This article details recent news regarding Oxalo Therapeutics shifting from lab work to the real world. It also discusses the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s role in this.
2017 brought us the fintech trend, which has already transitioned from trend to normality. Now, biotech is taking over and becoming the next big thing. At the moment, we’re experiencing an unprecedented phase of discovery and revelation within the medical field. From groundbreaking cancer vaccines to regenerating brain tissue, there are new cures and treatments being released every single day.
That’s why labs want people to invest in groups like the biotech startup Oxalo Therapeutics.
Healthcare is becoming an investment opportunity like any other business. Although there may be a number of downsides to the monetization of curing diseases and conditions, the influx of investment is helping smaller companies develop much more quickly and effectively than before.
A New Drug Using Human Microbes
Oxalo researched and developed a new drug to help prevent kidney stones. Hatim Hassan conducted the research at the University of Chicago.
His work involves a gut microbe found in ~60% of people which helps regulate oxalate.
This toxic molecule fuses with calcium to form most kidney stones. Hassan and his team created a drug to imitate this process, thereby reducing the frequency of the creation of kidney stones.
Beginning as just a university research team, now Hassan has teamed up with the Polsky Center to transform his team into a medical startup company open to investment.
Yang Zheng leads the charge for Oxalo Therapeutics to take off as a startup. He told UChicagoNews how he felt about the process of going from research group to startup:
“Ultimately, everything is a business. It doesn’t matter if you are a new type of food or science or a mobile app, it’s a business…You need to tell a story and figure out your finances and operations and everything like that…”
But the company likely won’t be able to bring the drug to market for at least another ten years. Despite the wait and work ahead, Oxalo Therapeutics targeted an underserved market in the healthcare world.
They also approach the process from a very lean perspective.
By using the human body’s own material, their business model doesn’t require the same level of investment that something that uses CRISPR-Cas9 techniques might require.
Oxalo Therapeutics is not a unique occurence. It is becoming more common than ever for research groups to transition into medical startups or recieve investment from private companies.
The repercussions of this won’t be seen for a number of months, if not years, but it may help to bring much needed investment to companies trying to provide life-saving drugs and treatments to people who need them the most.