Home » Entrepreneurship » News Digest #264 – Synbio startup playbook, plus Ursheet Parikh, Vern Norviel, Charlie Silver & Janice Chen (sponsored by Mayfield)

News Digest #264 – Synbio startup playbook, plus Ursheet Parikh, Vern Norviel, Charlie Silver & Janice Chen (sponsored by Mayfield)


SynBioBeta Digest

News, trends, and stories from the synthetic biology industry

Hi all,

Our early bird for SynBioBeta in October ends next Friday — you should check out the awesome speaker line-up.

We have two very exciting SynBioBeta mixers coming up at WSGR in San Francisco in a couple weeks. If you’d like to join then you can register below:

This week we offer some features to help synthetic biology startups succeed. According to Ursheet Parikh, partner of the top-tier Silicon Valley venture capital firm Mayfield, there are four unique challenges companies in the health IT space need to overcome simultaneously: solve a hard technical problem, delight the user, demonstrate business model sustainability, and scale revenue.

We also spoke with Vern Norviel, a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, about how, in his opinion, patenting is complicated, confusing, but an essential part of the biotech business landscape. “The biggest mistake a synthetic biology company can make is not investing in their patenting,” he says.

Vern Norviel, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Ursheet Parikh, Partner at Mayfield.

With biology startups, as with established industry, innovation is increasingly driven by software and data. ‍NfX partner James Currier shares with us his VC perspective on how computational biology companies are changing the playbook for scientific discovery, and their potential to catalyze countless breakthroughs in life sciences.

And if you decide to take the plunge and go from scientist (as in, scared-to-death-of-public-speaking Scientist) to entrepreneur (twenty-four-seven-pitching Founder), pitching is an essential skill set you’ll need to develop. SynBioBeta contributor Emilia Diaz shares her top dos and don’ts for pitching science.

In the news, Mission Bio recently announced a $30+ million Series B funding round to scale up their single-cell DNA analysis platforms and expand into global markets. We talked with CEO Charlie Silver about Mission Bio’s next steps – including their plans to break into the CRISPR market.

Also, check out our interview with Mammoth Biosciences’ co-founder and Chief Research Officer Janice Chen about how self-diagnostics using new technologies such as CRISPR could play an important role in triaging individual care, reducing the burden on primary care physicians and ultimately reducing healthcare costs — and the ethical considerations of democratizing diagnostics.

We also take a look at an incredible DARPA project that brings together Twist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and others to develop the capacity to create therapeutic antibodies for the next pandemic outbreak like Zika and Ebola — within just 60 days.

Last week I had a great conversation with Zachary Sun of Tierra Biosciences about how cell-free technology and acoustic liquid handling are changing natural product discovery. Watch our conversation here.

Check out the latest speakers announced for SynBioBeta 2019 and register before March 15th for the best price available.

Have a great week,

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More reads

More reads

Procarta announces €1.5 million investment for new class of antibiotics to combat antimicrobial resistance (Press release)

Precision Bio preps IPO to test “off-the-shelf” cancer cell therapy (Xconomy)

Opinion: Ethical boundaries needed on the uses of synthetic DNA (The Scientist)

CRISPR offshoot still makes mistakes editing DNA, raising concerns about its medical use (Science News)

Evogene announces establishment of ag-biologicals subsidiary – LaVie Bio Ltd. (Press release)

Intrexon and Surterra Wellness to collaborate on Botticelli™ next generation plant propagation for cannabis cultivation (Press release)

Register now for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Synthetic Biology Course, July 23 – August 5, 2019

The epic legal battle over CRISPR’s future could finally be over (Wired)

The next industrial revolution: Computational biology & bioplatforms (NFX)

Can your microbiome be genetically engineered to make you healthy? (Simons Foundation)

Arcadia Biosciences, a leader in advanced agricultural breeding and gene optimization, announces new business unit dedicated to cannabis (Press release)

Acceligen will use gene editing to improve health and welfare of agricultural animals (AgFunder)

Joint venture to bring EverSweet TM sweeteners to market faster is finalized (Press release)

Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Research Associate (CRISPR): Mammoth Biosciences, San Francisco CA

Scientist (CRISPR): Mammoth Biosciences, San Francisco CA

Feature your job here →


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