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July 21, 2022

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2022 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Golden Ticket Competition

Left: Congratulations to AVECRIS for winning a Golden Ticket! L-R: Dennis Mak, CEO; Sushmita Poddar, PhD, director of R&D; Rachel Loh, PhD, research scientist; Volker Patzel, PhD, chief scientific officer. Right: Congratulations to Nosis on their Golden Ticket! Martin Mense and David Schaffer, director of Bakar Labs, present Nosis with the award. L-R: Tim Craven, PhD, co-founder of Nosis; Martin Mense; Chad Miller, PhD, principal scientist at Nosis; David Schaffer. Photos by Brittany Hosea-Small.

Congratulations to AVECRIS and Nosis Bio! Yesterday, Wednesday, July 20, at Bakar Labs, following the final live pitch session, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced that AVECRIS and Nosis had won 2022 Golden Tickets to the Bakar Labs incubator.  

Bakar Labs is proud to collaborate with the CF Foundation in the quest for a cure for cystic fibrosis, a progressive disease that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs, caused by mutations to a single gene. The Foundation is a leader in exploring investment and incubators as avenues to advance therapies for CF. CF’s clear genetic origins make it a prime candidate for gene therapies including gene replacement and gene editing. Technologies in these areas—as well as techniques for delivering them to lung tissue—are of prime interest to the Foundation.  

 A judging panel from the Foundation made their decision following an initial screening stage and a live pitch event onsite at Bakar Labs in which experts quizzed the company founders on the scientific aspects and market prospects of their technologies. 

AVECRIS and Nosis will enjoy lab and office space at Bakar Labs sponsored by the Foundation for a full year. Benefits include access to incubator facilities and events, and inclusion in UC Berkeley’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. In addition to lab and office space, the companies will have access to extensive Foundation resources, including scientific experts and advice, research tools and techniques, an extensive patient registry, clinical trial design support, and a Therapeutic Development Network of over 90 clinical trial sites in the US.  

Bakar Labs and the CF Foundation congratulate AVECRIS and Nosis: 

AVECRIS, based in Singapore 

One reason that gene delivery is a challenge is that some potential CF therapies are too large to fit inside existing delivery vehicles. AVECRIS is developing a potential non-viral gene delivery technology, called dumbbell DNA vectors, that can be inhaled or injected. The hope is this vehicle would be large enough to deliver a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis to the intended tissues. 

Nosis Bio, based in Berkeley 

Cystic fibrosis affects not just the lungs, but also many other organs throughout the body. Genetic therapies hold enormous promise to treat diseases like CF, but delivering them to affected tissues remains a key challenge. With machine learning and high-throughput biological screening, Nosis is developing a platform to improve the on-target delivery and safety of genetic therapies.

For more information on this and other Golden Ticket programs at Bakar Labs, please get in touch.