Two Yale teams awarded BioScience Pipeline grants for cancer-fighting technology
The BioScience Pipeline program, funded by Connecticut Innovations, recently awarded grants to two Yale-affiliated projects designed to benefit cancer patients.
Founded in 2015, the BioScience Pipeline program enhances biomedical commercialization by providing milestone-based funding of up to $30,000 per project. In its fourth award round, the $500,000-per-year pilot program provides critical funding to interdisciplinary ventures for business strategy, market definition, and prototyping activities. Projects were selected based on their potential for economic value and transform human health.
The projects are:
- Web and cell phone applications and software tools that pair cancer patients with relevant, personalized clinical trials. An academic-industry collaboration between Yale School of Medicine and Archetyp Mobility, which develops software for mobile health researchers, the project is led by Dr. E. Kevin Hall, a pediatric cardiologist, and Dr. Lajos Pusztai, chief of breast medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center. It is designed to empower patients to seek out and participate in clinical trials. Only 5% of adult cancer patients currently participate in clinical trials in the U.S.
- A clinical device that can remove an important signaling molecule in cancer metastasis from the blood of cancer patients. Led by Dr. Alexander Schulz, a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine, the project combines expertise in ovarian cancer biology, and materials science.
These awardees join other Yale-affiliated projects funded in previous rounds, selected from 86 total applications over two years (with a funding rate of 34.5%). Previous BioScience Pipeline awardees include:
- StraDEFY, which developed a nanoparticle-based sunscreen and therapeutic platform. Led by Mark Saltzman of the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science and Dr. Michael Girardi of the School of Medicine. StraDEFY used BioScience Pipeline funding to prepare for a pilot clinical trial. It also received follow-on funding of $100,000 through a Yale Blavatnik award. Actively supported by Yale resources, including Yale Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT), the company is currently engaged in licensing and investor discussions.
- Spring Health, a tool that leverages artificial intelligence to select suitable treatments for depression. BioScience Pipeline funding went toward establishing pilot agreements and creating a prototype for clinical evaluation. Spring Health is working with major insurance companies and recently closed a $2 million seed round.
- Pure Marrow, a system for improved bone marrow and stem cell harvesting. It used BioScience Pipeline funding to create a prototype and conduct preclinical validation. The team received follow-on funding of $100,000 through a Yale Blavatnik award. With continuing support from CBIT and other Yale resources, the company is currently engaged in licensing and investor discussions.
In addition to assisting individual teams, the BioScience Pipeline program enables inter-university collaborations and promotes local economic development. Teams awarded grants in the first three funding rounds have received $2.9 million in follow-on investment and grant funding, and 39% of these teams have incorporated.