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Guppy Tank

March 5th, 2019 ~ 04:00pm–06:00pm
LabCentral, 700 Main Street North, Cambridge, MA

Guppy Tank

Harvard's Office of Technology Development and LabCentral invite you to the latest event in the Guppy Tank series, where two teams of Harvard life-science innovators will pitch their concepts to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors for constructive, in-depth feedback.

Please join us on March 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. to learn from experts on startup formation and participate in giving audience feedback. Networking reception to follow.

Register Here

Our panel this time includes:

Michal Silverberg - Managing Director at Novartis Venture Fund
Deb Palestrand - Partner, Head of 4:59 at 5AM Ventures
Dave Fallace - Advisor at Polaris
Lucio Iannone - Director, Venture Investments at Bayer

Innovation Team 1:
Cellular Backpacks for Adoptive Macrophage Cancer Therapy

Samir Mitragotri
Hiller Professor of Bioengineering and Hansjorg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Adoptive T-cell therapy has shown great promise in treating many cancers; however, its efficacy is contingent on the knowledge and presence of relevant tumor-specific antigens. Adoptive macrophage therapy, on the other hand, can mount an antigen-independent anti-cancer response due to its innate immune nature, thus allowing its use for a much wider array of tumors. Previous attempts at translating macrophage-mediated adoptive immunotherapy into the clinic have failed because therapeutic macrophages lose their anti-tumor M1 phenotype once exposed to the tumor microenvironment. We overcome this hurdle by attaching a phagocytosis-resistant backpack loaded with cytokines to the surface of the macrophages. Backpacks provide a depot of cytokines to prevent phenotypic shift of macrophages away from an anti-tumor phenotype, thus preserving their therapeutic activity. This approach provides a practical clinical solution to address the most significant challenge associated with adoptive macrophage therapies, enabling their clinical advancement, either as a stand-alone therapy, or as an adjunctive therapy to checkpoint inhibitors to treat aggressive cancers.

Innovation Team 2:
Drop-on-Demand Biologics

Daniele Foresti
Research Associate in Materials Science, in Prof. Jennifer Lewis’ lab
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have emerged as a major class of biopharmaceutical product due to their high efficacy and specificity. However, their molecular complexity makes them difficult to formulate at high concentrations, thus intravenous delivery remains the “gold standard.” By leveraging our unique microparticle generation platform, we aim to reformulate existing mAbs therapies to enable subcutaneous delivery, improving patient care at a fraction of the cost.

Press Contact

Caroline Perry
(617) 495-4157
Email