SV Health Investors to Co-Host Symposium Featuring Therapeutics Startup Ideas from World's Top Academic Research Institutions

in SV News

Science 2 Startup Symposium Will Take Place in Cambridge on April 24, 2018, at the Broad Institute of MIT and HarvardCambridge, MA (April 12, 2018) – Boston-area venture capital firms Atlas Venture, F-Prime Capital Partners and SV Health Investors have partnered to create Science 2 Startup, an invitation-only symposium aimed at strengthening connections between biotech investors and therapeutics researchers at the world’s top academic research institutions. Science 2 Startup will take place on April 24, 2018, in Cambridge at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The day-long event will feature presentations of promising therapeutics in development, ones that could be part of a new generation of startups, by the participating universities’ principal investigators. There will also be a panel discussion entitled “Building Successful Biotechnology Companies” and a keynote, “The Biotech Ecosystem: Success and Challenges”, by Dan Lynch, Chairman of the Board of six biotech companies, including bluebird bio and Blueprint Medicines. Attendees at Science 2 Startup will include investors from life sciences-focused venture capital firms, top biotech entrepreneurs and senior people from the pharmaceutical industry. Goodwin, Deloitte, Alexandria Venture Investments and Silicon Valley Bank are the event’s sponsors. “Science 2 Startup was borne of the recognition that great science is happening around the world. The Symposium will take the novel science that is coming out of top research institutions and introduce the people behind it to potential investors who are looking for ideas that are commercially viable and could potentially change patients’ lives,” said Bruce Booth, partner at Atlas Venture. The scientific presenters were selected by an advisory group of experienced biotech investors, drug discovery veterans and seasoned entrepreneurs. Science 2 Startup received over 200 presentation submissions from leading institutions around the world and narrowed the presenting group down to 11. The presenters are:
  • Daniel Starczynowski, Professor at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute. He is developing novel compounds for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
  • Alexis Demonbreun, Chief Scientific Officer of Ikaika Therapeutics, with founder Elizabeth McNally, Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern Medicine. Ikaika Therapeutics is pursuing genome-wide mapping to identify modifiers of genetic disease, as well as the development of anti-LTBP4 as a biologic for muscular dystrophy.
  • Jennifer Wu, Professor of Urology and Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University and Founder and President at CanCure LLC, who is creating CuraB-10, a new class of immune-oncology antibody to reinvigorate the immune system.
  • Nikki Rogers, Associate Director of Alliances at The Scripps Research Institute and California Institute for Biomedical Research, who is developing small molecules that target a novel heteromer to treat Prader Willi Syndrome.
  • Eiríkur Steingrímsson, Professor at the University of Iceland, who is developing novel compounds to stimulate the production of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides through Akthelia Pharmaceuticals.
  • Stephen Benoit, President and CEO of MDI Therapeutics, who is developing small molecule PAI-1 inhibitors to treat fibrosis with co-founder Daniel Lawrence, PhD, at the University of Michigan.
  • Zaneta Nikolovska-Coleska, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of the Molecular and Cellular Graduate Program at the University of Michigan. She is developing dual inhibitors of the anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 and Bfl-1 proteins for the treatment of cancer.
  • Derrick Gibbings, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, who is developing a modular exosome-based platform for the highly efficient delivery of RNA therapeutics.
  • Jason Rose, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is developing an antidotal therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning using heme-based protein technology.
  • John Bushweller, Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics at the University of Virginia, who is developing a novel lead compound to treat a sub-type of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
  • Tina Liu, Entrepreneur in Residence at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, who is developing next-generation gene therapies by modulating the AAV immune response via TLR9.
Science 2 Startup is the relaunch of University Research and Entrepreneurship Symposium (URES), which was an annual event for the biotech industry from 2006-2013. Science 2 Startup’s advisors are Ben Auspitz, Partner at F-Prime Capital Partners; Mark Bodmer, Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D at Evelo Biosciences, Inc.; Bruce Booth, Partner at Atlas Venture; Brian Gallagher, Partner at SR One Ltd.; Jean George, General Partner at Lightstone Ventures; Christina Isacson, Chief Business Officer at Magenta Therapeutics; Geoff MacKay, President and Chief Executive Officer at AVROBIO; Ankit Mahadevia, President and Chief Executive Officer at Spero Therapeutics; Marian Nakada, Vice President of Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation; Joshua Resnick, Venture Partner at SV Health Investors; Samantha Truex, Advisor at Atlas Venture; Stacie Weninger, President of FBRI; and Chuck Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Unum Therapeutics. For more information, please visit About Atlas Venture Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, we have been building breakthrough biotech startups since 1993. We work side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visit About F-Prime Capital Partners F-Prime Capital Partners is a global venture capital firm investing in life sciences, healthcare, and technology. Since 1969, F-Prime has worked closely with entrepreneurs and academics to create innovative solutions to some of the world's most significant challenges in healthcare and technology. For more information, please visit About SV Health Investors SV Health Investors, formerly named SV Life Sciences, is a healthcare and life sciences venture capital and growth equity firm. SV targets early-stage opportunities in biotechnology; early-stage and revenue-stage opportunities in medical devices; and growth equity investments for later-stage businesses in healthcare services and digital health. Over the past 20 years, SV Health Investors has invested in more than 175 companies. The firm currently has over $2.5 billion of capital commitments under management. SV Health Investors has offices in Boston and London. For more information, please visit
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