The Biopharma Startups Presenting at MedCity INVEST

The new paradigm in drug development: Why platform technology is the solution patients and payers need


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Biopharma innovation will be an important part of the startup contest Pitch Perfect at MedCity INVEST from May 22-24 at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago. Companies presenting their technology at the event seek to support a diverse patient population spanning conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, and cancer. Cell, gene therapy and immunotherapies also form some of their treatment approaches in development.

The biopharma track is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24 at 10:50 am and is sponsored by TriNet Pharma. The investor judges for the track include:

  • Ayush Jain, Vice President, Rise of the Rest
  • Kelly Kaihara, Director, Life Science Tools and Diagnostics, General Inception

The startups taking part include:


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ClostraBio is a late-preclinical stage pharma company spun-out of the University of Chicago. It creates new therapies for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and food allergy. ClostraBio’s technology includes a novel nanoparticle platform for targeted, sustained delivery of large doses of small molecule bacterial metabolites to the lower gut. It is currently completing IND-enabling efforts to initiate Phase 1 clinical studies in 2024.


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To meet the growing demand for engineering large, targeted genome integrations, Full Circles Therapeutics is creating C4DNA, a unique kind of DNA donor with customizable payloads. The business has enabled large genome integrations to be targeted with CRISPR for the first time. Its C4DNA enabled gene editing approach minimizes cytotoxicity, which is important when engineering primary cells and stem cells for therapeutic applications.

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Interactome Bio harnesses the power of extracellular vesicles for diagnostics and therapeutics. Once thought to be a waste mechanism of the cells in our bodies, these native nanoparticles play a critical role in intra and extracellular communication.

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Red Arrow

Red Arrow Therapeutics develops new technologies to turn “cold” tumors into inflamed “hot” tumors. The lead product candidate, RA-001, a pH-activated polymer micelle loaded with IL-12, is designed to release fully active IL-12 upon sensing intratumoral pH to support immunotherapy.

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Syntax Bio is a cell therapy company focused on manufacturing renewable sources of the cell types most critical for human health. Its modified CRISPR system automatically guides stem cells down lineages of choice through step wise genetic instruction sets to mimic embryonic developmental processes. Syntax used its seed funding to engineer two new generations of the system and have demonstrated rapid discovery of iPSC differentiation to pancreatic beta cells, hematopoietic stem cells, and a few musculoskeletal progenitor cell types.

Photo: appledesign, Getty Images


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