CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 15, 2017 QurAlis was chosen by an Amgen internal committee and live audience members at a “Quick Pitch” event hosted by Amgen at its Cambridge R&D and Operations facility on Dec. 11, 2017. Five finalists pitched their business plan to attendees where the audiences’ input represented one vote of the overall results, along with the Amgen internal committee’s voting decision.
QurAlis develops precision medicine for treatment of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Harvard professors Kevin Eggan and Clifford Woolf, two pioneers in stem cell technology and translational ALS research, have worked to understand and combat the effects of ALS using stem cell technology. Together with Dr. Kasper Roet and Q-State Biosciences, they co-founded QurAlis to bring more of their discoveries to ALS patients.
QurAlis is currently developing therapies for three different forms of ALS with known disease mechanisms which include: a transformative device to remove toxic proteins; a drug that mediates overactive neurons and prevents them from dying; and a drug that restores a dysfunctional waste clearance system in cells. Success with any of these therapies will have a tremendous impact on ALS patients and their families.
“We are extremely excited to win the Amgen Golden Ticket,” said Kasper Roet, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer at QurAlis. “The space and facilities at LabCentral will enable QurAlis to enhance our ALS patient-derived stem cell platform, which we will use in the development of all three of our therapeutic programs. It is also an incredible testament to our team, progress and potential for developing therapies for ALS patients.”
The Golden Ticket represents one year of bench space for one scientist, including benefit of LabCentral’s shared infrastructure and services (such as conference rooms, permits, shared equipment and facilities, participation in LabCentral training modules and seminars). Amgen scientists also provide informal mentoring. LabCentral is a first-of-its-kind shared laboratory space designed as a launchpad for high-potential life sciences and biotech startups.