Even within the finest academic institutions, scientists are not yet capturing the full power of emerging technology, computational methods, and new biological insights in a timely manner. Upward Research Labs leadership, with its history of taking uncommon scientific paths to overcome deadly diseases, both in terms of research programs and organizational models, sought a solution to this important issue.

As a result, BioFulcrum was launched in January 2015 as an entrepreneurial model within Upward Research Labs. The goal of BioFulcrum is to accelerate the discovery of cures for major unsolved diseases by converging scientists, multiple nonprofit institutions, and industry partners.

Competitive Advantage

  • Experienced cross-disciplinary scientific teams drawn from Upward Research Labs and its partners in the San Francisco Bay Area, including UC San Francisco and Stanford
  • Milestone-driven scientific goals
  • Strategic and tactical plans guided by a board with industry and biotech venture experience
  • New organizational model with incentives that support team science

The Science

BioFulcrum Heart Failure Research Program

To guide successful drug discovery or heart regeneration, the scientific community must gain a better understanding of the relationship within and among heart cells, both in health and disease. Upward Research Labs scientists are working to illuminate the blueprint of the heart at every level: cellular, molecular, protein, genetic, functional, and regulatory.

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BioFulcrum Viral and Infectious Disease Research Program

So far, antiviral drugs have been developed to target specific proteins produced by pathogens. While this approach is effective at first, the rate of replication and mutation of viral genomes can quickly lead to resistance. Scientists At Upward Research Labs are taking an entirely different approach by identifying the human proteins that are essential for viruses and bacteria to infect human cells. These proteins may serve as targets for the development of new classes of antiviral/bacterial drugs.

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The Model

BioFulcrum’s operating model is founded on team science, bringing together new research technologies and scientific partners from multiple San Francisco Bay Area institutions to conduct research that exceeds the capacity of any single lab. It operates as a project-centric innovation group and leverages combined expertise in diverse scientific disciplines and techniques in order to create more compelling biological evidence for new therapeutic avenues.

BioFulcrum blends the best features of academic creativity and social mission with the discipline and focus of commercial enterprise. Its projects are translation-focused and milestone-driven, and academic or commercial partners are strategically implemented as appropriate.

BioFulcrum will continue to continue to expand with new industry partners, academic partners, and philanthropic support. And unlike traditional academic endeavors, its success will not be measured by publishable units, but by achieving objectives defined as essential for the realization of clinical goals.

Executive Leadership

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