Institute for Protein Design spinout Monod Bio raises $25M for molecular biosensors

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The latest news: Monod Bio has raised $25 million for the development of molecular biosensors which light up when they interact with their targets. These sensors could be developed for the purpose of detecting molecules associated with diseases and also are able to be used for industrial applications.

The story behind HTML0: Monod’s sensor-based proteins are created using “Rosetta” software for engineering proteins developed by the Washington University’s Institute for Protein Design, which has been producing companies in the last few years. Monod as well as other IPD spinouts have have raised more than $1 billion.

The team: Co-founders include Daniel-Adriano Silva CEO; Alfredo Quijano-Rubio chief scientist and David Shoultz, chief operating officer. They’re all former employees of IPD spinoff Neoleukin Therapeutics. IPD director David Baker is also co-founder.

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The technology: The sensors emit an electrical signal that is bioluminescent when they detect an object. A study within Nature revealed sensors that detect COVID-19 and other the molecule that is that are linked to cancer. The other target was Troponin. which is a molecule released by your body following an attack on the heart. The new investigation by Nature Biotechnology harnessed the power of technology to determine COVID-19 antibodies.

In-depth: Monod’s sensors rely on two proteins. One protein changes from a closed open state when it detects a target which allows it to connect with another protein. If the two proteins bind and the sensor is activated. The light comes from Luciferase, which is a light-emitting enzyme. This system can be modular. the area that detects the target could be replaced with another.

The goals: The company won’t reveal the targets it’s creating. However, one of the targets is health-related, and involves the detection of biomarkers in liquid blood, most likely, said Silva. Another target is biotech.

What’s next? The team of 22 is working on implementing research and computation methods to design and development of their sensors. They are also developing the system that will make them ready for commercialization. One of the challenges is formulating the sensors to ensure stability and improve their performance.

“The goal is to have these pipelines operational before the end of the next year.” Silva told Economic Pitch  Silva’s team also is working on the cartridge to store samples and an instrument to detect the biosensor’s light.

Monod is operating since November, operating from CoMotion Labs on the UW campus It has since secured the new site for its laboratories. The company plans to relocate and double its workforce before the at the end in the current year.

The investors: The $25 million seed round was managed by Matrix Capital, with participation from the Global Health Investment Corporation, Cercano Management (formerly Vulcan Capital), The Washington Research Foundation, Boom Capital Ventures, Sahsen Ventures, and Pack Ventures. A $6 million capital raise from the firm previously publishedby Economic Pitch makes up the total of $25 million.

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