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Enzyme By Design in the News


Enzyme By Design is MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect Startup Contest, Winner 2019, Biopharma

Dr. Arnon Lavie, a UIC faculty member and founder of a UIC spin-off company called Enzyme By Design, has won first place in the BioPharma category at an entrepreneurship pitching contest held at the 2019 annual MedCity INVEST meeting.  This annual event held by MedCity INVEST is a Chicago conference that provides investors an opportunity to meet with potential partners and companies seeking funding.


Enzyme by Design (EbD) is a pre-clinical stage company with a humanized enzyme therapy for treatment of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), an orphan indication. The therapy builds upon the established science of depleting asparagine from the blood to starve cancer cells. With its lead biologic, EbD-1117, the company aims to help patients with ALL achieve cancer remission without toxic side effects of current therapies. EbD has evaluated EbD-1117 in T-cell and B-cell ALL mouse models showing efficacy equal to current therapies with significantly less weight loss and less fatty liver symptoms. In addition to ALL, the company plans to expand use of EbD-1117 to solid tumors that lack good treatment options such as pancreatic, ovarian, and brain cancers, where current L-asparaginases cannot be used due to toxicity. EbD is seeking funding to optimize its lead biologic, complete toxicology studies, and prepare for IND enabling studies.


Enzyme by Design has been successful in securing non-dilutive funding and now has two employees.  Dr. Lavie has raised >$2 million in funds to advance the research towards development of a clinical candidate through both UIC and EbD.  Funds have included $200,000 in Proof of Concept through the UIC Chancellor's Innovation Fund, $100,000 from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium Accelerator award given by the Searle Family for translational research, and $600,000 from two NIH small business grants.  EbD is advancing their effort through participation in the NIH funded I-CORP program by meeting with companies and potential partners to better understand the value proposition of the company.


For more information on the science behind Enzyme by Design:


For more information about Enzyme by Design: