Transatlantic startup pioneers novel cell biology tech
A startup steered Cambridge2Cambridge – UK and US – has officially launched having won unspecified seed funding to build world-leading technology to evaluate and advance a novel area of cell biology known as condensates.
Transition Bio brings together the unique fundamental knowledge and experience of Professor David Weitz of Harvard University’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Department of Physics, and Professor Tuomas Knowles of the University of Cambridge’s Departments of Chemistry and Physics.
The initial closing of the company’s seed financing was led by Lifeforce Capital.
Professors Weitz and Knowles branded the analysis of condensates cell biology based on the company’s proprietary technology as Condensomics™. Transition Bio aims to become world leader in the field.
When fully built out, Transition Bio’s condensomics approach will replace the industry’s current reliance on inadequate conventional technologies to study biomolecular condensates.
Leading the company’s research efforts is Assaf Rotem, who joined as head of R & D based in Cambridge, MA. Assaf was most recently director and group leader of patform technology at Repertoire Immune Medicine and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biomicrofluidics at Harvard under the direction of Professor Weitz.
Assaf will lead a team of scientists based in Cambridge, MA, the company’s headquarters, and Cambridge UK together with William Arter and Georg Krainer – members of the Knowles Lab responsible for the UK-based scientific operations.
Transition Bio says its board will include Professor Weitz, Professor Knowles, Dr Samuel Cohen (UK), David Zimble, Esq. (Israel), and executive chairman, Kelly Martin (US). Owen Hughes (US) will serve as an adviser to the business.
Professor Weitz said: “After nearly 15 years of supporting each other’s work from an academic point of view, it is extremely exciting to combine the distinctive capabilities of our respective labs.
“It is our strong belief that this area of liquid-liquid phase separation offers an amazing opportunity in human health care advancement.”
Professor Knowles added: “David and I have long discussed how we could merge our knowledge and technologies to create something substantial that could genuinely change the world.”
“The combination of unique physical science methods with microfluidics and big data allows for disruptive advances in the world of drug discovery and diagnostics.”