SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- QB3 is proud to announce the 2019 cohort of the annual QB3 Biotech/Biopharma Pitch Summit, a group of early-stage companies chosen for their innovative technologies and potential market impact.

This is the third year of the competition, which is open to life science startups based in California. The range of eligible technologies spans the biopharma space, including small molecule drugs, biological therapeutics, diagnostics, and research tools, and also encompasses synthetic biology and agtech. No university affiliation is required to apply. Companies must be looking for partnership with industry and/or seeking funding from seed-stage to Series A.

Eighty-five companies applied. From these, a judging panel drawn from industry and the investing community selected a cohort of 12: four "emerging," or earlier-stage, startups, and eight who had advanced their technologies further along the path to market.

"The strong response shows that these early-stage companies are keen for opportunities to get in front of motivated investors," said QB3 Deputy Director Christine Winoto, who organized and led the competition. "It's not just the Bay Area. We saw applications from all over California."

The final cohort received professional mentorship on strategy and coaching on effective pitch tactics. On Thursday, November 7, the entrepreneurs pitched accredited investors and industry representatives in a private session at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

"We are always thrilled to see the new technologies that life science entrepreneurs are developing," said QB3 Executive Director Regis Kelly, PhD, OBE. "Interest from investors and industry is high, because these new companies are meeting real needs and have great potential to grow."

The 2019 cohort:

Aluda Pharmaceuticals Discovers and develops small molecules in the area of cell signaling. Currently completing all IND enabling studies for a first-in-class vimentin inhibitor with novel actions in fibrosis and cancer, to be ready to enter the clinic in 2020.

Aurora Bio Developing an imaging diagnostic and platform of immunotherapies across multiple systemic amyloid diseases (not CNS, but rare diseases, such as light chain, transthyretin and LECT2 amyloidosis). Has a diagnostic agent in phase 1 study.

Diadem Biotherapeutics (Emerging) Developing first-in-class engineered exosomes to treat chronic inflammatory and auto-immune conditions. Opportunities for product development, lead commercialization, out-licensing.

Dropprint Genomics (Emerging) Harnessing single-cell genomics and machine learning to build a personalized model of the immune system from a single blood draw. Profiling many patients to discover targets effective across indications.

Felix Biotechnology Focused on accelerating development, deployment of precision phage therapy to manage antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in human health. Phage licensed from Yale, discovery & engineering platforms from Berkeley.

Guided Clarity Developing a first-in-class portfolio of embryonic peptide-zinc complexes that kill cancer cells by targeting mitochondria. Compounds act faster than standard chemotherapy, with favorable bioavailability and safety profile.

Halo Biosciences Completing pre-clinical development of a small molecule anti-fibrotic targeting CD44, a receptor linked to diabetes. Has demonstrated delay and reversal of diabetes in mouse models. Also promise in liver fibrosis.

Inhalon Biopharma Developing an inhaled immunotherapy platform for treating acute respiratory infections. POC in vitro and animal studies confirm mechanism and efficacy. Raising $7 million to file IND and generate clinical candidates by mid-2021.

Nanotein Technologies (Emerging) A superior T cell activation technology, with an 82-fold enhancement over the status quo, in a market that needs newer, smarter technologies to help drive down the ~$1 million per patient cost of CAR-T.

Rumi Scientific (Emerging) Rumi's technology is a powerful high-throughput organoid-like platform that mimics the development of the human brain. The mission: to fast-track drug discovery, predicting therapeutic effect for neurodevelopmental diseases.

Scribe Biosciences Microfluidic technology to combine cells, build microscale assays, and prepare assays for high throughput single-cell sequencing. Extensive customer discovery done. First application: screening for cell-based therapy candidates.

Squal Pharma Squalene, a lipid, is conjugated to high-potential drugs, yielding new pharmaceuticals. The technology is supported by robust in vitro and animal data for many indications: pain, oncology, dermatology, spinal cord injury.

About QB3 QB3 is the University of California's hub for innovation and entrepreneurship in life science. The institute supports UC researchers and empowers Bay Area entrepreneurs to launch startup companies and partner with industry. With five incubators, two seed-stage venture capital firms, and a special initiative in health technology — the UCSF Rosenman Institute — QB3 helps bio-entrepreneurs create high-value jobs and brings more than $750 million into the Bay Area each year. Visit qb3.org.

Contact: Kaspar Mossman 415-514-9790 kaspar.mossman@ucsf.edu

SOURCE QB3

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