Sunday, July 14, 2024

Cyrus Biotechnology Spins out Levitate Bio, a Protein AI, Bioinformatics, and Rosetta Service Provider, to Bring Automated, Customized AI Solutions to Biopharma Drug Discovery

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Cyrus Biotechnology, Inc., a Seattle-based software-enabled biotechnology firm, is spinning out a software and services group, Levitate Bio, to bring the Cyrus platform to the larger biopharma industry. This transition aligns with Cyrus’ advancement of its IdeS IgG degrading enzyme for multiple IgG-mediated autoimmune indications, as well as its extended-half-life COVID prophylaxis/therapeutic IND-stage candidate, ACE2v2 (“ACE2v2”), and other autoimmune and oncology programs in discovery stage. Cyrus will continue to benefit from the platform while Levitate builds a broader business across biopharma. Beyond drug development, these innovative tools can prove invaluable for agriculture, synthetic biology, manufacturing, and research.

Levitate Bio, based in Seattle, will be wholly owned by the Rosetta Commons Foundation (RCF). The Rosetta Commons Foundation was created by the Rosetta Commons, a multi-institution collaboration that developed the Rosetta biomolecular modeling suite. The University of Washington manages the licensing of Rosetta. Rosetta has been licensed to over 60,000 non-commercial users and over 200 commercial entities, and it has recently been open-sourced for non-commercial use.

Levitate is being established by RCF, following a software industry trend of pairing a for-profit services/software business with an innovative nonprofit advancing core technology for industry-wide benefits. “We are excited to build a for-profit organization to bridge the gap between academic and tech industry innovation and applied drug discovery that can make a difference in patients’ lives,” said Jeff Gray, the Director of the Board at Rosetta Commons and a board member at RCF.

Also Read: QIAGEN’s software QCI Interpret accelerates clinical reporting turnaround time for high throughput NGS testing labs

Levitate has robust ties with Rosetta Commons, with Cyrus itself originating as a spinout from David Baker’s lab, the birthplace of the Rosetta software. Leveraging this lineage, both Cyrus and Levitate have refined software developed by Rosetta Commons labs, enhancing it for automated use. “The AI algorithms for protein design have reached a point where we can create almost any protein, but they are still underutilized in biopharma companies. I am excited for Levitate to bring these tools to as many scientists as possible, so they can use them to discover new drugs,” said David Baker, Ph.D., the Director of the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington.

Levitate will be led by Sam DeLuca, Ph.D., formerly Director of Engineering at Cyrus, with Karen Khar, Ph.D., as EVP of Sales and Business Development. The team includes full-stack engineers, SRE engineers with deep experience in a DevOps-oriented environment, bioinformatics developers, and PhD computational protein engineers with experience developing both physics-based and AI-based algorithms including custom AI model training and benchmarking on proprietary data.

“The field of algorithmically driven protein optimization and design is moving so rapidly right now, we have found that a static set of software products is not able to fit the dynamic needs of the pharma industry, which is why Levitate will be offering a full stack of software and services customized for each customer’s needs,” said Sam DeLuca, the CEO of Levitate

Cyrus has used the Levitate platform to create multiple novel IND-stage biologics, to discover novel IP in partnership with over 30 pharma companies, and as the basis of the GUI software Cyrus Bench, sold to over 120 pharmaceutical firms globally in North America, EU, Asia and other regions. Levitate Bio is already onboarding new customers and expanding the range of services available to existing customers.

Source: Businesswire


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