The 2018 Amgen Golden Ticket winners were chosen by a team of scientific leaders who evaluated the strength and novelty of their scientific rationale, subject matter expertise and business plan viability.
"Given Amgen's commitment to bringing first-in-class therapies for cancer and neuroscience-related conditions to patients, we are pleased to support Delve Therapeutics and Mitokinin in further advancing their novel science," said Flavius Martin, Ph.D., vice president of Research at Amgen. "Funding such early-stage innovation is critical to the future of healthcare, and both companies are well on their way to tackling complex research problems. Congratulations to both companies and to the promising scientific entrepreneurs that represent them."
Delve Therapeutics is an early-stage company researching new oncolytic viruses to treat metastatic cancers. Their team is investigating possible ways to use synthetic biology to make viruses tumor-selective without reducing their cancer cell-killing potential.
"The lab space provided by Amgen's Golden Ticket will accelerate our research by allowing us to conduct more experiments in one place," said Scott Becker, co-founder and chief business officer at Delve Therapeutics. "We also look forward to learning from Amgen’s scientists, who are at the forefront of clinical research in our field."
Mitokinin is a biotechnology company developing first-in-class small molecules targeting PINK1, a master regulator of mitochondrial quality control. Mitokinin believes that by selectively increasing PINK1's activity, its drugs can improve mitochondrial health and address several of the cellular dysfunctions commonly seen in Parkinson’s disease. With the Amgen Golden Ticket, Mitokinin plans to extend its PINK1 program to include Alzheimer’s disease, since mitochondrial problems are observed in that disease as well.
"We are very grateful to have been selected for Amgen's Golden Ticket," said Daniel de Roulet, chief executive officer at Mitokinin. "For nearly 40 years, Amgen has been at the forefront of biotechnology, leading the way in fields like genetic engineering and immuno-oncology. For a company as forward-thinking as Amgen to put its support behind us is a tremendous validation of our science and therapeutic approach. Thanks to Amgen's Golden Ticket, we are excited to expand the scope of our studies and work closely with the Amgen team to press forward with our mission to deliver disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative disease."
"One of the critical issues for startups is relentlessly focusing on what matters most. With a state-of-the-art infrastructure already in place, MBC BioLabs' ready-to-use facilities enable new companies to do an experiment in their first week rather than the first year because they don’t have to waste time with things like equipment set-up or permitting," said Doug Crawford, general manager at MBC BioLabs. "Our partnership with Amgen also allows our entrepreneurial scientists to gain access to expert scientific guidance."
About AmgenAmgen 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.
About MBC BioLabsMBC BioLabs provides space as small as a single bench in fully-equipped labs. Scientists can conduct experiments on their first day, cutting months and millions of dollars off the time and cost necessary to gather data. MBC BioLabs' facilities in San Francisco and San Carlos are home to 60 energetic young companies. Since opening its doors four years ago, MBC BioLabs tenant companies have raised over $1.8 billion dollars.