The Wyss Diagnostics Accelerator will collaborate with 17 inaugural industry participants to develop a framework for delivering solutions to high-value diagnostic problems
By Benjamin Boettner
(BOSTON) — Today, the Wyss Institute’s Diagnostics Accelerator (Wyss DxA) is inaugurating its newly formed Industrial Participant Program (IPP) as part of its mission to create and deliver disruptive diagnostic technologies to address unmet clinical needs in the screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and management of diseases.
The start of the IPP will be marked by an official kick-off meeting attended by the Wyss DxA’s leadership, which includes Core Faculty member David Walt, Ph.D., and the Head of the Wyss DxA Rushdy Ahmad, Ph.D., as well as the IPP’s Head of Operations and Outreach Trey Toombs. Representatives from the 17 inaugural industry participants and other members of the IPP’s advisory team will be in attendance, as well as the Wyss Institute’s Director of Strategic Engagement Robert Cunningham. Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., the Wyss’ Technology Translation Director & Chief Operating Officer Angelika Fretzen, Ph.D., M.B.A., and Wyss Core Faculty member James Collins, Ph.D. will open the meeting with welcoming remarks.
Among the 17 inaugural industry participants in the IPP are 3D Predict USA Inc.; AGE-LESS AI; BioDot; Camtech Innovations Ltd.; Ethos Labs; Fluxergy, Inc.; Folia Health; Hospital on Mobile; LifeSpin; LumiraDx, Inc.; Kephera Diagnostics; Primary.Health, Inc.; Sigenex; Singular Computing; Utah Nano; WHPM, Inc.; and Zoetis.
Being the first program of its kind within the Harvard biomedical system, the IPP’s cornerstones were defined with support from Harvard University’s Office of General Counsel and creates the foundation for the partners to build a mutually beneficial framework for tackling hard-to-solve problems in the discovery, development, and delivery of diagnostic solutions in areas of unmet needs.
“We are laser-focused on accelerating the transition of Wyss technology innovations into the clinic and we have a great framework for doing so with our clinical partners and labs. However, to fully realize the acceleration of new technologies to clinical utility, we need the full engagement of the private sector,” said Walt. “Our corporate participants can help us navigate the process from tech development to regulatory approval to full commercialization.” Walt is also a Professor of Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Brigham), the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. He also is the scientific founder of Illumina, Inc. and Quanterix Corp, as well as co-founder of multiple other life sciences companies.
The IPP participants will start their work by collectively defining and enacting a framework for the program that will serve as the foundation of a growing hub that enables diagnostic companies, Wyss Institute researchers working in different disciplines of biomedical engineering, and clinical collaborators from Wyss-affiliated hospitals to jointly work toward transformative diagnostic tests to benefit multiple patient populations in diverse healthcare settings.
“All industry participants are 100% aligned with our vision which we hope, in the longer term, will help build a broad coalition of diagnostic stakeholders to drive innovation, facilitate new partnerships and identify emerging technologies and associated opportunities,” said Ahmad. “It is a win-win situation for all groups involved, but most of all for patients with disease risks that simply cannot be assessed yet in a timely and accurate manner, and for monitoring the effectiveness of new therapies with the necessary precision in clinical trials.”
The IPP is the Wyss DxA’s second collaborative engagement following the creation of the Brigham-Wyss Diagnostics Accelerator in which the Wyss Institute works closely together with Brigham through deep collaborations between Brigham’s clinical and the Wyss’s technology development communities. The involvement of the private sector is an essential component of this new model aiming to disrupt diagnostic innovation.