A competition of startups-to-be offers some insight into Philly’s biotech chops: three Philly-based companies made it to the final stages of the Freedom from Cancer Startup Challenge alongside some 50 companies from around the world.
The business plan face-off, created by Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI), is an open innovation challenge that seeks to spur, over time, 100 potential startups to join the fight against cancer. It will look to deliver on its goal through the commercialization of existing technologies at government institutions and universities.
Winners will have access to a training program, a small seed investment and access to legal counsel for the technology licensing process. Funding for the competition was provided by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and MedImmune.
“CAI is poised to create a new paradigm and platform to drive the commercialization of cancer research into medicines that could make a significant impact on the quality of life of cancer patients and their families, reduce the economic burden of exorbitant cancer treatment costs, and perhaps free the world from cancer,” said CAI founder Rosemarie Truman.
Two of the three Philly pitches came from the same duo of postdoctoral researchers: postdoctoral researches Mukta Asnani and Margalit Haber.
Here are the Philly pitches in the final stages of the competition, which will announce its winners at the end of the month:
- Makers of a pH-sensitive nanoparticle
- Makers of a diagnostics tool for HPV/cervical cancer
- A platform for engineering CAR T-cells, by Jefferson postdoctoral researcher Mukesh Kumar