Introducing the 7 Newest Life Lab Ventures

When we opened the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab’s doors last November, we wanted this 15,000-square-foot facility — featuring a fully equipped and permitted laboratory with 36 benches, office space, and access to mentorship and resources — to lower the friction costs of growing life science and biotech ventures in Boston. Our hope was that high-potential startups working to solve global issues that affect millions of peoples’ health and well-being would want to call the Life Lab home.

What we couldn’t imagine was just how eager ventures would be to join the Life Lab, the breadth and diversity of ideas that each team would focus on, or how much progress many of these startups would make in such a short amount of time.

While the Life Lab is less than one year old, the space is already close to reaching full occupancy. There are now 17 ventures based in the Life Lab, with nine Harvard schools represented by the founders. Impressively, the first Life Lab cohort has collectively raised $23 million in funding since November. For instance:

  • Aldatu Biosciences received a $3M NIH Grant for its HIV drug resistance test.
  • Day Zero Diagnostics closed a $3M round of seed financing, which will be used to support prototype development for its infectious disease diagnostics platform.
  • Vaxess announced $6M in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its vaccine delivery system.

As you’ll see with the seven newest teams, Harvard Life Lab ventures are working on a broad range of life science and biotech challenges, such as improving health outcomes for cancer patients, using DNA for data storage, and combatting hypercarbic respiratory failure. We look forward to seeing the impact that these ventures will have on the world. You can read more about each team below, and we’ll keep you updated on their progress right here on the Life Lab blog.

Accure Health Inc.

Accure Health is a smart diagnostics company. They develop and integrate miniaturized biosensor technologies and digital healthcare solutions to enable fast, cost-effective, and highly-accurate cancer diagnosis in point-of-care settings, and to facilitate real-time patient monitoring and personalized treatment.

Arbothera Inc.

Arbothera is creating a rapid response platform to combat global infectious diseases by designing “hyper” rational vaccines based on pathogen genomics and host immunological pathways.

Catalog

Catalog is revolutionizing data storage by harnessing DNA, a material that is one million times more compact and one hundred times longer lasting than contemporary data storage mediums. Catalog has developed the first cost-effective solution for data storage in DNA and is initially targeting the $7.5bln data archival market.

Obsidio Medical

Obsidio Medical is restoring health and extending life by stopping unwanted blood flow through vessels anywhere in the body. Obsidio is commercializing a novel biomaterial with the potential to be a best-in-class transcatheter embolization solution by providing instant hemostasis, regardless of coagulopathy, and enabling a simpler, faster, and cost-effective procedure. 

Octagon Therapeutics

Octagon has developed a novel screening technology for identifying drug candidates with efficacy against highly resistant bacterial infections. They have assessed more than 15,000 compounds for antibiotic potential, and have protected the use of several molecules that have demonstrated activity in an animal model of these dangerous infections.

WntRx Pharmaceuticals

WntRx Pharmaceuticals’ goal is to improve health outcomes for cancer patients by targeting the historically “undruggable” Wnt signaling pathway. Their lead candidate is a first-in-class β-catenin/BCL9 stapled peptide inhibitor, WX-024, that has shown exceptional preclinical data and synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors, with significant implications for numerous cancers.

X-Cor Therapeutics

X-Cor Therapeutics is developing a novel approach to combat hypercarbic respiratory failure (HRF) in hospitals nation-wide. With COPD and other respiratory hospitalizations on the rise, the market is demanding a safe and non-ICU admission alternative to ventilators and existing ECMO devices.