"Early detection and disease monitoring are critical in both the research and clinical settings," said David Reese, M.D., senior vice president Translational Sciences at Amgen. "These two organizations have produced substantive advances in diagnostic technology that have the potential to speed the drug discovery process and help to deliver important new therapeutics to patients. Darmiyan and Enable Biosciences are developing precisely the sort of technologies we envisioned at Amgen when we framed our strategy to support promising scientific entrepreneurs. Congratulations to both companies."
Darmiyan is developing a novel brain imaging platform for early detection, visualization and quantification of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. The technology, briefly described as quantitative virtual microscopy, is being developed through a novel combination of cellular level tissue structure computational models, historical MRI data and tissue microscopy. It is intended to be used by the medical community to aid in early detection and by research organizations to aid in the development of new medicines for neurological diseases.
"Darmiyan is committed to creating a fast, non-invasive, inexpensive, precise and globally accessible tool for brain health screening and monitoring," said Padideh Kamali-Zare, chief executive officer at Darmiyan. "By providing high-end experimental facilities and invaluable resources and connections, the Amgen Golden Ticket Award will help accelerate Darmiyan's product development to address the large, unmet global need in brain diagnostics and therapeutics."
Enable Biosciences is developing an ultrasensitive and ultraspecific antibody detection technology for both research and clinical diagnostic use to deliver earlier and more accurate disease diagnosis. Their Antibody Detection by Agglutination PCR (ADAP) is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than standard detection techniques, enabling the use of ultralow sample volumes and easily harvested body fluids like saliva, rather than requiring invasive blood draws. The ADAP platform aims to dramatically improve diagnosis and prognosis of type 1 diabetes, HIV and other infectious and autoimmune diseases, as well as cancer, through early detection that enables timely treatment for best health outcomes.
"We are deeply grateful to Amgen for their generous and enthusiastic support of early-stage biotech companies like Enable Biosciences," said David Seftel, chief executive officer at Enable Biosciences. "This Golden Ticket Award will accelerate our efforts to diagnose crippling diseases at their earliest and most successfully treatable stage, and to create empowered antibody tests to advance and accelerate drug discovery towards delivering on the promise of precision medicine for all."
"Amgen's scientific and strategic mentorship has proven to be of great value to the Golden Ticket winners and the QB3@953 incubator," said Doug Crawford, general manager at QB3@953. "It is a critical part of our strategy, which can be summarized as: Get data fast by working in fully functioning labs, keep costs to a minimum by only renting what you need, network with cool companies, and get access to industry and investing expertise from the get-go. This combination has helped make our startups wildly successful - in just over three years our companies have raised $1.36 billion."
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
Discovery comes first. QB3's domain is the "quantitative biosciences," in which scientists take on challenges in molecular biology using the techniques of physics, chemistry, and computer science. Our faculty members - professors at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and UCSF, among them one Nobel laureate and 42 members of the National Academies - publish regularly in top academic journals.