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Introducing Spring 2019 FAST Companies

Seven life science startups, vetted and selected by a distinguished review panel, will join CLSI’s Spring 2019 Fellows All-Star Team (FAST) Advisory Program. The Spring 2019 FAST cohort includes:

  • Fauna Bio, developing the first drug discovery pipeline that uses multi-omics data from a broad range of natural animal models, not traditional model organisms, which historically have not proved to be good resources for discovery biology that will translate into therapies for humans;
  • N1 Life, developing an efficient drug delivery platform to achieve efficient absorption and uptake of therapeutics across a variety of biological barriers, including cancer cell membranes, bacteria membranes and biofilms, blood-brain barrier and skin;
  • Serenity Bioworks, developing an immune-compatible gene therapy platform. Their first product will be a re-dosable gene therapy for MEN-1;
  • Unnatural Products, developing a drug discovery platform focused on macrocycles by combining computation design algorithms with directed, parallel synthesis to create collections of novel molecules to bridge the gap between discovery and lead optimization.

In addition, three companies will join the Spring FAST cohort via the CARB-X track, through which companies targeting drug-resistant bacteria and in scope for CARB-X funding can participate in the FAST program:

  • Metis Biosciences, developing a new class if antimicrobials to by target the enzyme Polyphosphate Kinase (PPK) for the treatment of drug-resistant bacterial infections;
  • Oppilotech,  developing an in-silico model of bacterial cell envelope biogenesis to be utilized as a platform to discovery and develop an internal pipeline of new antibacterial drugs; and
  • Trellis Biosciences, developing a broad spectrum novel antibody targeting multiple species of drug-resistant bacteria. The antibody disrupts the biofilm by extracting the scaffolding protein, thus releasing bacteria which regain sensitivity to antibiotics as they shift from a sessile state to a planktonic state.

Each company founder will be paired with a team of 10 to 12 advisors who will meet with them over 12 weeks in group advisory sessions. These meetings culminate in a final FAST Showcase on June 11 to a broad audience of industry professionals, entrepreneurs and potential investors.

Now in its sixth year, FAST was developed to help some of the most innovative young life science companies FAST-track their way to funding and success. FAST’s 63 company graduates have received over 6960 volunteer advisory hours valued at over $1,546,000, have collectively raised over $813 million and have tripled their workforce, creating 305 new jobs since their participation in FAST.

The FAST program draws on a high-level team of serial entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and business advisors with expertise in clinical development, regulatory, reimbursement, relevant technical R&D, finance, marketing and business development. The teams provide FAST entrepreneurs with intensive team review and coaching to perfect their business model and develop a compelling commercialization strategy.