Peter Thiel's San Francisco Nonprofit Funds Three More Big Science Startups
Published: Feb 11, 2015
February 10, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Star entrepreneur Peter Thiel, best known for his early investments in PayPal and Facebook , said this week that his San Francisco-based nonprofit Breakout Labs, is moving ahead with plans to fund three science startups: E3XBio, Ion Dx, and Neumitra.
California-headquartered E3XBio is dedicated to developing a wide range of drug treatment opportunities based on a family of enzymes known as the Ubiquitin E3 HECT ligases. These enzymes are thought to be responsible for conditions such as cancer and a slew of neurodegenerative diseases.
Ion Dx, also founded in California, has created chemical screening technology to detect variations between proteins. In turn, it is easier to ensure quality control in the manufacturing of biological drugs.
Neumitra, which is headquartered in Boston, is responsible for developing a toolbox to measure stress and correlate it with life activities. As a result, users can receive biofeedback information to help them cope with stress.
The San Francisco Business Times reports that the cash awards from Breakout Labs tend to range from $50,000 to $350,000. This amount can take startups from the proof of concept phase to a position where they are prepared for additional funding collaborations.
Thiel is best known for being a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook. In the past, he has invested in a wide range of scientific efforts and technology, including artificial intelligence.
Viewing the Success of Breakout Labs Companies
Neumitra, Ion Dx, and E3XBio are not the first medical-related companies to see assistance from Breakout Labs. For example, Breakout Labs recently reported on the success of one of its portfolio companies, 3Scan, which closed a Series A fundraising round worth $6.7 million in January. 3Scan is responsible for creating the Knife Edge Scanning Microscope, which automatically sections and images tissue samples to create high-resolution outputs.
“While medical science has made incredible advances in recent years, anatomic pathology has remained relatively stuck in the 19th century – a manual, analog, and highly qualitative discipline,” said 3Scan Founder and CEO Todd Huffman. “Our technology transforms anatomic pathology into an automated, digitized, and quantitative medical science. In a sense, we’re helping pathologists better diagnose disease and develop new therapies in much the same way that DNA sequencing has advanced the field of genomics.”
The money raised in the latest financing round will be put toward further development of the KESM, said the company.
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