Six Biopharma Companies to Watch at MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect Contest

The MedCity INVEST conference is scheduled for May 21-22 at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Chicago, The companies will offer a window into some of the promising treatments under development such as different types of cancers to muscular dystrophy. Space is limited so register today!

Biopharma companies are responsible for some of the most transformative, life-changing technologies in medicine from gene therapy to immunotherapy. At the MedCity INVEST conference scheduled for May 21-22 at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Chicago, six biopharma companies will give attendees a window into some of the promising treatments under development.

MedCity News Senior Biopharma Reporter Frank Vinluan will moderate the biopharma track of the startup contest Pitch Perfect. One judge confirmed for the track is Meredith Wilkerson, an investment principal with Plains Ventures who serves as the primary subject matter expert for evaluating life sciences and biotech investment opportunities. Wilkerson will also take part in the Ask the Investor breakfast sessions on May 22 open to startups.

Space is limited so register today!

Here’s a look at the biopharma companies that made the short list for MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect.

Amplified Sciences is developing a suite of in-vitro diagnostics with a clinical stage test that helps physicians more accurately detect risk for pancreatic cancer through its ultra-sensitive optical reporter platform. The lead assay, PanCystPro, focuses on early detection of pancreatic cancers. PanCystPro uses a proprietary platform to detect biomarker activity. It also provides a highly accurate solution enabling clinicians to better identify patients at risk for developing pancreatic cancer as well as reduce unnecessary surgeries, imaging, and associated complications, according to a company description. This is a highly sensitive and specific test. The optical reporter system (AMPSci platform) has enabled a new class of multi-omics diagnostics, all using one sample and one instrument.

Enzyme By Design is a pre-clinical stage startup focused on designing and developing oncology biologics that are highly effective at exploiting weaknesses in cancers and eradicating tumor cells but with a clear focus on patient safety and reducing side effects. In this way, it can both treat the disease and improve patient quality of life and outcomes. It has used core expertise of protein engineering to create protein molecules that target the most common pediatric cancer as well as infamously difficult to treat cancers like acute myeloid leukemia and the solid tumors pancreatic, liver, and ovarian cancers. Utilizing well-known drug mechanisms of action and patient genomic and epigenetic markers will guide the company’s clinical strategy as it moves forward to make sure that only patients likely to benefit greatly from their biologics will be receiving them. The time is now for better cancer treatment options.

miRecule, Inc. is a biotech company developing RNA therapies for cancer and muscular dystrophy. The company’s approach to drug design uses genomic patient data to create highly tailored therapeutics designed to help patients live a life free from the debilitating symptoms of their disorders.

The proprietary DREAmiRa platform utilizes genomic and outcome data from thousands of patients to identify underlying genetic changes that cause their disease. It creates a novel RNA therapeutic that can directly target and fix that genetic abnormality.

miRecule is currently applying the platform to develop first-in-class therapies, with lead programs in Head & Neck Cancer and Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.

Modulation Therapeutics (MTI) was founded in 2011 as a spin-off of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. MTI has successfully developed three novel, efficacious compounds for potentially improving the lives of refractor cancer patients with no other current options for a cure. The company has raised more than $12 million to date and has successfully progressed the IND enabling commercial development of all three compounds. MTI is raising funds to complete the current Phase 1 trial, start the phase 1 imaging trial and fund the Phase 2 therapeutic multi-dose/imaging trial in Melanoma patients not responding to SOC.

OncoSwab is an innovative healthcare startup dedicated to revolutionizing early lung cancer detection. Utilizing a non-invasive, easy-to-use nasal swab, OncoSwab’s technology aims to identify lung cancer biomarkers at an early stage to significantly improve patient outcomes. Designed for both at-home and clinical settings, the company’s diagnostic tech combines accessibility with accuracy, offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional screening methods. Co-founded by visionary scientists and supported by leading healthcare accelerators, OncoSwab is in its validation phase, collaborating with top hospitals and lung cancer specialists in the U.S. and Switzerland. Its approach leverages the science of detecting tumor biomarkers directly in the airway, where lung cancer originates, rather than relying on distal blood samples. This direct detection method enhances the test’s specificity and sensitivity, paving the way for a new era in preventive healthcare and lung cancer management.

Talus Biosciences‘ automated, highly scalable drug discovery engine discovers first-in-class small molecules capable of modulating previously undruggable transcription factors, optimizing them to achieve high potency and selectivity while minimizing toxicity. Its unique approach is designed with breadth and depth in mind, measuring all possible transcription factors across thousands of samples. Data at scale with precision requires computing to match it. The data science team applies machine learning approaches to process and mine our dataset for first-in-class TF modulators. Co-founded in 2020 by CEO Alex Federation and CTO Lindsay Pino, Talus currently has 17 employees. Dr. Federation and Henri Termeer are the co-inventors of functional regulome proteomics. The Talus Bio executive leadership team is rounded out by COO Michelle Briscoe, who joined the company in 2022.

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