The San Francisco Bay area is well-known as the home of disruptive software, where great ideas go from being merely side projects to launching into giant multi-billion dollar companies. It’s where we all look to for the next Google, Apple, Amazon, or Uber to emerge with the next world-changing idea. But get ready tech bros, the science kids are here. Biotech companies are realizing the value of integrating newer technologies with traditional platforms to create a whole new mix of artificial intelligence, genetic tracking, and augmented healthcare.
#1 - BioTrillion
BioTrillion is a startup that there's a ton of money being inefficiently spent in healthcare every year...and they want to do something about it. In a move straight from a sci-fi thriller, they created a machine called “BioEngine 4D” that can figure out if you have a disease before you even know that you have it.
How are they able to do this? Data. Since many diseases can be detected through minor changes, this machine tracks your bodily markers (blood proteins, genetic markers, etc) and connects all the data points. When certain changes start to take place, you’re informed so that you can seek out help ASAP. It gives you the ability to proactively go to the doctor and say, ‘I’m about to have cancer”, rather than not knowing until it’s too late. Welcome to the future.
#2 - Denali Therapeutics
If words like cellular homeostasis, neuronal synapses, glial biology, and lysosomal dysfunction are giving you flashbacks of a Biology 101 test you failed, you’re not alone. This team of super-smart scientists thankfully aced cell biology and teamed up to fight one of the biggest medical challenges of our time: neurodegenerative diseases.
Parkinson's disease costs the US economy over $25 billion dollars a year, and with Alzheimer's being the 6th leading cause of death in the US, the race is on to find cures for these debilitating diseases. Thankfully, Denali is totally on it. An intensive combination of genetic research and top of the line tech is being used to fully study the pathways that cause these diseases to be triggered -- and learning about them is just the first step to stopping them in their tracks.
#3 - Zymergen
“Zymergen is not just changing the way stuff is made; we’re changing stuff itself.” Replicators in Star Trek can re-combine molecules to form whatever item you need, and Zymergen wants to harness the ability to do just that -- but en masse.
By using biology itself as a template to create things anew, there are (theoretically) unlimited ways for us to manufacture chemicals and even other new biomaterials that we have yet to discover. Everything we know, from how we make chemicals and fertilizers, to even the industries that exist, will be questioned.
#4 - Vineti
The days of “one size fits all” medicine is finally over. Vineti believes that this mass-produced model is not only average, but it can cause disastrous effects for people who don’t fit the mold of the “ideal patient”. So they created a technology platform that works to individualize care at every level possible.
By connecting the pharmaceutical company, drug manufacturer, and healthcare provider, the patient is ensured a streamlined process that delivers quality care from start to finish. Vineti also uses cloud-based technology so that it’s portable and safe. So with the days of ‘standardized medicine’ coming to a screeching, tech-fueled halt, what are patients to do now? The answer is obvious: live long and prosper.
Biotech can be overwhelming, but that’s why we’ve got these startups disrupting the industry. If you’re ready to take on the establishment, join Planted and we’ll help you get connected to a job you’ll love!
Laurah Mwirichia is a UX Designer and freelance writer raised in the midwest and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. She can’t afford a mortgage because she once had avocado toast at brunch in June 2015. You can follow her on Medium or Twitter .