Foresight Biosciences and Van Heron Labs Form a Strategic Alliance To Tackle Biotechnology
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In a strategic new alignment, Van Heron Labs and Foresight Biosciences will take aim at surpassing the boundaries in a burgeoning field: biotechnology.
The current production of biologics is not only complex and costly, but also plagued with common issues, e.g. high immunogenicity, poor shelf-life, which hinder protein-based drug development. Foresight’s proprietary platform is designed to improve therapeutic protein production so as to yield higher quality biologics by inducing protein modifications necessary to create more effective human biopharmaceutical therapies. Foresight has also positioned itself to continue applying its dynamic platform and broad interests to advance our understanding in fields ranging from the metabolic basis of human disease, to microbial ecology and evolution, to human stem cell research, and even agriculture; complemented by the on-going work of Van Heron Labs.
Van Heron’s mission is to reframe our understanding of organismal and cellular performance. It has created a novel pipeline that uses genetic analysis to design a customized procedure for optimizing metabolism for a particular organism or cell, maximizing growth and product output. The platform has many goals ranging from increasing the production of valuable cellular products, to directly selecting for organisms in complex nutritional environments. The company feels confident that the mentorship and opportunities that will come from pairing with an experienced company such as Foresight will prove to be a priceless advantage.
The strength of this partnership’s lies not only in the two companies’ shared multi-disciplinary vision for the future, but also in the complementarity of their two technological platforms. Foresight, like many companies who utilize cellular products, relies on the fidelity of the culture media they use. While industry standards for culture media have largely stagnated of late, Van Heron Labs aims to enhance standard media with their customized formulas that robustly increase a cell’s capabilities and therefore the quality of high-value cellular products. This provides the perfect opportunity for Van Heron Labs to add substantial value for Foresight, while simultaneously demonstrating viability at industry scale.
As of now, prospective collaborative projects will be dynamic and will aim to impact and ameliorate fields like drug and enzyme discovery, development and production as well as industrial fermentation, bioremediation, cell culture, and beyond. Both companies are currently using their platforms to develop technology to help battle COVID-19. In anticipation of continuing collaborative work with Foresight, Van Heron Labs plans to move a significant portion of their laboratory operations from the Texas Medical Center in Houston to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology located in Huntsville, Alabama this month. However, VHL also plans to maintain a strong presence and activism within the Houston entrepreneurial ecosystem, which the company cites as the catalyst for the birth and growth of the company.