Biodesy, Inc. Enters into Research Collaboration with Amgen
Biodesy, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Amgen Inc. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) to support Amgen’s neuroscience drug discovery programs. Biodesy will apply its proprietary technology to screen and characterize novel chemical matter against a clinically relevant target, based on direct, real-time measurements of the structural changes induced by associated molecular interactions. Under the terms of the agreement, Biodesy is eligible to receive compensation for assay development and for screening Amgen’s fragment library.
“We are excited to work with Amgen on a highly important scientific problem,” said Joshua Salafsky, Ph.D., Founder and CSO of Biodesy. “We appreciate the interest from pharmaceutical partners like Amgen in using our technology for drug discovery applications. We have now established multiple commercial partnerships and we look forward to launching a commercial system next year.”
Biodesy is developing the first products and systems to rapidly and inexpensively measure both protein structure and function in real time, with applications including drug discovery, structural biology, and clinical biomarkers. Biodesy has developed a unique and highly sensitive technology for detecting conformational change in proteins and other biological molecules. Its technology, based on a phenomenon called second-harmonic generation (SHG), can monitor structural changes at any site within a protein, in real time. Since protein function is determined by its structure, and changes in structure cause changes in function, characterizing these changes will provide significant insights into how our bodies function and respond to treatments. Biodesy is located in South San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.biodesy.com.
Biodesy Receives Frost & Sullivan’s Technology Innovation Leadership Award
March 2014 – Excerpt from Frost & Sullivan Report:
Frost & Sullivan proudly recognizes Biodesy as the recipient of the 2014 Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Protein Analysis. Biodesy, a privately-held company based in South San Francisco, CA, is the developer of a game-changing technology, second-harmonic generation (SHG), for the study of protein conformation changes. Frost & Sullivan’s research confirms that this technology overcomes the limitations and challenges of current techniques, drastically speeding up time-to-results, enabling new real-time data, and achieving a cost-effective alternative to entrenched workflows. Biodesy currently provides early access to its SHG technology through partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic researchers and will transition into a product and solution provider with plans to launch its first complete system of instruments and reagents in 2015. Biodesy has already garnered much excitement, netting a $15 million Series A financing round in October 2013 to commercialize its revolutionary technology. For developing a highly innovative, game-changing technology to improve the study of proteins, Biodesy is the ideal recipient of the Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Protein Analysis.
Technology Excellence and Visionary Innovation of Biodesy
Biodesy Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Joshua Salafsky developed the idea of an optical technique to analyze the conformational changes of proteins real-time in solution. The concept involved shining a laser at proteins attached to special dyes that give off signals as the proteins interact with antibodies or ligands and undergo conformational change. Frost & Sullivan notes that while crystallography and nuclear resonance (NMR) techniques can measure conformational changes, they both have major limitations that keep them from being cost-effective and practical for many protein analysis applications. Frost & Sullivan expects Biodesy to provide a faster, less expensive technique for studying protein conformational changes.
Commitment to Innovation and Creativity
Biodesy’s innovative second-harmonic generation technology was developed through unwavering dedication to bring the technique to fruition over more than a decade of technology development. Working in conjunction with a pharmaceutical company that viewed this technology as a means to significantly improve small molecule drug discovery, Biodesy was finally able to generate breakthrough data.
Second-harmonic generation technology allows detection and real-time tracking of protein conformational change in response to ligand binding stimulation, elucidating the relationship between structure and function. The technology involves labeling the protein of interest with a second-harmonic active dye and immobilizing the protein-dye conjugate onto a surface. A ligand is then introduced to the sample and binds to the protein, affecting the tilt angle of the labeled dye as the protein undergoes a conformational change. The labeled dye gives off a signal intensity specific to its angle relative to the surface normal. The signal, called the SHG intensity, is measured in real-time as the protein undergoes a conformational change in response to ligand binding.
Through ongoing research partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Biodesy has gained tremendous feedback on potential applications and configurations of the technology. The initial commercial system will contain a high powered laser, an optical interface to transfer light from the laser to the sample, a liquid handling robot compatible with 384-well plates for high throughput applications, and associated reagents and consumables. The first system will be tailored to drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical community, and is expected to launch in 2015.
Frost & Sullivan’s research notes that until Biodesy’s breakthrough SHG technology, there was no quick, cost-effective, and practical way to study protein conformational changes in high throughput, and no method that captured data in real-time and in solution. Biodesy continues to push the boundaries of innovation, working on the ability to create 3D movies of the proteins to view their movements and changes in real-time. The firm is also planning to expand their product line to serve a range of application and throughput requirements. Biodesy embodies a company highly committed to innovation and pushing the capabilities of its revolutionary technology.
The technologies traditionally used to measure protein conformational changes have several limitations overcome by SHG technology. Crystallography is very challenging, expensive, requires large volumes of starting material, can take months to perform, and often fails. It also requires freezing proteins into static structures which may differ from the structures the protein adopts in solution. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is another traditional technology used for studying protein structure, but it is also very resource intensive and is limited by protein size. Although NMR is slightly faster than crystallography, the technique is still much lower throughput than Biodesy’s SHG technology. Each of these technologies provides different types of data, but Biodesy believes its technology can ultimately become the primary technique for structural and functional analysis of proteins.
Blue Ocean Strategy
Biodesy’s Blue Ocean Strategy revolves around the unmet needs it is solving with its SHG technology. A high-throughput, fast, and cost-effective means for studying protein conformational changes simply did not exist prior to Biodesy. Frost & Sullivan firmly believes that Biodesy’s initial technology will complement entrenched crystallography and NMR usage in drug discovery applications. As the company further develops the SHG technology and its data output, Frost & Sullivan envisions that the technology will replace the need for these other technologies.
Biodesy’s technology has already been applied to a wide range of protein targets, such as protein kinases, adenylate kinase, integrins, DHFR, alpha-synuclein, beta amyloid, calmodulin, and membrane associated proteins. Unlike other biophysical techniques, SHG is not limited by protein size or the protein microenvironment, and can therefore be applied to almost almost any molecular interaction. The technology can be used in applications including protein structure and function, protein-protein interactions, protein drug response, drug screening, proteomics applications, and clinical diagnostics. In Frost & Sullivan’s opinion, the ability to conduct these studies in a fraction of the time and expense of competing technologies, all in real-time will make this a truly revolutionary technology for a wide range of applications.
Frost & Sullivan’s independent analysis of the Protein Analysis market clearly shows that Biodesy’s breakthrough second-harmonic generation technology is a market-changing technology that will enable countless discoveries in protein research and improve current workflows. Before Biodesy, there was no quick, cost-effective, and practical way to study protein conformational changes in high throughput, and no method that captured data in real-time. SHG technology provides incredible advantages over existing technologies and is poised for high demand in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies already excited about its capabilities in drug discovery applications. As Biodesy continues to innovate and develop new instruments and applications, the company is well-positioned to provide its technology to the large base of laboratories studying proteins. For developing a revolutionary technology that drastically improves the study of proteins, Based on the results of our research, Frost & Sullivan is pleased to present the 2014 Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Protein Analysis to Biodesy.
Biodesy Inc. Completes $15.0 Million Series A Financing and Appoints Greg Yap as Chief Executive Officer
Series A investors include 5AM Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments and Roche Venture Fund
Burlingame, CA, October 17, 2013 – Biodesy, Inc., a privately held developer of novel systems to analyze real-time protein function for research and clinical applications, announced today that it has closed a $15.0 million Series A venture financing round from 5AM Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments and Roche Venture Fund. In addition, Greg Yap has been named Chief Executive Officer and a Director.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to further develop and commercialize the first platform technology to enable real-time measurement of protein conformational change. Protein structure, including both sequence and three-dimensional shape, or conformation, determines protein function – changes in conformation cause changes in function. Existing technologies are not capable of measuring these changes with high resolution and in real time. Biodesy’s second-harmonic generation (SHG) technology can identify and characterize structural changes with sub-angstrom resolution in real time and high throughput. Better understanding of changes in protein structure and function caused by potential drugs, normal molecular interactions, and disease processes will have broad impact in drug discovery, structural biology, and clinical biomarkers.
“Biodesy has the potential to help transform our understanding of how proteins work by delivering the first real-time, high-throughput system for measuring changes in protein structure caused by molecular interactions,” said Andrew Schwab, Managing Partner of 5AM Ventures and a Director of Biodesy. “Greg Yap is a proven leader with a record of success in building entrepreneurial businesses, and Josh Salafsky has achieved impressive technical results that demonstrate the transformative nature of the Biodesy approach. We are excited to lead this significant Series A financing.”
Prior to Biodesy, Yap was most recently the first healthcare Entrepreneur in Residence at GE. Previously he was Lifecycle Leader, Advanced Staining Assays at Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, where he oversaw Ventana’s US$500 million global market-leading cancer assay portfolio. He was also Chief Operating Officer at CELLective Dx, a venture-backed circulating tumor cell (CTC) company, and held multiple general management roles at microarray pioneer Affymetrix, including Vice President DNA Products and Vice President Molecular Diagnostics.
“Routine and direct measurement of changes in protein structure in real time has never been practical before,” said Yap. “We believe our technology will provide unique value in multiple applications, including drug development, structural biology, and eventually personalized medicine. We have seen significant and immediate interest from pharmaceutical companies and academic thought leaders, and this financing will enable Biodesy to rapidly launch a full suite of products and systems. We are beginning to demonstrate the value of our technology through revenue-bearing collaborations and recently signed our first pharmaceutical partnership.”
Joshua Salafsky, Ph.D., founder of Biodesy, has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer and a Director. Salafsky has pioneered the application of SHG technology to molecular biology and has led research to develop the company’s core technology platform for the past 13 years. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Columbia University and the Department of Physics (Debye Institute) at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
In addition to Schwab, Yap and Salafsky, Biodesy’s Board of Directors consists of William Burkoth, Senior Director of Pfizer Ventures, and Joseph Victor, CEO of DVS Sciences.
Biodesy is developing the first products and systems to rapidly and inexpensively measure both protein structure and function in real time, with applications including drug discovery, structural biology, and clinical biomarkers. Biodesy has developed a unique and highly sensitive technology for detecting conformational change in proteins and other biological molecules. Its technology, based on a phenomenon called second-harmonic generation (SHG), can monitor structural changes at any site within a protein, in real time. Since protein function is determined by its structure, and changes in structure cause changes in function, characterizing these changes will provide significant insights into how our bodies function and respond to treatments. Biodesy is located in Burlingame, California. For more information, please visit www.biodesy.com.
Biodesy awarded new supplemental grant from NSF
Burlingame, CA, September 20, 2013 – Biodesy announced today that it has received a $100,000 supplement to its Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The supplement, awarded through NSF’s Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnership (TECP) program, will help the company to further develop its proprietary technologies for commercial applications.
Biodesy previously received a NSF Phase II SBIR Award for $500,000 and NSF Phase I/IB SBIR Awards totaling $180,000.
Biodesy is developing the first products and systems to rapidly and inexpensively measure both protein structure and function in real time, with applications including drug discovery, structural biology, and clinical biomarkers. Biodesy has developed a unique and highly sensitive technology for detecting conformational change in proteins and other biological molecules. Its technology, based on a phenomenon called second-harmonic generation (SHG), can monitor structural changes at any site within a protein, in real time. Since protein function is determined by its structure, and changes in structure cause changes in function, characterizing these changes will provide significant insights into how proteins function and our bodies respond to treatments. Biodesy is located in Burlingame, California. For more information, please visit www.biodesy.com.