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FAST, Fellows & CARB-X Update | October 2020
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Inflammatix (FAST Fall 2017)  a pioneering molecular diagnostics company, announced today that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded the company up to $1.1 million for further development of a rapid diagnostic that reads the immune system to predict severe respiratory failure risk in COVID-19 patients. The diagnostic is being developed to help physicians make better hospital admission and resourcing decisions for COVID-19 patients at hospital presentation. The Inflammatix approach – known as host-response diagnostics – rapidly reads the immune system using multiple mRNA biomarkers and a machine learning algorithm. Read more.

Magnetic Insight (FAST Spring 2015), the leader in magnetic particle imaging (MPI) solutions, is pleased to announce it was awarded a Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project, “Color MPI as a Novel Method for in vivo Assessment of Magnetic Nanoparticle Dynamics and Binding,” proposes a new imaging method called “Color MPI (c-MPI),” which can add new image contrast to MPI images. Read more.

Eidos Therapeutics (FAST Spring 2016). BridgeBio Pharma is taking a second shot at fully acquiring what used to be one of its wholly owned subsidiaries, Eidos Therapeutics. If completed, the deal would give the Palo Alto, California-based biotech control over a drug that may provide some added competition to a markets dominated by Pfizer and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. BridgeBio created Eidos in 2017 with the goal of developing a drug — then known as AG10 — for the treatment of transthyretin amyloidosis, or ATTR, a disease in which misfolded proteins progressively damage nerves and organs.  Read more.

Shasqi, Inc  (FAST Spring 2016), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision-activated oncology therapeutics with its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC) Platform, announced today that the Company has appointed Wayne Saville, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, and Juan Jaen, Ph.D., President & Co-founder of Arcus Biosciences, as a member of the Shasqi board of directors. Read more. Shasqi also announced the first-ever application of click chemistry in humans, with the launch of the Company’s lead clinical candidate, SQ3370. Shasqi is the first Y Combinator-backed biotech company to reach clinical development. Read more.

CARB-X

CARB-X is awarding up to US$3.94 million to Cellics Therapeutics, based in San Diego, CA, USA, to develop a new treatment for sepsis caused by drug-resistant Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Read more.

CARB-X is awarding up to US$2.5 million to GangaGen Biotechnologies to develop novel antibacterial proteins, called klebicins, to treat pneumonia caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae. Read more.

CARB-X is awarding up to US$2.62 million to Polyphor AG (SIX:POLN), headquartered in Allschwil, Switzerland, to develop a new antibiotic to treat serious Enterobacteriaceae Gram-negative bacterial infections, including those caused by life-threatening carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). Read more.

CARB-X closed out its 2019-20 fiscal year with a record number of awards and a list of solid achievements, ramping up its efforts to accelerate innovation to combat the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. During the fiscal year which ended July 31, 2020, CARB-X granted $127.5 million to product developers and issued 23 new awards to support the early development of novel antibacterial products – the highest number of new awards in any single year since CARB-X was launched in 2016. The achievement is just one of the highlights in CARB-X’s 2019-2020 Annual Report.  Read more.