Filipinos Based in Silicon Valley Disrupting Cancer Research, Diagnostics, and Therapy

Left to right: Gege Xu Ph.D. (Senior Scientist), Kaitlynn Custer (Director Of Clinical Operations), Aldo Carrascoso (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder), Elisha Goonatilleke Ph.D. (Instrumentation Scientist), Dan Serie MS (Head Of Data And Computational Biology), Alex Parker (Epidemiologist Consultant), Lieza Danan Ph.D. (Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder), Ley Hian Low Ph.D. (Head Of Operations, MY), Widya Mulyasasmita Ph.D. (Chief Business Officer), and Padraig Buckley (Senior Scientist)

The 2015 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates published by the Philippine Cancer Society identified the ovary as among the top ten leading new cancer sites. While the survival rate is more than 90% when detected in the early stages (stage 1), most ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed in the late stages (stage 4) where survival rate is less than 20%. Currently, there is no minimally invasive test that can accurately detect ovarian cancer at its early stages when it is most curable.

But InterVenn BioSciences is working hard to change that. Headquartered in Redwood City California, with offices in Kuala Lumpur and Manila, InterVenn BioSciences is a life science company with a mission to understand and control complex diseases like cancer for populations globally. The company uses augmented intelligence (AI) to integrate cancer biology, data science, and advanced instrumentation, all in the context of robust epidemiology study design.

The company has developed an AI-Driven Mass Spectrometry-based platform for the discovery and validation of biomarkers for cancer including ovarian, breast, and prostate; pioneering the glycoproteomic (combining proteomics and glycomics)approach for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Left To right: Hui Helen Xu Ph.D. (Chief Product Officer), Ling Shen MPH, Ph.D. (VP Of Clinical Sciences and Biometrics), Lieza Danan Ph.D. (Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder), Dan Serie MS (Head Of Data and Computational Biology), Ley Hian Low Ph.D. (Head Of Operations, MY), Widya Mulyasasmita Ph.D. (Chief Business Officer), Gege Xu Ph.D. (Senior Scientist), Prasanna Ramachandran Ph.D (Senior Scientist – Data And Instrumentation), and Aldo Carrascoso (Chief Executive Officer And Co-Founder)

Glycoproteomics, an emerging field combining proteomics and glycomics, can help with better biomarker and target discovery but produces an enormous amount of data that takes too long to fully analyze and is often difficult to reproduce. By leveraging mass spectrometry, hi-res characterization of post-translational modifications, and artificial intelligence, InterVenn streamlines and expedites this process and ensures that any variability in the workflow–from the sample collection, processing, and all the way to instrument ingestion– is drastically minimized and the results become supremely reproducible.

The company’s first product is a blood-based ovarian cancer diagnostic that is currently undergoing analytical and clinical validation. This is an accurate minimally invasive blood test to detect ovarian cancer in the early stages.

“We’ve established a talented team of experts in AI, computational biology, mass spectrometry, software engineering, glycoproteomics, and product development who are dedicated to equipping physicians with a reliable, high-performing and cost-effective tool to change the narrative around ovarian cancer,” explained InterVenn BioSciences Chief Executive Officer, Aldo Carrascoso. “Our company promises to contribute passionately in addressing the problem of cancer with an interdisciplinary approach – microbiology, glycoproteomics, augmented intelligence, social sciences, economics and patients care. We believe the best way to fix the problem is through a holistic approach,” he added.

Left to right: At The Medical City for Dr. Lebrilla’s talk on “Employing Protein Post-Translational Modification for Biomarker Discovery in Ovarian Cancer”. Axel Kornerup (InterVenn Country Head), Dr. Jayjay Germar M.D. (Ob-Gynecology/Oncologist, The Medical City), Carlito Lebrilla, Ph.D. (InterVenn Scientific Co-Founder), Beatrice Tiangco MPH, M.D. (InterVenn Country Principal Investigator), Ronald Campos M.D. (Ob-Gynecology/Oncologist, The Medical City), Aldo Carrascoso (InterVenn CEO and co-Founder)

Carrascoso is one of three Filipino co-founders of InterVenn BioSciences. Working with him are Lieza Danan, Ph.D who has 20 years of mass spectrometry, analytical chemistry, and instrumentation experience answering complex scientific questions no other analytical tools can address, plus over 10 years extensive experience (with Stemcentrx, Genentech, Sutro Biopharma, among many others) as a technical leader in fast-paced Biopharmaceutical, cGMP Analytical CRO, and Instrumentation Facilities. Completing the trio is Carlito Lebrilla, Ph.D, fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Distinguished Professor at University of California Davis. Lebrilla is considered a pioneer in translational glycoproteomics and mass spectrometry and its application to complex disease understanding biological interrogation.

Filipinos are also at the helm of the software development and cloud infrastructure efforts, InterVenn has a dedicated team based in Ortigas Center, Pasig. “The technology is able to automate tedious work, in effect, supercharging the scientists, making their work faster and easier” emphasized Carrascoso.

Once the validation and regulatory processes are completed, the company will begin offering a laboratory diagnostic test. They have recently received institutional investment of $9.4 Million led by seasoned biotech investor Genoa Ventures, with participation from True Ventures, Amplify Partners, Boost VC, and Prado SV.

Clinical trials are underway in Philippine General Hospital, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and The Medical City. They urge the public to contribute to developing and validating this vital blood test for early ovarian cancer detection by providing biological samples and medical information – both from ovarian cancer patients and donors who do not have cancer will be useful.

To be part of their global network of clinical collaborators, contact InterVenn BioSciencesat ovarian@venn.bio.

For more information, please visit https://intervenn.bio, https://www.linkedin.com/company/intervenn/

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About InterVenn BioSciences

InterVenn BioSciences aims to find solutions for the most challenging health problems. InterVenn’s approach combines the analysis of glycoproteomics using mass spectrometry with data science and artificial intelligence to quickly identify potentially actionable and clinically relevant information for conditions including cancers, autoimmunity, fibrosis, andneurodegeneration. The company is headquartered in Redwood City, California. For more information, please visit https://intervenn.bio, https://www.linkedin.com/company/intervenn/

About Genoa Ventures 

Genoa Ventures invests in early-stage life sciences companies innovating at the intersection of biology, technology, and data science. From next-gen ‘omics platforms to CRISPR-Cas genome editing, our portfolio companies are transforming biomedical research, diagnostics, agriculture, chemicals, and other industries beyond traditional biotech therapeutics. Genoa Ventures combines an appetite for technology-driven opportunities in life sciences with the domain expertise and operational experience necessary to select and nurture the best bio-based companies early, before most other investors. We take the time to understand the science and technology, applications and markets, and to help these companies achieve their full potential.

Visit https://www.genoavc.com/

About True Ventures 

Founded in 2005, True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups. With more than $2 billion under management, True provides seed and early Series A funding to the most talented entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets.

Visit https://trueventures.com/

About Amplify Partners 

Amplify Partners invests in early-stage companies pioneering novel applications in machine intelligence and computer science. The firm’s deep domain expertise and unrivaled relationships with leading technologists, positions it uniquely with enterprise insight and the ability to serve technical founding teams. Amplify-backed companies include ClickDiagnostics, Cambridge Cancer Genomics, Notable Labs and Recursion Pharmaceuticals.

To learn more about Amplify’s portfolio and people, please visit http://www.amplifypartners.com/

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