MassBioDrive

Twice a year, we support a small group of groundbreaking scientists by connecting them with business fundamental curriculum, mentorship, industry connections, and equity-free prizes – without taking anything in return. Discover the stories and feedback from our past Drive cohorts.

Testimonials

Spring 2024 Cohort

DoriNanoBoston, MA

DoriNano aims to harness the potential of DNA origami technology to develop safe, effective, and low-cost combination nanomedicines that have precise cellular targeting with minimal effective doses of cargo for serious diseases. The company’s platform sets out to solve the past limitations of nanoparticles for delivering therapeutic cargo, offering unique advantages such as programmable size and shape, versatile cargo conjugation, precise nanospacing /stoichiometry controls, low immunogenicity, and flexible storage condition.

Hestia TherapeuticsBoston, MA

Hestia Therapeutics, lending its name from the Greek goddess of the hearth, aims to bring inflammatory cells into the tumor microenvironment to unleash anti-tumor effects from within. Currently, more than 70% of cancer patients have tumors that are shielded from the immune cells directed by checkpoint inhibitors to kill cancer cells, leading to disease progression. Hestia is looking to provide a novel approach that will profoundly impact the lives of this segment of cancer patients.

Koi BiotherapeuticsBoston, MA

Koi Biotherapeutics is focused on solving a fundamental challenge in CAR T-cell therapy—the lack of long-term persistence of CAR T-cells post-infusion. Koi has developed a novel CAR-Enhancer protein that selectively targets CAR T-cells and promotes their development into memory cells, thereby enhancing their activity and in vivo persistence and eliminating the need for additional engineering of CAR T-cells.

Hamid Mahini
Hamid Mahini, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & CEO
Mohammad Rashidian
Mohammad Rashidian, Ph.D.
Scientific Founder, Assistant Professor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School
Koi Biotherapeutics
Nucyrna TherapeuticsBoston, MA

Nucyrna Therapeutics aims to address the unmet medical needs in ALS and other CNS disorders through its next-gen RNA-targeting technology. Nucyrna’s oligonucleotide platform can target both Nuclear & Cytoplasmic RNA, enabling unique RNA-targeting capacities for addressing complex pathology. Demonstrating a remarkable therapeutic index profile in CNS, the company is focused on neurodegenerative diseases.

Nucyrna-Logo
Joseph Klim
Joseph Klim, Ph.D.
Director of Neuroscience 
Jonathan Watts, Ph.D.
Jonathan Watts, Ph.D.
Scientific Founder & Advisor 
Robert Brown
Robert Brown, MD, DPhil Scientific Founder & Advisor
Evangelos Kiskinis, Ph.D.
Evangelos Kiskinis, Ph.D. Scientific Founder & Advisor
Sphinxion TherapeuticsSan Francisco, CA

Sphinxion Therapeutics leverages decades of academic research to bring forward therapeutic options targeting the sphingolipid metabolic pathway as a treatment for rare and common fibrotic diseases. Preliminary animal models in two specific diseases have been effectively treated with AAV gene therapy.

Julie Saba
Julie Saba, MD, Ph.D.
The John & Edna Beck Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research, UCSF
Biren Shah
Biren Shah, MBA
Advisor, Revolution Medicines
Sphinxion Therapeutics

Fall 2023 Cohort

Cloverleaf BioNew Haven, CT

Cloverleaf Bio has developed a new type of RNA therapeutics, based on tRNAs. Its engineered tRNAs have a broad range of applications including oncology, viral infection, and neurodegenerative disorders. Cloverleaf’s patented tRNAs target core components of the cellular translation machinery—tRNA modifying enzymes—that are essential for disease progression.

Austin Draycott, Ph.D. Co-founder and CEO
Austin Draycott, PhD
Co-founder and CEO 
Cole Lewis, M. Phil
Cole Lewis, M. Phil
Co-founder and CSO

Eascra BiotechBoston, MA

Eascra Biotech is an early-stage nanomedicine start-up launched in Nov 2021. Its proprietary therapeutic delivery platform can deliver RNA, gene editing, and other therapeutic options to hard-to-penetrate tissues such as cartilage, kidney, brain, and some solid tumors. Eascra is partnering with NASA to advance its science here on earth.

Mari Anne Snow, Eascra Biotech, CEO and co-founder
Mari Anne Snow
Co-founder and CEO 
Yupeng Chen, PhD
Co-founder and CSO

ExternaCambridge, MA

Externa is a platform technology company from the Church and Collins labs that combines synthetic biology, chemistry, and machine learning to bring the power of medicinal chemistry to protein therapeutics with synthetic amino acids. These new-to-nature amino acids give proteins new capabilities, such as irreversible binding, longer stability, or pH-dependent activity.

Externa Bio
Helena de Puig, CEO, PhD 
Erkin Kuru, CSO, PhD
Michaël Moret, CTO, PhD 

PathCision Medicine, IncWatertown, MA

PathCision Medicine is harnessing tissue pathology insights to develop new targeted therapies. Built using a translational lens with a multi-omics approach, its proprietary discovery platform uncovers novel therapeutic avenues previously unavailable to patients with complex diseases. PathCision’s leading program is focused on developing a biologic modality for metastasis-selective delivery for multiple indications.

David Lee, MD PhD
CSO 

Tezcat Biosciences, IncNew Haven, CT

Tezcat Biosciences is developing a portfolio of protein-drug conjugates to provide therapeutic options for patients harboring mutant RAS cancers. Tezcat’s current portfolio consists of conjugates combining its proprietary protein carrier with established drug payloads. To-date, Tezcat’s drug development has been supported by academic collaborations and government awards.

Craig Ramirez, PhD, CEO
Craig Ramirez, PhD
CEO
Andrew Hauser, PhD, COO
Andrew Hauser, PhD
COO 
Alexander Efron
Alexander Efron, MBA
Business Advisor 

Spring 2023 Cohort

General Biologics, IncCambridge, MA

General Biologics is a protein engineering company with a platform technology that targets therapeutic proteins to red blood cell precursors and mature red blood cells.  This enhances plasma half-life and shields therapeutic proteins from the immune system, and when needed, will activate red blood cell production without side effects.

Jeff Way
Jeffrey C. Way
President & Chief Executive Officer
R. Rogers Yocum
Chief Financial Officer
Pamela A. Silver
Scientific Advisor 
Ilios Therapeutics, IncCambridge, MA

Ilios Therapeutics utilizes a proprietary modular chemistry platform to develop first-in-class multi-valent small molecules modulating multiple complementary mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Fares Nigim 
Founder
Luca Giani 
Founder & CEO
InGel TherapeuticsCambridge, MA

InGel Therapeutics is developing innovative cell-based therapy to bring back light to patients who suffer from all forms of retinal degeneration. Our lead program, IGT001, is a mutation-agnostic approach to Retinitis Pigmentosa, with future expansion opportunities including dry AMD and Glaucoma.

Pierre Dromel
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
Deepti Singh
Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer 
Patrick Jiang
Co-founder & Chief Business Officer  
Michael Young
Co-founder & Chairman of SAB 
RiverWalk TherapeuticsSan Antonio, Texas

Riverwalk Therapeutics is a preclinical drug development company developing adenosine A2 receptor inhibitors for treating metastatic cancer. Our lead molecule, RW-108, has demonstrated significant potency reducing primary tumors (70%), extending lifespan (>40%), reducing bone metastases (98%), and depleting circulating tumor cells in the blood (78%) and bone marrow (98%).

Johanna Vincze Webb
President 
Jean X. Jiang
Chief Science Officer & Chairman of the Board 
Samba BioLogicsSouth Hero, Vermont

Samba BioLogics, Inc. is a preclinical stage biotechnology company based in Vermont.  It produces breakthrough agonist biologics that preserve tissue and improve repair after ischemic injury. Our patent portfolio includes “Cell-Kro,” a biologic drug that promotes engraftment of transplanted progenitor cells, and “VasaPlex,” a biologic that rescues jeopardized cardiac tissue after myocardial infarction.

Dylan Ratigan
Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer 
Jeffrey Spees
Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer 
Benjamin Liebman
Director, Drug Development & Innovation
Wolfgang Dostmann
Director of Pharmacology & Medicinal Chemistry  

Fall 2022 Cohort

AdductNE, LLCOmaha, Nebraska

AdductNE is a radiopharmaceutical company spun-out from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2019. AdductNE is dedicated to developing targeted imaging and therapeutic agents for cancer.

Jered Christopher Garrison, Ph.D.,
President and
Chief Scientific Officer
Shana Garrison, Ph.D.,
Chief Financial Officer
HDAX TherapeuticsMississaugua, Ontario, Canada

HDAX Therapeutics is developing a targeted therapeutics platform for the safe and efficacious treatment of HDAC-driven pathologies such as neuropathies and cancers by rationally designing therapies to overcome common drug challenges including weak binding, off-target toxicities, and poor pharmacokinetic profiles.

Nabanita Nawar, Ph.D.,
Chief Executive Officer 
Pimyupa Manaswiyoungkul, Ph.D.,
Chief Operations Officer
Olasunkanmi Olaoye, Ph.D.,
Vice President Drug Discovery 
Elvin de Araujo, Ph.D.,
Chief Innovation Officer
Patrick Gunning, Ph.D., Scientific Advisor 
Hybridex Biosciences New Haven, Connecticut

Hybridex Biosciences is an early-stage biotech company aiming to enable the next-generation of safe gene editing. Using its tunable antisense nucleic acid platform, developed in labs at Yale University, Hybridex aims to improve the safety and control of CRISPR-based systems to realize the full potential of gene editing therapeutics.

Jem Atillasoy, MD Candidate
Co-Founder
Nicholas Economos, MD/Ph.D. Candidate,
Co-Founder

Jenthera Therapeutics, Inc Montreal, Quebec CA

Jenthera Therapeutics is a preclinical biotechnology company leveraging a novel non-viral, non-lipid CRISPR platform for the development of groundbreaking therapeutics. The platform presents tissue-specific delivery, built-in safety, and advanced gene correction capabilities, proposing to unlock new realms of therapeutic possibilities and allow for the development of complex multi-loci corrective gene therapies.

Dr. Philip Roche
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientific Officer 
Laurent D. Ziri, CPA-CA, Chief Operations Officer 
Sandra Azoulay, CPA-CA, Chief Financial Officer, Communications 
Orion Therapeutics Knoxville, TN

Orion Therapeutics has developed a patented lipid-based nanoparticle capable of safe, effective, and targeted delivery of RNA medicine to diseased tissues to address the delivery barrier to successful gene therapy. This technology will be licensed to pharmaceutical partners to facilitate success of RNA therapeutics and vaccine programs.

Trey Fisher, Ph.D.,
Co-Founder and
Chief Executive Officer 
Michael McCaman, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President, Director of Strategic Planning 
Deidra Mountain
Co-Founder, Director of Vascular Therapeutics Pipeline 
Jennifer Zachry
Co-Founder, Director of Business Development 
PacDNA LLC Natick, MA

PacDNA is an oligonucleotide therapeutics company that will expand the horizon of this drug modality to include previously inaccessible organs and tissues. Its proprietary oligonucleotide enhancer technology will be a new drug production engine, producing more potent clinical leads with fewer side effects at a lower cost. 

Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D.,
Professor  
Ke Zhang, Ph.D.,
Chief Executive Officer and Professor 

Spring 2022 Cohort

Artificial Axon Labs Inc Massachusetts

Artificial Axon Labs is developing a transformational drug discovery platform to discover medicines for neurodegenerative diseases. Our technology, developed by the company founders at MIT, combines novel biocompatible materials, state-of-the-art 3D printing of axon mimics (Artificial Axons), and patient-derived human cells to generate first-in-class remyelinating drugs for Multiple Sclerosis.

Anna Jagielska, Ph.D., President, CEO, CSO, & Co-Founder
Kavin Kowsari, Vice-President, CTO, & Co-Founder
Artorvia Health Technologies Canada

Atorvia’s purpose is to transform outcomes for patients with severe medical conditions.  Our initial focus is acute kidney injury (AKI), a devastating condition which affects millions worldwide yet still lacks effective therapy.  To address this crisis, we are developing a kidney-targeted peptide that prevents regulated cell death and kidney failure.

Jane Lapon, CEO
David Allinson, CFO & Head of Business Development
Nermeen Varawalla MD, Chair Clinical Advisory Group
Steven C. Borkan MD, Associate Professor, Boston Medical Centre
Modulari-T Biosciences Canada

Modulari-T is a preclinical stage immunotherapy startup developing a novel platform, the MARC, to reprogram immune cells for oncology and beyond. Our MARC technology is twice as potent as CAR-T while reducing side-effects ten-fold which will enable adoptive cell therapy to break-in to new indications in autoimmunity and regenerative medicine.

David Cotnoir-White, Ph.D., CEO & Co-Founder
Étienne Gagnon, Ph.D., CSO & Co-Founder
PhenoTarget Biosciences Inc, — California

PhenoTarget Biosciences, Inc. is a biotech startup focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class therapies for unmet medical needs including oncology, fibrosis, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases. We are modality agnostic that our pipeline and technology platforms span small molecules to functionalized peptides and next generation cell therapies.

Shoutian Zhu, Ph.D., CEO
Wenshe Liu, Ph.D., CSO
James Schaeffer, Ph.D., CBO
SYTE.bio Inc. — Massachusetts

SYTE.bio is an early-stage synthetic biology company focused on the discovery, development and future commercialization of precision therapeutics using its proprietary Linear DNA and Circular RNA technology platforms. SYTE.bio aims to deliver novel and effective therapeutics and vaccines enabling precise corrective and preventive treatments for patients worldwide.

Martin Williams, CEO & Founder