Meet the 5 Bay Area Biotech Entrepreneurs Under 30
Every year, Forbes creates lists of “30 Under 30” leaders in various industries who are under the age of 30. This year, one of their lists is 30 Under 30 in healthcare. Five of those selected are with Bay Area biotech companies. Let’s take a look.
1. 3T Biosciences
In this case, the company has three co-founders, all under the age of 30. They are Gee Marvin (26), Luke Lee (28) and Lee Sibener (26). 3T uses machine learning to predict molecules that might be on cancer cells, then uses a new genetic-engineering process to modify T-cells to attack those chemicals. It’s not unlike CAR-T, except that is would expand the available targets and possibly be more effective in solid tumors. The company has pulled in investors such as Asset Management Ventures, the original Facebook president Sean Parker, Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Charles River Ventures. The company is located in Palo Alto, Calif.
Located in Berkeley, Calif., GenEdit is using a modification on CRISPR gene editing technology, called CRISPR-Nanoparticle, which can directly deliver Cas 9 RNP and donor DNA in vivo by way of a local administration and induce homology-directed repair (HDR). The approach is designed to solve a problem with CRISPR, which is off-target gene editing. Which is to say, there’s evidence that CRISPR doesn’t just cut the genome where it’s targeted, but at other undesirable locations as well. This tech would focus the Cas9 molecule even more narrowly. The company’s co-founder is Kunwoo Lee (29). So far GenEdit has raised $1.5 million.
3. Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
In the fall of 2016, Priscilla Chan, a physician, and her husband, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, created the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and pledged $3 billion towards basic science research over the next 10 years. Then they announced the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, an independent research center that will coordinate activities between scientists at University of California San Francisco, UC Berkeley and Stanford University. They also offered a number of fellowships for interesting researchers. The first fellow is Andreas Puschnik (29), who is using CRISPR to develop experimental drugs to treat Zika and dengue viruses.
Located in Los Altos, Calif., Gauss developed and markets Triton, a real-time blood glucose monitor for various medical and surgical departments. The company was founded by Siddarth Satish (29). The device uses the iPad’s built-in camera and computer vision algorithms Satish developed. So far, the company has raised $24.6 million. Investors include Providence Ventures, the investment arm of Providence Health & Services, Jump Capital, Promus Ventures, LifeForce Ventures, Summation Health Ventures, and the Stanford-StartX Fund.
5. Ava Science
Located in San Francisco, Ava Science developed and markets a bracelet similar to a Fitbit or Apple Watch that tracks a woman’s ovulation cycles. In fact, it has been called the “Fitbit of Fertility.” The company was cofounded by Lea von Bidder (27). The company has raised $12.3 million. Investors include Polytech Ecosystem Ventures, Blue Ocean Ventures, Global Sourcess, Swisscom and ZBK.