MassBio’s Biotech Accelerator, MassBioDrive, Announces Fall 2022 Cohort of Startups 

Sep 26, 2022

Representing four states and two countries, selected companies will participate in eight-week program featuring business-focused training, mentors, and professional networking

The latest cohort of MassBioDrive, a key initiative of MassBio’s innovation programming designed to support entrepreneurs and startups, was announced today by MassBio and features six emerging biotechs from four U.S. states and Canada. The companies, working on a diverse range of focus areas, will learn from members of MassBio’s global life sciences network how to effectively and efficiently launch their enterprises. 

“Through MassBioDrive, MassBio offers diverse founders and emerging biotechs an opportunity to learn from a network of experts how to be successful in business so that their science can continue,” MassBio CEO Joe Boncore said. “This new cohort is addressing unmet medical needs through science and technologies such as delivery of RNA medicine and targeted therapeutics platforms for neuropathies and cancers, and we are proud to play a small role in their success.” 

“Supporting the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs, no matter where they are physically located, is one way for MassBio to live up to our mission of being patient driven,” MassBio President & COO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell said. “From delivering the structure of a business plan to providing industry mentors who can answer questions, MassBioDrive is quite literally a gamechanger for these hard-charging founders and their therapeutics.” 

The Fall 2022 accelerator begins this week and runs through a closing cohort pitch presentation Demo Day on December 1. MassBioDrive provides each company with a market-focused launchpad of training, resources, and networks in their growth trajectory to fully realize the potential of their science – at no cost and with no equity taken. During a high impact, eight-week hybrid program, the six startups selected through a rigorous vetting process will: 

  • Participate in six business-focused curriculum modules taught by seasoned experts from J.P. Morgan, KPMG, Marsh McLennan, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Xontogeny;  
  • Partner with a small, dedicated group of industry mentors;   
  • Connect with MassBio’s global life sciences network through ecosystem-wide events and targeted 1:1 partnering opportunities; and 
  • After presenting at a Demo Day, receive a stipend award from Bristol Myers Squibb and access to resources from and/or connections to MassBioDrive partners including Evaluate, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, MassChallenge, Springer Nature, and Watershed Informatics. 

A community networking event will be held on October 26 at the MassBioHub in Cambridge that will feature an opportunity to meet the startups participating in MassBioDrive‘s fall cohort and connect with MassBio’s innovation ecosystem. Refreshments will be served. 

MassBioDrive Fall 2022 Cohort 

AdductNE, LLC | Omaha, 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 Therapeutics | 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 Operating 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, CT  

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. 

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

Jem Atillasoy, MD Candidate, Co-Founder  


Jenthera Therapeutics, Inc. | Québec, Canada 

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 Science Officer  

Laurent D. Ziri, CPA-CA, Chief Operating Officer 

Sandra Azoulay, CPA-CA, Chief Financial Officer-Communications 


Orion Therapeutics | Knoxville, Tennessee 

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 & Chief Executive Officer 

Michael McCaman, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President, Director of Strategic Planning  

Jennifer Zachry, Co-Founder, Director of Business Development  

Deidra Mountain, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Director of Vascular Therapeutics Pipeline 


PacDNA, LLC | Natick, Massachusetts 

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. 

Ke Zhang, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer & Professor  

Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D., Professor   


MassBioDrive Review Board 

  • James (Jay) Bradner, M.D., President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc. 
  • Christine Brennan, Ph.D., Managing Director, Vertex Ventures HC 
  • Abraham Ceesay, President, Cerevel Therapeutics 
  • Omar H. Khalil, Partner, Santé Ventures 
  • Jen Nwankwo, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 1910 Genetics 
  • Chandra Ramanathan, Ph.D., Global Head, Innovation Hubs, Danaher 


MassBioDrive 2022 Premier Sponsors 

Bristol Myers Squibb, Evaluate 


MassBioDrive 2022 Curriculum Experts 

J.P. Morgan, KPMG, Marsh McLennan, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Xontogeny 

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