MassBio’s Biotech Accelerator, MassBioDrive, Announces Spring 2023 Cohort of Startups

Apr 11, 2023

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

CAMBRIDGE, MA (April 11, 2023)—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 five emerging biotechs from three states: Massachusetts, Texas, and Vermont. The companies, working on a diverse range of focus areas, will learn from members of MassBio’s global life sciences network how to launch their enterprises effectively and efficiently.

“Innovation is foundational to the Massachusetts’ life sciences ecosystem and one way that we lift up the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs is through MassBioDrive’s intensive coursework, mentoring, and networking,” said MassBio CEO and President Kendalle Burlin O’Connell. “We are ecstatic to play an important role in the growth of this spring’s cohort and help them advance therapies for patients who suffer from retinal degeneration, metastatic cancer, and other unmet medical needs.”

The Spring 2023 accelerator begins this week and runs through a closing cohort pitch presentation that will take place on June 5, adjacent to the BIO International Convention held this year in Boston. 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 five startups selected through a rigorous vetting process will:

  • Participate in six business-focused curriculum modules taught by seasoned experts from J.P. Morgan (Business Plan and Commercialization Strategy), KPMG (Regulatory Strategy), Marsh McLennan (People Strategy and Operations), Thermo Fisher Scientific (Drug Development), Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (IP and Legal), and Xontogeny (Fundraising); 
  • 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 an invite-only Demo Day, receive a stipend award from Bristol Myers Squibb and access to and/or resources from MassBioDrive partners including, Evaluate, Google Cloud, Watershed Informatics, and MassChallenge.

The innovation community is invited to connect with the S23 cohort on April 25 from 4:30 – 7:00PM at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge. Held in conjunction with MassBio’s State of Possible Conference, this networking event is the ecosystem’s first opportunity to engage with these companies and the broader biotech ecosystem. Please note that this Drive event is a separate registration from the State of Possible conference – learn more and register here.

If you would like to receive an invitation to MassBioDrive’s S23 Demo Day in June, please contact our team at Please note that space is limited and priority will be given to individuals who can help the cohort take their next step.

Launched in 2022, MassBioDrive’s mission is to advance breakthrough science while providing opportunities to innovators from all parts of the life sciences ecosystem. Last year, MassBioDrive accelerated 11 companies, which represented five states and two non-U.S. countries.

MassBioDrive Spring 2023 Cohort 

General Biologics, Inc. | Cambridge, Massachusetts 

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. 

Jeffrey C. Way, President & Chief Executive Officer
R. Rogers Yocum, Chief Scientific Officer 
Pamela A. Silver, Scientific Advisor 

Ilios Therapeutics, Inc.| Cambridge, Massachusetts 

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.   

Luca Giani, Co-founder
Dr. Fares Nigim, Co-founder

Social: LinkedIn

InGel Therapeutics | Cambridge, Massachusetts 

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 

Social: LinkedIn

RiverWalk Therapeutics | San 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%). 

Jean X. Jiang, Ph.D, Chief Science Officer, Chairman of the Board 
Johanna Vincze Webb, President 

Social: LinkedIn

Samba BioLogics | South 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.   

Jeff Spees, Chief Scientific Officer
Dylan Ratigan, Chief Executive Officer  
Benjamin Liebman, Director of Drug Development and Innovation
Wolfgang Dostmann, Director of Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry

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