My neighbor was a 6-year-old boy from central MA diagnosed with a rare pediatric brain cancer after a sports accident. There were no effective treatments and a lack of research funding. The disease eventually won despite the staggering efforts of family, friends and providers, and our community suffered greatly from the loss.
Over 5% of newborns suffer from a genetic disease. These include single gene, polygenic and chromosomal disorders. Many other non-congenital diseases with genetic components are activated by environmental triggers (autoimmune, cancer, tissue injury).
Sophisticated viral therapies could treat, and possibly cure, these diseases and significantly ease patient burden and improve quality of life.
Current viral therapies are mostly limited to plasmid-based and Adeno-associated virus variants with inefficient response rates and limited use, with some herpes, lenti, and retroviral modalities. Development is slow and expensive.
That simply isn't good enough.
Salve Therapeutics is developing a bioengineering software platform called VirCAD© (Virus Computer-Aided Design) that will:
1. Cost-effectively mine the human virome (and others) for new therapeutic modalities that will enable exploration of this therapeutic space.
2. Discover novel drug candidates via the design, modeling and simulation of novel viral particles in silico.
3. Manufacture better viral delivery methods that would expand the available viral biologic tool kit to produce better precision medicines.
4. Help treat and potentially cure the many inherited and acquired genetic disorders afflicting humanity due to the therapeutic specificity, efficiency and customizability of viral biologics.
The drugs we design are for patients like my neighbor.
We also seek industrial, government and academic partners via VirCAD© licensing deals.
Stefan Nicholas Lukianov
Harvard University, MA Biological and Biomedical Sciences; University of Pittsburgh, MS Integrative Molecular Biology; University of Maine, BS Biochemistry, BS Cellular and Molecular Biology
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