For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.
This is the third in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2016 Alum, Maria Soloveychik, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, Inc.
BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
SyntheX, Inc. is a San Francisco based therapeutics company founded in 2016. SyntheX utilizes its novel platform technology to select for peptides and create peptidomimetics to drug previously ‘undruggable’ targets, relying on the concept of synthetic lethality to treat cancer.
BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
The Start-Up Stadium was an excellent platform for gaining visibility. You get to share your science and start-up with experts and investors in the biotech space AND receive valuable feedback and advice. We met great people in the audience and have even maintained relationships with a few judges.
BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
I was asked several interesting questions regarding our platform and early assets. In their assessment, the panel made good suggestions in relation to alternative business models focused on licensing and partnering. They also provided great feedback on our deck and presentation style.
BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
After Start-Up Stadium, the feedback received was incorporated into all presentations and meetings. I have also gone on to discuss various business model structures with advisors and experts in the industry – which later shaped our partnering meetings and internal work prioritization.
BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings were a major highlight of Convention! We had a very packed schedule, but had the opportunity to meet with big and mid-sized pharmas as well as CROs. These talks were excellent for understanding their interests and obtaining advice, as well as assessing a potential fit for a future partnership. We are actively communicating with several companies we met through partnering, and have established meaningful relationships with several CROs and fellow start-ups.
BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
I would love to return this year, but unfortunately, there is a scheduling conflict for 2017. It is likely that we will attend the 2018 BIO International Convention. The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings are such an excellent and organized way to meet with potential partners, and the events around the conference are a great collegial gathering of the biotech community.
About: SyntheX is a therapeutics company that disrupts cellular communication pathways to target proteins that are inaccessible via canonical screening technologies. We use a proprietary drug design approach and our in-vivo screening platform, ToRPPIDO, to identify compounds that disrupt protein-protein interactions (PPIs) – in a fast, efficient, and highly specific manner. We take advantage of synthetic lethality to develop compounds that target particular “Achilles’ heel” PPI in specific pathologies. We are currently developing inhibitors for a series of specific and previously undruggable targets. Our lead stabilized peptide inhibitor drugs, STX101 and STX105, block PPIs within the BRCA2 pathway, effectively mimicking a BRCA2 mutation and downregulating recombination. To learn more, visit: www.synthexlabs.com.