Overview of life sciences and health technologies news: the new CEO of the AIlen Institute, the AI2 incubator, etc.

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Headquarters of the Allen Institute in Seattle. (Photo by the Allen Institute)

The legacy of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen lives on in some of Seattle’s most innovative institutions.

This week, GeekWire introduced the AI2 Incubator, a branch of the Allen Institute for AI (AI2) started by Allen in 2013. GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop explored the past and future of the incubator, which increasingly favors health technology and biotechnology companies. including BirchAI and Modulus Therapeutics.

We also interviewed the new CEO of the Allen Institute, AI2’s life science counterpart. Rui Costa spoke about team research, his commitment to diversity and his perspective on the institute’s approach to new industry partnerships.

Read on for that and more coverage of life sciences and health tech in the Pacific Northwest from GeekWire and beyond, including a study showcasing the Allen Institute’s new visualization tool, the “Simulator Viewer.”

– Inside the AI2 Incubator: The Microsoft Co-Founder’s Unfinished Legacyy fuels the quest for new AI startups

The Neural Dynamics of Teamwork: New Allen Institute CEO Talks Diversity and Impact in the Life Sciences

Seattle startup raises $9.7 million for clinical trial to test inhaled CBD as treatment for anxiety

The Allen Institute’s “Simularium Viewer” shows a red nanoparticle about to be enveloped in a yellow lipid layer. See the video here. (Image courtesy of the Allen Institute)

New studies:

  • The Allen Institute’s “Simularium Viewer” allows computational visualization of biological processes and has been described in a study this week. Honored researchers video simulation of a nanoparticle enveloped by an outer envelope, a lung infected with the COVID-19 virus, and the bacterium E.coli share.
  • Alpine Immune Sciences published a preclinical study on its lead candidate in immuno-oncology, an immune “checkpoint inhibitor” directed against three targets at once. The Seattle biotech company is testing the compound in two clinical trials.
  • Fred Hutch researchers and their colleagues found that breast cancer treatment can lead to an elevated risk of cardiovascular events. “Scientists and clinicians must prioritize research that will reduce this risk,” Fred Hutch researcher Heather Greenlee said in A press release.
  • A non-invasive ultrasound technique being tested by University of Washington surgeon Jonathan Harper and his colleagues can dissipate kidney stones. The technique can lead to less invasive treatment methods and is licensed to the Silicon Valley company SonoMotion.

Raise funds:

  • The University of Washington will build a new tuberculosis research center with up to $5.3 million from the US National Institutes of Health, announced this week.
  • AVM Biotechnology landed a $1.6 million small business grant from the National Institutes of Health. The grant will support preclinical research on the Seattle-based company’s lead compound, based on the corticosteroid dexamethasone. The compound triggers a particular type of T cells and will be tested in type 1 diabetes in mouse models. Meanwhile, the company is enrolling patients in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial testing the compound in blood cancers.

Support start-ups:

  • This year, the University of Washington Career and Startup Internship Fair was held live and in person. Biotechnology companies were at the forefront.
  • Find Ventures and the Washington State Department of Commerce have selected 10 tech startups and founders for its inaugural “Equitable Innovations Accelerator”. Health tech companies Coltrain, Litesprite and GoldenSHERPA made the cut.

Moving and Abroad:

  • Fred Hutch Investigator Phil Greenberg was elected President of the American Association for Cancer Research.
  • Seattle biotech company Nanostring extendsopening a European headquarters in Amsterdam.
  • Former Medical Director of Adaptive Biotechnologies Spear Baldo has a new job with the same title at South San Francisco-based Freenome.
  • Inventprise has a new CEO, Yves Theirquin, and two new board members. The Redmond, Washington-based company also received $30 million of a maximum $90 million pledged by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the clinical development of the company’s vaccine against pediatric pneumococcal disease.
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