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Yana Aznavour and Max Sorokin

Empowering Women, One Test at a Time: The Endometrics Approach to Endometriosis

Roughly 190 million women suffer from endometriosis worldwide. In endometriosis, the tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing debilitating pelvic pain and infertility. The chronic pain can last for almost a lifetime - but despite the severity of the pain, many women don’t even realize they have a disease. And it can be difficult for doctors to tell, too. As the CEO and founder of Bakar Labs tenant Endometrics, Dr. Aznavour is dedicated to bridging the gap between patients and easy, painless diagnosis.

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Sampling Human co-founders Daniel Georgiev, Martin Cienciala, and Hynek Kasl (L-R) at Ocean Beach shortly after their arrival in San Francisco from the Czech Republic.

Tenant Spotlight on Sampling Human: Using Biology to Analyze Biology

Anyone who’s had a blood draw as a patient – in short, everyone – knows that what the doctor gets to work with is a basic count of red and white blood cells. But there’s so much information that we’re missing, which could help inform and develop much more precise treatment. Daniel Georgiev and Sampling Human want to solve this problem. Their solution: using biology to analyze biology. Read post
The Regel Therapeutics leadership team

Tenant Spotlight on Regel Therapeutics: A New Approach to Gene Therapy

“I always used to enjoy science and technological innovation. For a scientist, curiosity leads to discovery, but it is a need that leads to invention. In the back of my mind, I always knew that to make a clinical product into a reality, I have to take the technology out of the lab and develop it in an industry setting. Patients and their caregivers motivated me to take this leap into entrepreneurship," says Navneet Matharu. Read post
Don Ganem and Kelly Wong

Tenant Spotlight on Via Nova Therapeutics & Antiviral Development: Seek Out Investors Whose Aims Align With Yours

“Don and I got to talking and we decided, let's try to get these assets out of Novartis and found Via Nova. A little over a year ago, we were able to execute on a Series A, to get an initial funding of $20 million, which also enabled the in-licensing of the assets from Novartis. The four that we chose are for influenza, human rhinovirus, BK polyomavirus and adenovirus.” Two scientists without a team or a lab raised $20 million? You heard right. That funding came from Aditum Bio, an investment firm founded by former Novartis scientists who could appreciate that millions of dollars had already been invested into the R&D for these assets. Read post
A group photo of 5 people at Bakar Labs. CEO Greg Went is far left, with CSO Jack Nguyen to his right.

Tenant Spotlight: Reflexion Pharmaceuticals & The Mirror World of D-Therapeutics

CEO Greg Went appreciates that our time on Earth is short. What he cares about is helping patients with medicines that work. He doesn’t have time for the ego that some scientists have tied up in the technologies they’re developing. He admits that, early on, even his company was too into itself. “What Reflexion lacked early on was the mentality of ‘why develop this technology if it’s not better than monoclonal antibodies.’ ‘Same as’: we don’t need that. We need products that are a factor of two to ten times better than the standard of care.” Read post
Valitor Team

Tenant Spotlight: Valitor Aligns Its Stakeholders to Develop Biopolymer Therapeutics

“Getting the science right is hard enough, but at least I was trained to be a scientist,” says CSO and former CEO Wesley Jackson. “The skill that I had to learn the quickest was to keep all the company’s stakeholders aligned. I naively assumed that if the science was great enough, it would be sufficient to launch the business. But, instead, I found that a company can only exist because there is a team of people who have an interest in it existing." Read post
Perlumi's Chris Eiben at the bench.

Tenant Spotlight: Perlumi’s Plan to Perfect Photosynthesis 

“We can’t make more land, so we need to be more efficient with it. One way to do this is to make plants fundamentally better at photosynthesis. If you make photosynthesis better, you solve a lot of problems at the same time. You increase food security, you can pull CO2 out of the atmosphere for the long term, and you can spare land for biodiversity.”  Read post
The Catena team (L-R: Samantha Brady, Chanez Symister, Maxwell Nguyen, Marco Lobba) at the opening launch event for Bakar Labs and the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub. UC Berkeley photo by Keegan Houser.

Tenant Spotlight: Catena Biosciences and Next-Generation Protein Coupling

How can we direct therapeutics to where we want them to take effect? Often the solution lies in attaching, or conjugating, a therapy to another molecule that performs the targeting function. “We discovered a new protein conjugation process that allowed us to build things like CRISPR base editors,” says Catena CEO and co-founder Marco Lobba. “It’s not just applicable to Cas9, but also to antibodies, cell-based therapies, and several other types of new drugs." Read post