Announcing the 17 ventures joining the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab this fall

This year we’ve been busy preparing for the opening of the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab, a curated community of growth-stage life sciences startups. The fully equipped wet lab environment, collaborative co-working space, and educational resources will support high-potential biotech, pharma, and other life sciences-related ventures that have at least one Harvard founder. Today, we’re delighted to announce the first 17 startups that have been selected to join the Life Lab when it opens in November 2016.

As the latest addition to the Harvard Innovation Labs, the Life Lab will build on the One Harvard mission by enhancing the university’s cross-disciplinary ecosystem for exploring innovation and entrepreneurship. With the opening of the Life Lab, Harvard students, faculty, and alumni will have access to the facilities, programming, and community they need to take their life science and biotech ventures further, faster.

The response to the Life Lab has been incredibly positive, and we’ve been thrilled by the caliber of applications for the inaugural class. Teams were evaluated on a number of criteria including their science, stage of development, potential for impact, and ability to be a strong community member.

These 17 teams are reflective of the breadth and diversity of Harvard University, and highlight the university-wide demand for the Harvard Life Lab. Nearly two-thirds of the ventures have a Harvard student, faculty, or post-doc founder, with the remaining one-third launched by alumni. Team members come from eight Harvard schools, and 41 percent of the ventures have a female founder. It’s also interesting to note that nine Harvard or faculty labs are represented as well as members of labs from MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Tufts.

We look forward to seeing what these ventures accomplish in the coming years as they use the Life Lab to test, challenge, and nurture their ideas.


Akous – College, HBS, Blavatnik Fellow

Akouos is developing novel therapies and delivery systems to prevent hearing loss and restore hearing in genetically defined patient populations.

Aldatu Biosciences – GSAS, HSPH

Aldatu’s lead product is a low-cost HIV drug resistance genotyping test designed to guide clinical decision-making in resource-limited healthcare settings.

Beacon Genomics – HMS

Beacon Genomics is an early-stage startup company focused on enabling safe and effective therapeutic applications of genome editing nucleases by defining and optimizing genome-wide specificity.

BiomaRx – HMS

An oncology-focused startup, BiomaRX is focused on developing the first non-invasive early stage pancreatic cancer diagnostic.

change:WATER Labs, Inc. – College

change:WATER Labs is developing solutions to drastically minimize the increasing volumes of off-grid residential, commercial and industrial wastewater, leveraging a super-hydrophilic polymer that passively eliminates 85-99% of waste volumes onsite. Our first product will be a portable, evaporative toilet for homes with no power or plumbing, specifically in refugee camps and low-income communities in developing countries.

DayZero Diagnostics – GSAS

DayZero is developing a rapid diagnostic for identifying drug-resistant pathogens in clinical samples. It uses next-generation genome sequencing and data-driven algorithms to rapidly identify pathogen species and predict drug resistance, in hours rather than in days (the current culture-based standard), so physicians can quickly prescribe the most effective antibiotic.

Gel4Med – SEAS

Gel4Med is focused on improving the outcomes in regenerative medicine through the design and engineering of smart biomaterials that instruct and harness the innate capacity of the body to heal.

GRO Biosciences (GRObio) – Wyss Institute/HMS

Using our microbes with an expanded genetic code, GRO Biosciences makes therapeutic proteins with new stabilizing bonds to enable inexpensive microbial fermentation, fast production times, and long serum half-life.

Nix – HBS, SEAS, Blavatnik Fellow

Nix is developing a single-use consumer diagnostic platform that ad¬dresses the white space between the biosensor market and activity trackers, with an initial focus on hydration for athletes, soldiers, and laborers.

PathoVax – HMS

PathoVax is transforming the multi-billion HPV vaccine market with RGVax to target all cancer-causing HPVs neglected by current offerings.

Piper Therapeutics – College, HBS

Piper Therapeutics is focused on using small molecules to modify immune system signaling, preventing tumors from acquiring macrophages.

Riparian Pharmaceuticals – College, SEAS

Riparian is discovering therapeutics to promote vascular health and treat the leading causes of human mortality. Its unique approach of modulating biology within the blood vessel wall aims to add a new therapeutic dimension to cardiovascular, diabetic, and kidney diseases.

Suono Bio – HMS

Suono Bio is developing technology that enables ultra-rapid delivery of therapeutics across biologic tissues, such as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

UnNamed – HMS

UnNamed’s technologies enable living cells to sense and respond to chemicals. This is done by engineering proteins to become dependent on binding to a target molecule, allowing for the generation of novel biosensors that can be used for optimizing bioproduction of useful chemicals, environmental toxin detection, or drug discovery.

UrSure Inc. – HKS

An HIV prevention company, UrSure Inc. boosts boost adherence to the HIV preventive medication, PrEP, by making patient and physician friendly urine tests that allow doctors to monitor patient compliance to the medication.

Vaxess Technologies, Inc.  HBS, SEAS, HKS, HLS

Vaxess is using silk to create the next generation of vaccines that combine high temperature stability with novel delivery formats such as oral films and sustained release microneedles.

XGenomes – HMS

XGenomes is developing groundbreaking DNA sequencing technologies, with the goal of accelerating the path towards personalized medicine