Microbes are essential to all life on earth and, in fact, the most dominant form of life on Earth. The study of microbes has historically advanced society in numerous ways such as the creation of the first smallpox vaccine, identifying the causes of cholera, tuberculosis, and anthrax, and the discovery of penicillin. Today, microbes in controlled settings can improve healthcare, food production, and agricultural output. Kingdom Supercultures is a designer and supplier of microbial strains that are naturally found in food. By using experimental and computational approaches for formulation, the company is able to provide the raw ingredients for use in manufacturing plant-based food, fermented beverages, and personal care products. There are over 6000 food additives – flavoring, glazing agents, bleaching agents, improvers, etc. – that are used to process foods that we’re told are harmless but, in reality, are anything but and never found in natural food. Kingdom Supercultures offers a viable substitute, at scale, to these ingredients to ensure that the future of food production and consumer goods is with real, natural ingredients, free of manipulation and processing aids. AlleyWatch caught up with Kingdom Supercultures CEO and Cofounder Kendall Dabaghi to learn more about the company’s ambition mission to reframe the way we think about food production, strategic plans, latest found of funding from investors that include Shine Capital. In addition to Shine Capital, this funding round was supported by Valor, Tao, Lux, SALT, Reference, and Digitalis
Microbiome science can explain how genetics and the body interact, explaining why similar genes can generate variable outcomes among populations. Understanding these interactions introduces new pathways for treatment and prevention of disease and ailments, ultimately extending health and life spans. Evvy is a newly-launched startup focused on using metagenomic sequencing to understand women’s health like never before. The company’s first product is an at-home vaginal microbiome test that’s used to assess and understand vaginal health to address conditions such as yeast infections, UTIs, infertility, gynecologic cancers, STIs, and premature birth. The test is approved for use in all states and is available direct-to-consumer on Evvy’s website as well as through clinical partners. Evvy plans to expand its biomarker offering to include different conditions so that women are empowered to take control of their health with data and scientific knowledge that was previously unattainable. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Priyanka Jain to learn more about how Evvy is disrupting women’s health, the company’s strategic plans, recent round of funding from investors that include General Catalyst, BoxGroup, Virtue, Human Ventures, and G9 Ventures, BBG Ventures.
The pandemic has reshaped the future of remote healthcare as accessibility to healthcare became paramount, leading to accelerated digital adoption. In fact, 23.6% of all healthcare interactions were via telehealth during the first four months of the pandemic, up from just .3% for the same period in 2019. LetsGetChecked is a virtual healthcare company that initially started by providing at-home diagnostic testing for the treatment and diagnoses of several ailments like sexual health, cholesterol, diabetes, and even COVID. Building on the 100+ at-home tests, the company has now expanded into telemedicine consultations and pharmaceutical fulfillment for these conditions. Through the pandemic, LetsGetChecked managed to grow revenue by more than 1500% as a result of increased interest in virtual care. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Peter Foley to learn more about how his own experience as a patient inspired the business, the impressive traction that led to the company reaching unicorn status, latest funding round from investors that include Casdin Capital, CommonFund Capital, Illumina Ventures, Optum Ventures, Transformation Capital, HLM Venture Partners, and Qiming Venture Partners USA, and Rory Mcllroy through Symphony Ventures.
The most effective treatment for cancer relies on early detection as this is before cancer has spread and is easiest to remove. The prognosis becomes bleaker when cancer has metastasized, referred to as Stage 4, and becomes difficult to control and cure. Therapies have traditionally been focused on treating primary cancer locations but these therapies are ineffective when cancer hasn’t been contained. Volastra Therapeutics is focused on developing cutting-edge therapies for chromosomal instability (CIN), an aberration from the normal 46 chromosomes. When CIN occurs, it’s one of the conduits that causes cancer to spread. Using a blend of machine learning, imaging, and bioinformatics to identify CIN, the Harlem-based company is able to pinpoint which cancers have a high likelihood of spreading and develop therapeutics accordingly. AlleyWatch caught up with Charles Hugh-Jones, MD to learn more about how Volstra’s technology is helping develop new therapeutics, future strategic plans, and recent seed extension round from investors that include Vida Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Polaris Partners, Droia Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and Quark Venture.
Pitch decks come in a lot of flavors. We’ve seen five pages, we’ve seen fifty. We’ve seen them sparsely punctured with bullet points, we’ve seen what might have happened if David Foster Wallace wrote a novel in PowerPoint. Where’s the golden mean? What can you throw away and what sparks joy?
The average time to get a drug to market, crossing FDA hurdles, is 12 years and costs in excess of $1B. And in those twelve years, there is animal testing, human trials, and dozens of other steps that a company needs to go through. TARA Biosystems has found a way to generate human tissue OUTSIDE of the body that can be used in the drug development process to test safety and effectiveness without harming animals or risking human life. CEO Misti Ushio shares some insight on the potential of in vitro biology for drug development, TARA Biosystem’s different lines of business, and recent funding round from investors that include OMX Ventures, Merieux Equity Partners, Partnership Fund for New York City, Trancos Ventures, DEFTA Partners, and Tachyon Ventures.
This company is backed by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WuXi AppTec’s Corporate Venture Fund, Deerfield Management, Baron, Qiming Venture Partners, and GV (formerly Google Ventures) and is leading innovation in drug discovery.
The entire healthcare industry is working towards to a common goal of bettering humanity but most of the effort is fragmented. The amount of medical research is growing exponentially and there has been no easy way to navigate it. Enter H1. It took around 2 years and millions of dollars for H1 to compile the most […]
Health is a remarkable area for early-stage investment. It shows more activity, more exits, more corporate involvement, and more overall value over the past five years than any other segment. However, it is also an extremely crowded area; the number of active health investors has more than doubled to more than 1500. There has also […]