of global warming, and developed surgical robots to improve patient outcomes, to mention but a few outcomes. 

Whether via climate change, agriculture, neurocognitive diseases, or robotics, biotechnology is continually changing the planet we live on and affecting the future for its inhabitants - hopefully for the better. 

For those looking to contribute toward biotechnology advancements, getting a great team is vital. At Hunt Club, we help connect you with those people. Speak to our recruiters today to get started! 

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