Bioscience Clubhouse Highlights Isoplexis

There are many entrepreneurs in the bioscience space in Connecticut. Bioscience Clubhouse provides targeted support to these entrepreneurs, helping them bring their ideas to life in venture form.

One of the key areas in which Bioscience Clubhouse provides value to bioscience entrepreneurs is by convening them to discuss their shared challenges and successes, along with investors, researchers, and industry representatives. Last night, at The Grove, Bioscience Clubhouse featured the Isoplexis team, who shared their venture with a sizable crowd.

Dr. Usha Pillai kicked off the event by introducing the core purpose of the Bioscience Clubhouse initiative to the audience, and thanking Bioscience Clubhouse’s collaborators: The Grid, CURE, Elm Street Ventures, Canaan Partners, Wiggin & Dana, and LaunchCapital. Then she introduced Dr. Rong Fan, CTO of Isoplexis.

Rong gave a talk focused on the scientific applications of his company’s product, a new tool that allows scientific researchers to isolate single-cell differences across different cell populations. Current tools, he explained, either do not allow such comparisons or, when they do, are extremely time-consuming for researchers to use.

The chief application of the technology would be in drug development, as it would allow drug developers to detect earlier in the development process how a drug would interact with the immune system. Clinicians, too, could benefit, especially in oncology, where tracking the progression of cancer cells is of vital importance.

The audience, excited by the unveiling of the new technology, peppered Dr. Fan immediately following his talk with questions on a number of technical topics, including how it differed from existing techniques, such as flow cytometry, and what level of differentiation between types of cancer cells could be achieved by Isoplexis.

Next, CEO Sean Mackay, previously profiled on The Whiteboard, spoke about the market potential of the product, and how it could add to or improve on existing techniques used in the laboratory. The core of the patent-pending product, he explained, is its ability to perform analysis of isolated single immune cells and of proteins secreted over time – a combination referred to as multiplexing.

When asked about Isoplexis’s go-to-market strategy, Sean replied, “We will first get a lead customer in the drug development space. We think this makes for a more fundable team.” Afterwards, he added, Isoplexis plans to reach out to academics, as well. In the meantime, they are focused on customer development, seeking to understand the market needs for their product and determine how best to price and sell it.

Bioscience Clubhouse helps bioscience ventures develop their pitch and connect them with their target market, researchers eager to contribute technical opinions, and investors. If you are a bioscience entrepreneur, contact Bioscience Clubhouse for insight on how your venture can benefit from their initiative in the coming program year.

About Krishna Sampath

Krishna Sampath works at Independent Software as the Program Director for A100, which provides aspiring software developers with technical training and jobs at Connecticut-based companies. Krishna has also worked as a teacher, a lawyer, and a barista. He has sung for the Icelandic President and currently performs with the Yale Citations.

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